The Escape Artist Book Blog

Books are my escape...I need it. My life is super busy between working full time, being a mom of 2 super social kids, a traveling husband, and an annoying habit of not being able to say "No". 


Great Writing but Perplexing Outcome

Sisterland - Curtis Sittenfeld

I felt like I needed to take a shower after finishing this book. The fact that Kate herself waited almost 12 hours to take her own shower after her “earthquake” is beside the point.




I liked this book until about the last 1/3. I was very interested in what the earthquake would be about. Would Jeremy regret going to his conference? Would Kate have to step up to the plate and be a leader in a time of crisis. Would Kate and Vi’s Dad be ok? There were so many questions about this earthquake that when I realized it wasn’t coming it was not only a letdown but what happened in its place was beyond shocking. I could NOT believe what happened and wished Kate had made different choices.


Also, I didn’t really get the last part of the book – I needed to digest it for a few days before reviewing it. I found it interesting that Kate’s entire mission in life since junior high was to fade into the woodwork, not stand out and certainly not bring any attention to herself. Yet because of her actions, and her husband’s concession, she will forever stand out. Driving home from work on my traffic snarled commute, I thought about what I would do, and I could not have made the decision they made. It was really short sighted and she evens references how they didn’t think it through completely in terms of sending out Christmas cards. I could not see the evidence of my transgression every single day nor have my husband be reminded daily. I would have found a loving home I think where there would never be a potential undercurrent of hurt or resentment or remorse.


Vi was probably my favorite character – I absolutely loved how carefree, spunky, and self-possessed she was. Of course her parents were stereotypical mid-western people who didn’t show or share emotions, but so much was left unsaid between all of them. When Kate rejected the referral of a counselor when she received news from her doctor, I thought “Really? You think you haven’t been through enough?” I thought they would get more information from their Dad but then, like a lot in the last third of the book, it just didn’t happen.


I enjoyed Sittenfield’s writing and it flowed well even though we went back and forth between time periods, but eventually we caught up to everything that happened to Kate in her life. It was quite thorough. I just wish the reward for making it to that point had been greater.