By Amy Hatvany
Published by: 2002 by NAL Trade/ July 2012 by Simon & Schuster
Source: E-galley from Edelweiss and Simon & Schuster
I want to start by saying that Amy Hatvany is an author who reaches into your emotions with her characters and she takes you into their souls. I knew I was in for another treat after loving her novel Best Kept Secret earlier this year. This book is a work that was previously published and is now re-released so that all of us can experience a love like few of us can imagine.
Nicole Hunter grew up in a highly dysfunctional home, special needs sister, parents who battled constantly over how to care for Jenny. Nicole left home and hadn’t planned to return. Struggling with her own career, once a therapist and now working as a baker, Nicole feels a sudden need to go home. She hears her sister speaking to her, calling out for help. She leaves her job, her boyfriend and heads back home. What she finds is devastating and sets in motion a chain of events that will change her life and the life of her sister Jenny forever.
The characters in The Language of Sisters are intimately drawn and detailed. Nicole has a hardened heart toward her mother and father, now divorced. Her father has no contact with them at all. Jenny is living in a home with less than expected care. Hatvany takes us back to Nicole’s youth, how she felt growing up with a special needs sister. Her best friend could always make her feel good, and accepted, and was able to show a love for Jenny that few people could.
What Nicole discovers is that in coming home and helping her sister, she learns more about herself. She questions her life and relationship, and she realizes she wants so much more than where things have been headed.
Amy Hatvany writes the story of Nicole and Jenny so intimately because she has lived with her own sister who has Rett’s Syndrome. While this is a work of fiction, the physical descriptions and the character Jenny is true to a person with Rett’s Syndrome. Learning about this tugged at my heart, knowing what a loving and devoted sister Amy is. I’m lucky to have an amazing sister, and I understand how Amy writes of the bond between Nicole and Jenny.
I’ve given this book a 4 out of 5 stars, I really liked it so much. Yes there is some predictability to the love story that evolves, but it’s not a book that the reader can assume is one thing just because things point in that direction. The story teaches Nicole to open her eyes and her heart, and I believe if you read The Language of Sisters your heart will be opened to a love that speaks louder than words.