LOSS OF A SISTER

Dear Suse and Ella,
Today is the third death anniversary of my darling sister and I am missing her terribly. She was 29 and three months married when she died unexpectedly, I am so sad that life goes on without her, that she didn't have the chance to grow old, have a family and follow her dreams. Are there any books to soothe a grieving heart? Or a book within whose pages she might live on?
With thanks,
Grieving
Dear Grieving,
Losing a sibling is a terrible thing, and when only just married, and so young, this must have been a devastating blow. There are many great novels that describe the loss of a sibling, but we will offer you three that we hope will help. Our first is short and beautiful, enigmatic and strange, but it lingers with you forever and leaves one feeling accepting rather than broken hearted. We won't give the plot away, but in Ben Rice's lovely novella, Pobby and Dingan, a brother and sister live in a mining town in Australia, with their parents and two imaginary friends. One day, the girl announces that her imaginary friends are very sick. Things take a turn for the worse, and she begins to sicken in sympathy with them. She is desperate that they must be cured, and her brother does all that he can to help, even though he has been finding her annoying...the whole town join in as they see the little girl getting weaker and weaker. This is a story not only of sibling love, but of the sense of the whole community coming together in a moment of crisis - we hope that you will find this heartening.
Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger is a novel that describes the intensity of sibling relationships with great passion. Two sets of twin sisters are involved; the plot is at times complex; but the love of the sisters for each other is always obvious, and goes beyond the grave. Set in London, the novel examines the complexities of an inheritance from one generation to the next, and there is an element of magical realism here - the spirit lives on in a mystical sense. The spirit world is portrayed here with disarming naturalness.
Finally, my sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult is a complete tear-jerker, but visits all the love, loss, joy and pain that you have experienced in your life both with and without your sister. You will find this book cathartic, as it addresses all the issues of how far you would go to help your sister, or your child, live, at what risk to your own health and happiness. A thoughtful, challenging book, you will need to be armed with many boxes of tissues, but we hope that by the end of it you will feel ready to take on the future with the knowledge that your sister lives on in you.
Yours,
Ella and Suse
We prescribe - Pobby and Dingan by Ben Rice
Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger
My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult

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A SLUG WITH VISIONS OF HUMANITYABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP ENDED, LEAVING SCARSADULT ACNEAFRAID OF FAILUREALCOHOLIC DAUGHTERALONE ON A WIDE, WIDE SEAAlways wanted to be a writerANOREXICANXIOUS ABOUT SINGLE FRIENDAT A FORK IN THE ROADAVID READER, LACKING BOOKBEREFT OF A CATBORED IN ALABAMABOTHERED AND BEWILDEREDBRAIN SHRINKING MOMMABROKENBROKEN HEARTBROKEN HEARTED - TORN BETWEEN MALE AND FEMALE BEST FRIENDSBROKEN UP WITH GIRLFRIEND; FEELING BURNT OUTCAN’T MOVE ONCANDIDA REVOLTAIRECan’t afford to go on holidayCAST ASIDECHEATEDCHRONIC PAINCOLD HANDS AND FEETCONCERNED ABOUT DAUGHTERCONFLICTED PARTNERSCRAVING FOOD CULTURECYNICAL STEPSONDAILY ABUSEDARK NIGHT OF THE SOULDEPRESSED AND UNABLE TO READDEPRESSED DURING CHRISTMAS, AND LONELY NOWDESPERATELY WANTON GIRLDIRECTIONLESSEASILY BORED WITH NOVELSEMOTIONALLY SABOTAGED BY MY MOTHEREMOTIONS IN EXTREMEEVER THE FRIEND AND NOT THE PARTNEREXTREME ANGER AND FRUSTRATIONFADING AWAYFALLEN OUT WITH MY FRIENDSFALLING IN LOVE WAY TOO FASTFAZED AND CONFLICTEDFEAR OF CONFRONTATIONFEAR OF GETTING OLDFERTILITY PROBLEMSFOMO (FEAR OF MISSING OUT)FORGING A BRIGHT NEW FUTUREFRIEND WHO HAS LOST A CHILD LATE IN PREGNANCYFRIENDS DAUGHTER LOST TO SUICIDEFrightened of lifeGAPING HOLEGetting over a break-upGIRL OF UNCERTAINTY, BOUND BY RULESGIRL WHO DOESN’T FIT INGRIPPED BY LOSSGUILTY FRIENDHOPELESSNESSHOUSE AND LIBRARY DESTROYED BY FIREI love music more than booksI no longer commute – and therefore I no longer readI PEEK AT THE END OF NOVELS BECAUSE I WORRY THE CHARACTER MIGHT NOT MAKE ITI wish I were famousIN MOURNING OVER LITERARY DEATHSINABILITY TO SIT STILL AND ANXIETYINCONSISTENT AND NON-STUDIOUS- BUT AMBITIOUS NONETHELESSINDECISIVEINSECUREINTERESTED IN EVERYTHING BUT ACHIEVING NOTHINGINVISIBLE WOMANITALIAN NOVEL CURESJILTED AND UNSUREJOB IN LIBRARY UNDER THREATKICKED IN THE HEADLEADENLIVING ON THE MARGINSLONE RANGERLONELY AND DEJECTEDLONELY IN LOVELONELY IN MONOTONOUS JOB, LOSING SANITYLOOKING FOR A SENSE OF PURPOSELOOKING FORWARDSLOSS OF A SISTERLOSTLOW WATTAGELOW-ENERGY PESSIMISMMAD SCIENTISTMARRIED TO A MAN, ATTRACTED TO WOMENMISSED THE BOATMISSING MY MOTHER-IN-LAWMUM GOING BACK TO WORKNEED TO LET GONEW CITY, NEW LIFE -BOOKS FOR 12 YEAR OLD BOY?NEW FRIENDSHIP WITH HOLOCAUST SURVIVORNIGHTMARISH COLLEAGUENOMADIC FLANEURPOST NATAL DEPRESSIONPREGNANT AND ALONE