The Launguage of Sisters by Amy Hatvany
THE GREAT READING BINGE OF 2016
Here, with my sister and mother in the house where the hardest part of my life occurred, the illusion of contentment I had created was fading fast, leaving nothing but the raw nerves of reality in my path.
Nicole is brought back home suddenly because of her sister, Jane. Who, with an unnamed retardation, was a victim of rape and is now pregnant. Nicole moves back to Seattle with her estranged mother and her disabled sister and tries to come to term with the past and what the future holds for them. She decides to care for her sister while seeking justice, and learns the meaning of what it takes to be a family.
This was an emotionally hard read. It poses hard to answer questions about topics that can’t be easily disscussed. Similar to My Sister’s Keeper by Piccolt, Jane has no rights as her mother is in charge of her well being. Her mother decides that she should have the baby because Jane can’t answer for herself. Nicole in the end decides to adopt her sisters baby and embraces motherhood, and throws away her life that she built in San Francisco.
Jane was raped in the home she was placed by a male aide. The home decides to settle vs making it public knowledge. It’s very sad because things like this DO HAPPEN and more times than most, they’re covered up. I used to work in a long term care facility. So it struck a chord with me. I don’t think her mother had the right to make her disabled daughter carry her rapists baby. But that’s me. Jane couldn’t answer for herself. Her mother based her desicion over her own guilt of having an abortion and felt that perhaps Jane being born the way she was was her judgement. And by allowing Jane to have the baby, was her redemption.
First and foremost, this is a story about family and coming to terms with the past while trying to fix the present. I recommend it but warn you that parts of it are a little soul wrenching.