Devoted Sisters (英語) ペーパーバック – 2006/5/3
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Elderly sisters Lizzie and May live quiet, ordered lives in the house in which they were born; their self-imposed seclusion and the unchanging predictability of their lives shielding them from the changing world beyond. But the day comes when this protective isolation is broken; the world outside forces its way in. A stranger appears, unsettling them, bringing with him the threat of danger, upheaval and violence. Fearful and alone, with all semblance of comforting routine wrenched from them, Lizzie and May are driven to desperation. Dark memories emerge from their buried past as the sisters gradually slip from reason into their own confused realities, within which even their former carefully regulated world seems only a distant memory.
Throughout a science-biased education and subsequent years employed in graphic design and web site development, Alison Buck has all the while been scribbling away, committing her dark, unsettling stories to disc. Fortunately the often menacing undercurrents in her work are completely at odds with the happy and relatively normal family life she enjoys with her wonderful family in Kent.
From the first chapter I was reminded of two "Devoted Sisters" from my childhood. Mrs. Bolie and Ms. Sara McShane (Indianapolis, IN - my hometown). The sisters lived three doors down from us and were in their seventies' at the time. I used to mow their lawn and run to the corner grocery store for them. Mrs. Bolie, the elder sister had been widowed in WWII. Ms. McShane had never married. They lived alone and were sort-of the "neighborhood gossips". My Mom liked them, and they were kind. They never had visitors and did not really socialize.
In reading Ms. BUCK's "DEVOTED SISTERS", I visualized my neighbors. It was obvious that Lizzie was the "controling" sister and harbored a deep feeling of loss over the untimely death of their older brother, Frank some years before, a blow more devastating than his marriage to Vera. I felt there may have been a touch od incest, perhaps not carried through, but certainly in Lizzie's mind. May, her younger sister had married, but her marriage did not last. The "DEVOTED SISTERS" are living in the home their parents had built and they had grown up in.
Lizzie did all the shopping, walking the short distance into town and back with her supplies. May had always had a facination with Moths, and comes off as "child-like", even at her age. Ms. BUCK gives the reader an intimate peek inside the living arrangements of the outwardly appearing "DEVOTED SISTERS" and things are not always as they seem to be. Lizzie feels obligated to care for May, as she had her entire life, yet you feel she has grown to resent it. May seems to feel "trapped" and subjected to Lizzie's control, and she resents that.
Then, a stranger enters their lives, upsetting the arranged order Lizzie had worked so hard to establish and maintain all these years.
The twists and turns in this complex read will keep you turning the pages and on the edge of your seat.
The shocking end may even leave you in tears.
"DEVOTED SISTERS" certainly is worthy of the FIVE STARS rating I can give. I highly recommend you read this, you will not be disappointed.