They Were Sisters
by Dorothy Whipple
Persephone Books, 2005
originally published 1944
Summary (from goodreads):
Three sisters marry very different men and the choices they make determine whether they will flourish, be tamed or be repressed. Lucy's husband is her beloved companion; Vera's husband bores her and she turns elsewhere; and Charlotte's husband is a bully who turns a high-spirited naive young girl into a deeply unhappy woman.
"....they were sisters and loved each other, no matter how deeply the circumstances of their lives seemed to divide them."Dorothy Whipple's books are a joy to read and I couldn't have been happier when the most recent Classics Club spin dealt me They Were Sisters. With her distinctly gentle style and keen eye for family relationships, this novel made for perfect December reading.
In They Were Sisters, Whipple focuses on the special bond between sisters and how it can be affected by life circumstances. Specifically, the changing boundaries imposed by marriage. She even presents us with 1940's-style domestic abuse. Poignant, maddening, and thoroughly enjoyable, They Were Sisters reminds me why Dorothy Whipple is a favorite Persephone author.
Although I generally prefer reading on my kindle these days, the special qualities of a Persephone edition - elegant dovegrey cover, colorful endpapers, and matching bookmark - made this book even more of a holiday treat.