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Sister of Mine    by Sabra Waldfogel order for
Sister of Mine
by Sabra Waldfogel
Order:  USA  Can
Lake Union, 2016 (2016)
Softcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Barbara Lingens

What are sisters for? Loving and hating, fighting and being jealous of one another, secrets and betrayal, are just some of the things we read about in this book. But on top of this must be added a crucial fact: Adelaide, the daughter of a cotton plantation owner in the Civil War South is white, and her sister is black.

Sabra Waldfogel's story also tells of a sub population of plantation owners - Jews. According to her, there weren't many, but they did keep slaves. In Sister of Mine, this is treated in detail. Adelaide's father is Jewish, he keeps slaves, and his wife has to live with the fact that he has had children with a slave woman.

The man whom Adelaide marries, on the other hand, also Jewish, is very uncomfortable with the idea of slavery. He startles both blacks and whites by his actions. Meanwhile, the war that seemed always so far away comes gradually closer. When the smoke can be smelled and the shooting heard, it is going to be up to the sisters to save the plantation. But before they do that, they have a lot of work to do to get past their preconceived notions of each other.

This is a different and really interesting take on that time. The author has given us a very realistic setting with characters who seem to belong there. There is much to think about as the two sisters begin to truly understand what family really means. Recommended.

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