My sister is visiting this week, and it’s always an event when she and I get together. For years, we’ve lived in totally different parts of the country (currently, I’m in FL, and she’s in Maine), and we only see each other 1-2 times per year. We’re both trying to make a better effort and shoot for 3 times minimum. And, of course, there’s always Skype and FaceTime.
Our relationship now spans 50 years. She’s the elder by 5 years. She’s the one who held my hand and led me to first day at elementary school. She’s the one who taught me to drive a car, which required time and a lot of faith! She’s the one I tried to emulate because she was pretty and self-assured, had so many friends and always seemed to know just where she was going. I have always thought my sister was the cool one.
You can imagine my surprise when I found out a few years ago that my sister thought I was the cool one. Turns out she admired my ability to break from the crowd and pave my own way (hmm, here I thought I just never fit in…), and she thought that chasing a career in theater and writing instead of business was creative and brave (well, I guess, especially on those days when you don’t know how you’re going to pay the bills).
I admire my sister. I see similarities in our personalities and I can trace much of it back to our shared childhood. I also see that we’ve become different people, unique individuals who weigh circumstances and make different choices.
Being a writer, that naturally makes me think about characters and some of the classic sister relationships I’ve enjoyed in books. From Little Women to The Other Boleyn Girl, from Lizzie and Jane Bennett in Pride & Prejudice to Elinor and Marianne Dashwood in Sense & Sensibility. From Scarlet O’Hara’s somewhat adversarial relationship with her natural sisters to the sister-like bond she forms with her rival Melanie Wilkes. And more recently, the relationship between Katniss and Primrose Everdeane (don’t spoil it for me–I haven’t read all three books yet!).
What’s the most memorable sister relationship you’ve enjoyed in a book? What is it about sisterly relationships that draws us into their story?