Nancy Corbett

Books

The Sister

by Poppy Adams

Ginny Stone begins her narrative looking out from the arched stone window of her crumbling estate, wondering why her sister, Vivi, has chosen to return home after an absence of nearly fifty years. Questions build instantly about this familyís dark history, but Ginny Stone is not going to provide the answers. Ginny is mentally impaired and blissfully unaware of it. As she tells her compelling story, the reader understands that she is an unreliable narrator. Poppy Adamsí debut novel constructs the tale of this family through Ginny and then deconstructs it, leaving the reader amidst a rubble of questions. Woven throughout is a rich, detailed description of lepidopterology, the study of moths. Ginny describes herself as the benefactor of her fatherís profession as a celebrated entomologist. The many references to caterpillars, pupae and moths arenít present to form the usual metaphor for transformation. The father, Clive, has focused his research on the state of the pupae. And Ginny mirrors this in her perpetual state of becoming. This story is full of sound and fury, but one canít say that it signifies nothing. This book will generate many lively discussions in literary book clubs. Careful readers will want to put the meat back on the bones after completing this book to see what fits where. Others will tackle the obvious question the story raises. How much fiction should be allowed in fiction?

"We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams..." Arthur O'Shaughnessy

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