The Language of Sisters by Amy Hatvany
Ten years ago, Nicole Hunter left her troubled home behind her, unable to cope with the demands of a life with her disables sister, Jenny. Though her search for happiness-both in career and in love-has fallen short on her dreams, Nicole pretends that all is well. Then a shattering event turns her world upside down, and suddenly, she back in her hometown, caring for her pregnant sister and trying to heal her embattled relationship with her mother.
Reunited with her family and forced to confront the guild that haunts her, Nicole finally has the chance to be the sister she always wished she'd been. And when she is faced with the most difficult choice of her life, Nicole rediscovers the beauty of sister-and receives a special gift that will change her life forever.
I picked this book up from the library about a week ago. One of the first things that attracted me to the book was the title. As my family and friends know, I have a younger sister who is extremely annoying. We're 9 1/2 years apart and it's just hard to click with her. I wanted to see how other people handled their sister, even if the people in question were fictional characters. Thus, I borrowed the book. I was really curious to discover the secrets behind Nicole's guilt and the language that connected her to her Jenny and I was hoping that along the way, I might learn a thing or two.
The story line escalated pretty quickly. Within the first chapter, you learn that Nicole and Jenny have this heart and mind connection. Nicole hears her sister's voice saying, "Help," after 10 years of not seeing nor hearing her sister. She calls her mother and finds out what has happened to her sister while at Wellmans, the special needs home where Jenny lives.
As the story continues, I really felt Nicole's desperation when she saw the relationship with her mom crumble and all the pressure around her that was suffocating her. While she loves Jenny, she really needs a sister who she can pour her feelings out to and she finds that in her best friend Nova.
Mother of 4 and another on the way, Nova is an amazing friend, mother, wife, everything. She has this strict motherly side and a compassionate, fun side. To Nicole, Nova has everything she doesn't: kids, lovestruck parents, a loving husband, a perfect home. Nova is by far one of my favorite characters, she just shines from the inside out with joy. Being the amazing friend that she is, Nova helps Nicole out with Jenny and with filling her (Nicole's) empty heart. She introduces Nicole to their next-door neighbor Garrett who is a single father of an angel child who seems to be able to talk telepathically to Jenny.
Oh wow, I didn't notice that this review was turning out so long. One last thing, the biggest choice of her life. I won't ruin it for you, since I feel bad for ruining Safe Haven, but I have to say, that I loved the ending and I'm definitely going to check out more of Amy Hatvany's books!
They looked at Jenny and counted their blessings. So did I, I realized, looking at the dark cap of my sister's head as we turned the corner that led down our street. My heart aced with emotion I had forgotten I was capable of experiencing. I counted my blessings, too, but for entirely different reasons.
Was she communing with God? Conversing with angels? I could not believe her mind was blank, as so many doctors had told us over the years. I saw such life behind her eyes; I imagined piles of words in a her brain, laid up like a logjam desperate for release. The language we shared was a gift, a link between sisters. I believed that when I heard her voice within me, one or two of those jammed words managed to slip through whatever held the rest back. Whatever disease threaded through her brain, it had not touched her soul.
Oh, you know. Fine. F*cked up, insecure, neurotic, and exasperated. That's what 'fine' stands for. F.I.N.E. That's how I am.
"Yeah, well, lesson number one of motherhood: choose your battles. This was one I didn't feel like fighting."
"And lesson number two?"
She reached into the freezer, pulled out another container, and dropped it between us. "Always-and I mean always-have more ice cream."
~Nova to Nicole
She resembled a crone from a fairy tale, a wise old woman entering the world under the guise of a child. On the first day of her life, I wondered already what lessons she would teach me.
~Nicole regarding Kyah
3.5 out of 5 stars