The Favorite Sister
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“Engrossing…Deliciously savage and wildly entertaining.”—People Magazine (Book of the Week)
From Jessica Knoll—author of Luckiest Girl Alive, the instant New York Times bestseller and the bestselling debut novel of 2015—comes a blisteringly paced thriller starring two sisters who join the cast of a reality TV series. One won’t make it out alive. So…who did it?
When five hyper-successful women agree to appear on a reality series set in New York City called Goal Diggers, the producers never expect the season will end in murder…
Brett’s the fan favorite. Tattooed and only twenty-seven, the meteoric success of her spin studio—and her recent engagement to her girlfriend—has made her the object of jealousy and vitriol from her castmates.
Kelly, Brett’s older sister and business partner, is the most recent recruit, dismissed as a hanger-on by veteran cast. The golden child growing up, she defers to Brett now—a role which requires her to protect their shocking secret.
Stephanie, the first black cast member and the oldest, is a successful bestselling author of erotic novels. There have long been whispers about her hot, non-working actor-husband and his wandering eye, but this season the focus is on the rift that has opened between her and Brett, former best friends—and resentment soon breeds contempt.
The Favorite Sister explores the invisible barriers that prevent women from rising up the ranks in today’s America—and offers a scathing take on the oft-lionized bonds of sisterhood, and the relentless pressure to stay young, relevant, and salable.
To distill The Favorite Sister into one category is to vastly reduce what Jessica Knoll does in telling this story.
For one thing, Knoll shakes her fists at societal norms that dictate strictures and limits to women. Told through three perspectives--Brett, the youngest cast member of a Real Housewives-esque reality show devoted to women who achieved success without any influence from men, her older sister Kelly, and Stephanie, a bestselling author who also is black--you see the different ways our genders affect us, whether through age, single parenthood, marriage, race, and professional success. Knoll doesn't ask "at what cost," rather, she wants to know "why must a woman's cost be any different than a man's"?
In a lesser writer's hands, such heavy sociological discussions might feel hamfisted or pedantic. Knoll proselytizes, yes, but in a way that makes you think as opposed to rolling your eyes. Why are the same behaviors accepted in men abhorred in women?
Her three narrators each offer a different perspective, and it is critical that we get to know these women. You will find your loyalty vacillating from one to the other, and as various truths are divulged, you might find yourself despising all three. No one in this book is honest, even when they're lying. Each feels the need to resort to falsehoods in order to achieve her goals. Do men do that? Of course they do, but too often we excuse it in them because that's part of a man doing what he must. We judge women far, far harsher.
The problems come in the last quarter of the book. You have to suspend logic a time or two, and you might find yourself asking, "What about ..." regarding a couple of dropped plot points. If you go into this book expecting a big fat suspense-thriller, you're reading the wrong book. There is a mystery, but it really doesn't come into play until well past the halfway point. Up until then, Jessica Knoll spends time introducing you to her characters and inviting you to trust at your own peril.
Pay attention to the title. Jessica Knoll plays with that throughout the book, and, in the end, you might find yourself asking which sister really is the favorite? Or is it possible that no one is and no one deserves to be.
The characters were very hateful. I don’t like how it ended at all.
My head was swirling in confusion... there were so many characters introduced all at once I couldn’t keep track!
The storyline bounced from one person to another with very little background on anyone. Wanted to like the book, but just ended up with a headache.
- Category: Fiction & Literature
- Published: May 15, 2018
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster
- Seller: SIMON AND SCHUSTER DIGITAL SALES INC
- Print Length: 384 Pages
- Language: English