Deb Erika Knows a Thing or Two About Sister Stories

Erika MarksThis week we’re talking about books you might also enjoy in the same vein as our debuts!

I like to think LITTLE GALE GUMBO has something for everyone. A dash of magic, a splash of food, a sprinkle of mystery and a hearty serving of romance. But one of its most prevalent themes is sisters, as the story centers around the lives of sisters Dahlia and Josie and how their loyalty is tested (as sibling loyalty often is!) as they grow.

If you like novels about sisters, I can suggest some wonderful ones. (And, in full disclosure, a few written by our very own Debs!)

Now if you’ve read LITTLE GALE GUMBO, you know that sisters Josie and Dahlia inhabit a slightly magical world on Little Gale Island. For me, it doesn’t get any more magical than Alice Hoffman, and PRACTICAL MAGIC was one of the first of her novels I read. For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, it’s the story of sisters Gillian and Sally who find themselves, much like Josie and Dahlia, living in a small town that gossips about them constantly—which is somewhat understandable since they are descendants of a famous witch and raised by their The Weird Sisters, by Eleanor Browneccentric—and very magical—aunts who frequently sell spells to desperate residents of the town.

For sisters with a Shakespearean twist, look no further than our own Deb Eleanor Brown’s wonderful novel, THE WEIRD SISTERS! Sisters Rose, Bean and Cordy—named to honor some of the Bard’s most famous leading ladies by their scholarly father—return home to help care for their stricken mother. The trio are as different as can be and there is never a dull moment as they learn to navigate the rough waters of the reunion and their relationships—those with each other, with a fascinating supporting cast, and with themselves. It is a magical novel, at turns deeply touching and wickedly funny, and always spot-on in its exploration of the nuances of sisterhood.

And speaking of magical sisters, Deb Tiffany Baker has woven a gorgeous tale of sisters and secrets in THE GILLY SALT SISTERS. Themselves the object of much scrutiny in their Cape Cod village for their magical workings with a nearby salt marsh, Jo and Claire Gilly find their sisterly bond tested over time by one dangerously irresistible man—and the choices their mutual adoration forces them to make. Rich in detail and teeming with lush characters, this is a beautiful novel that delves into the impossible—and unavoidable—dynamics that shape the relationship between sisters.

How about you all? Any books about sisters that are your favorites?


18 Replies to “Deb Erika Knows a Thing or Two About Sister Stories”

  1. You are in great company with our sister Debs!

    Books about sisters? Well, no list would be complete without one of my favorite childhood classics: LITTLE WOMEN.

    Aside to other readers: I can’t recommend LITTLE GALE GUMBO highly enough–it’s truly a journey of the senses. Delicious!

    1. LITTLE WOMEN! How could I forget that?! Thank you for correcting that oversight, Linda dear! It doesn’t get anymore definitive than the March sisters!

      And thank you for your sweet words about GUMBO–And not to brag, dear friends: but I’ve got Deb Linda’s IN A FIX on my computer now for an early read–ahh, the perks of being a Deb!!;)

  2. I read the Weird Sisters and enjoyed it. Gilly Salt Sisters has been on my “to read” list for a while. I need to get on it.

    Happy Belated Birthday Erika! I’ve been conferencing and have missed you guys.

    1. Hi Missy! We always love it when you visit–we miss you too! Thanks for the birthday wishes–and so glad you’re home from your travels–hope this means you’ve got some summer family fun next on your dance card?

  3. Never having had a sister, I find the subject of them fascinating – what would my sister be like? Would we be best friends? Fight like cats? So I loved watching Dahlia and Josie, two VERY different (and so well-drawn) sisters, as they interacted and grew up in their different lives. Love that we have Deb Alumni represented so well here, too! YAY Tiffany & Eleanor!

    1. Thanks, Joanne! And I have a feeling you’ll be writing a story with sisters in the not-too-distant future. What better way to experience the phenomenon, right? 😉

    2. Joanne, I don’t have a sister, either, only brothers (three of them!). On the plus side, I always had my own room growing up.

  4. Thanks for the shout out! I agree that Little Women is the penultimate tale of sisters, and how about Pride and Prejudice? All those Bennet ladies!

  5. Oh, I’ve been traveling all day and missed this until now. And amusingly, guess who I had dinner with on Sunday night? Ms. Tiffany Baker!

    I’m with Tiffany on P&P – she does such a great job with the birth order and rivalries!

    Thanks for the shout-out!

  6. As Deb Linda said, Little Women is THE sister book to me. Every time I meet someone who is one of four girls, I ask “did you pretend to be the Little Women growing up?” and then they usually laugh at me…

    I haven’t read In Her Shoes, but I did like the movie — that’s a good sister one…

    1. Oh, IN HER SHOES! That’s a great one! That wonderful interaction between sisters who are like night and day! And so true about LITTLE WOMEN–didn’t we all try and figure out which one we were? (Of course we all knew which one we WANTED to be…;)

  7. Wat fun! I have the Salt Sisters on my list (and have read YOUR fab book, as well as Eleanor’s). I somehow missed Alice Hoffman’s book, so that’ll be going on the list too. I had the pleasure of listening to Alice Hoffman speak at the Tucson Festival of Books. What a fabulous woman; LOVE her novels. Thanks for the insight, Erika!

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