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Between Sisters
Cover of Between Sisters
Between Sisters
A Novel
Borrow Borrow
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
No one knows you like your sister. She can make you laugh or break your heart with a single word. And no one writes novels like Kristin Hannah, an author who vividly explores the intricate bonds of family and, as Tami Hoag said "touches the deepest, most tender corners of our heart." Now, in her rich, captivating new book, she creates an indelible portrait of two women, once lost to each other, about to come together in a time of exquisite joy and almost unbearable sadness. Sisters by blood, strangers by choice, each stands at a crossroads, ready to confront the betrayals of the past. . . .

BETWEEN SISTERS

Meghann Dontess is a woman haunted by heartbreak. Twenty-five years ago she was forced to make a terrible choice, one that cost her everything, including the love of her sister, Claire. Now, Meghann is a hotshot divorce attorney who doesn't believe in intimacy–until she meets the one man who can change her mind.

Claire Cavenaugh has fallen in love for the first time in her life. As her wedding day approaches, she prepares to face her harsh, judgmental older sister and their self-absorbed mother. It is the first time they have been together in more than two decades. Over the course of a hot Pacific Northwest summer, these three women who believe they have nothing in common will try to become what they never were: a family.

Tender, funny, bittersweet, and wonderfully moving, Between Sisters celebrates the joys and heartaches that can only be shared by sisters, the mistakes made in the name of love and the healing power of new beginnings–all beautifully told by acclaimed author Kristin Hannah.
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
No one knows you like your sister. She can make you laugh or break your heart with a single word. And no one writes novels like Kristin Hannah, an author who vividly explores the intricate bonds of family and, as Tami Hoag said "touches the deepest, most tender corners of our heart." Now, in her rich, captivating new book, she creates an indelible portrait of two women, once lost to each other, about to come together in a time of exquisite joy and almost unbearable sadness. Sisters by blood, strangers by choice, each stands at a crossroads, ready to confront the betrayals of the past. . . .

BETWEEN SISTERS

Meghann Dontess is a woman haunted by heartbreak. Twenty-five years ago she was forced to make a terrible choice, one that cost her everything, including the love of her sister, Claire. Now, Meghann is a hotshot divorce attorney who doesn't believe in intimacy–until she meets the one man who can change her mind.

Claire Cavenaugh has fallen in love for the first time in her life. As her wedding day approaches, she prepares to face her harsh, judgmental older sister and their self-absorbed mother. It is the first time they have been together in more than two decades. Over the course of a hot Pacific Northwest summer, these three women who believe they have nothing in common will try to become what they never were: a family.

Tender, funny, bittersweet, and wonderfully moving, Between Sisters celebrates the joys and heartaches that can only be shared by sisters, the mistakes made in the name of love and the healing power of new beginnings–all beautifully told by acclaimed author Kristin Hannah.
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  • Chapter ONE Dr. Bloom waited patiently for an answer.

    Meghann Dontess leaned back in her seat and studied her fingernails. It was time for a manicure. Past time. "I try not to feel too much, Harriet. You know that. I find it impedes my enjoyment of life."

    "Is that why you've seen me every week for four years? Because you enjoy your life so much?"

    "I wouldn't point that out if I were you. It doesn't say much for your psychiatric skills. It's entirely possible, you know, that I was perfectly normal when I met you and you're actually making me crazy."

    "You're using humor as a shield again."

    "You're giving me too much credit. That wasn't funny."

    Harriet didn't smile. "I rarely think you're funny."

    "There goes my dream of doing stand-up."

    "Let's talk about the day you and Claire were separated."

    Meghann shifted uncomfortably in her seat. Just when she needed a smart-ass response, her mind went blank. She knew what Harriet was poking around for, and Harriet knew she knew. If Meghann didn't answer, the question would simply be asked again. "Separated. A nice, clean word. Detached. I like it, but that subject is closed."

    "It's interesting that you maintain a relationship with your mother while distancing yourself from your sister."

    Meghann shrugged. "Mama's an actress. I'm a lawyer. We're comfortable with make-believe."

    "Meaning?"

    "Have you ever read one of her interviews?"

    "No."

    "She tells everyone that we lived this poor, pathetic-but-loving existence. We pretend it's the truth."

    "You were living in Bakersfield when the pathetic-but-loving pretense ended, right?"

    Meghann remained silent. Harriet had maneuvered her back to the painful subject like a rat through a maze.

    Harriet went on, "Claire was nine years old. She was missing several teeth, if I remember correctly, and she was having difficulties with math."

    "Don't," Meghann curled her fingers around the chair's sleek wooden arms.

    Harriet stared at her. Beneath the unruly black ledge of her eyebrows, her gaze was steady. Small round glasses magnified her eyes. "Don't back away, Meg. We're making progress."

    "Any more progress and I'll need an aid car. We should talk about my practice. That's why I come to you, you know. It's a pressure cooker down in Family Court these days. Yesterday, I had a deadbeat dad drive up in a Ferrari and then swear he was flat broke. The shithead. Didn't want to pay for his daughter's tuition. Too bad for him I videotaped his arrival."

    "Why do you keep paying me if you don't want to discuss the root of your problems?"

    "I have issues, not problems. And there's no point in poking around in the past. I was sixteen when all that happened. Now, I'm a whopping forty-two. It's time to move on. I did the right thing. It doesn't matter anymore."

    "Then why do you still have the nightmare?"

    She fiddled with the silver David Yurman bracelet on her wrist. "I have nightmares about spiders who wear Oakley sunglasses, too. But you never ask about that. Oh, and last week, I dreamed I was trapped in a glass room that had a floor made of bacon. I could hear people crying, but I couldn't find the key. You want to talk about that one?"

    "A feeling of isolation. An awareness that people are upset by your actions, or missing you. Okay, let's talk about that dream. Who is crying?"

    "Shit." Meghann should have seen that. After all, she had an undergraduate degree in psychology. Not to mention the fact that she'd once been called a child prodigy.

    She glanced down at her platinum and gold watch. "Too bad, Harriet. Time's up. I guess we'll have to solve...

About the Author-
  • Kristin Hannah is the bestselling author of On Mystic Lake, Angel Falls, Summer Island, and Distant Shores. She lives with her husband and son in the Pacific Northwest.


    From the Hardcover edition.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    April 14, 2003
    Differences between siblings couldn't be more extreme than they are in this overwrought feel-good novel by Hannah (Distant Shores), a tale about two estranged sisters. Meghann Dontess is a hotshot, well-to-do Seattle divorce lawyer in her 30s, entirely focused on her career. Her younger sister, Claire Cavenaugh, a single mom living in a backwater town in the Pacific Northwest, takes care of her five-year-old daughter and helps her father run his low-key lakeside resort. The half-sisters were raised by a neglectful mother, who finally abandoned them for Hollywood when she won a starring role in a science fiction series. Meghann was 16 and Claire was nine; Meghann had already essentially raised Claire herself, and after their mother left, she tracked down Claire's biological father. Sam Cavenaugh was thrilled to be reunited with Claire, but Meghann suddenly found herself motherless and sisterless all at once, and numbed the pain by pouring herself into school, college and career. Now she's horrified because Claire has recklessly fallen in love with a country singer whom she's about to marry. Their absentee mom suddenly steps in to get him a recording contract, but before there can be a happy mother-daughter reunion, Claire is diagnosed with a brain tumor. Only Meghann, with her worldly connections, can come to the rescue. The melodramatic plot is something of a stretch, especially when Hannah ties it all together with a happy ending. Some devoted fans will enjoy the sisterly bonding, but the broad-strokes characters will disappoint more demanding readers of women's fiction. (Apr. 15)Forecast:Hannah has a solid track record, as indicated by Ballantine's 125,000 first printing and one-day laydown, and the publisher's creative marketing campaign includes a free book offer for the sisters of online reviewers. But readers may not settle indefinitely for Hannah's subpar storytelling. Author tour.

  • Library Journal

    April 15, 2003
    Sisters Claire and Meghann, once close as children, are now in their mid-thirties and have a distant and strained relationship. Meghann is a successful divorce attorney, Claire is managing a somewhat run-down combination resort motel, and neither can understand or appreciate the choices the other has made. When Meghann is violently threatened by the husband of a client, she is forced by her law partner to take a long-overdue vacation. At a loss for what to do, she reluctantly decides to visit Claire and discovers that her sister is headed for the altar with a man she feels is not a good marriage prospect. The two sisters want to be close again, but every word and gesture seems only to drive them further apart. Eventually, the two women must face a life-threatening crisis together, testing their resolve as sisters. While loaded with improbable coincidences and a melodramatic story line, Hannah's latest work (like her other books, e.g., Distant Shores) is rich in the details and nuances of family relationships. Readers who enjoy Luanne Rice or Susan Wilson will certainly be pleased to discover Hannah. Essential for most popular fiction collections. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 2/1/03.]-Margaret Hanes, Sterling Heights P.L., MI

    Copyright 2003 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    March 15, 2003
    Hannah returns to a minor character, Meghann, from " Distant Shores" [BKL My 1 02], and explores her life in-depth as she and her sister confront the past in order to have a better future relationship. They share a bitter childhood and find it difficult to trust each other, but for Meghann it goes deeper as her inability to trust anyone leads to a dangerously promiscuous lifestyle. Both sisters feel betrayed by the other, and now lead very different lives. Meghann, a shark of a Seattle divorce attorney, has been in therapy for years. Claire leads a simple, small-town life, and now tells her sister that she's getting married. Meghann initially tries to save her sister from what she believes will be a disaster since she doesn't believe in love, only in prenups, but eventually she adopts a more positive attitude and takes the first step toward healing the rift. Then Joe arrives, a wanderer with his own issues. Change comes gradually but with such finesse that the reader will enter the characters' relationships and make them her own as Hannah transcends the mundane in this gratifying, five-hankie story.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2003, American Library Association.)

  • People "Bestselling author Hannah writes witty dialogue . . . bringing snap and a lot of warmth to a familiar lesson: that contentment comes from accepting each other's flaws."
  • The Seattle Times "ENORMOUSLY ENTERTAINING . . . Hannah has a nice ear for dialogue and a knack for getting the reader inside the characters' heads."
  • LUANNE RICE, author of The Secret Hour "[Hannah] writes of love with compassion and conviction."
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Kristin Hannah
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