Sisters in Sanity by Gayle Foreman This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

March 15, 2012
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My pathetic condition when I finished Sisters in Sanity: Blubbering choked “Oh my gods” with a maniacal smile upon my bleary and tired face. And you cannot even blame me. I hardly dared to move away from the computer.
Gayle Foreman has won my ever-lasting, undying worship and respect and the title of a commendable, utterly genius author in my book of awesomeness. How can I ever begin to describe the emotions that swirled inside me while reading the book? Shock, anger, conflict, dilemma, kinship, determination, faith, family, love, friendship, acceptance, and shaping one’s own destiny would be few choice and comprehensive ones. Sisters in Sanity can be appropriately deemed as a modern teenage Bible, with utmost focus on what’s important and real, worth believing in. The story follows Brit Kemphill, daughter of a now-schizophrenic mother and a remarried father, afraid of losing his daughter, just like he lost his wife. Brit’s dad sends her off to Red Rock, a reform boot camp (read: prison) in the middle of nowhere. Brit eventually finds friends, and thus, the sisters in sanity come into glorious being. This is the amazingly worded struggle of Brit, who attempts to get past her own fears and bring an end to the wrongful Red Rock institution, along with her sisters, the daring and fearless V, undecided-about-her-sexual-orientation Cassie, obese and lovable Martha and stylish daughter of an opera star Bebe. This is the tale of how they all learn to survive, learn to deceive the system, and set their sights on bringing down the authority, the very adults that are supposed to know so much.
Originally I was apprehensive about this book, for Foreman’s storylines have not appealed to me particularly in the past, but as soon as I got a sense of where the story was heading, I was dying for more, hence the relentless continuous intensive reading. It’s touching to read descriptions of Brit’s life, about her band Clod, her band mate Jed aka the hopeful love of her life, Brit’s internal struggle and coming to peace with the one her mother waged with herself, Brit’s vulnerable father, V’s shocking revelation, Martha’s heart wrenching incident, Cassie’s indecisiveness, Bebe’s fond “dears and darlings” and Brit’s fierce streak and steely resolve. And at the end of the book, boy, did I agree on them personifying “I’ve got your back.”

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