A New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice
One of Kirkus Reviews' Best Books of 2017
"[A] supernatural domestic thriller and a crackling tour de force." —The New York Times
Thunderstorms are rolling across the summer sky. Every time one breaks, Rose Bowan loses consciousness and has vivid, realistic dreams about being in another woman's body.
Is Rose merely dreaming? Or is she, in fact, inhabiting a stranger? Disturbed yet entranced, she sets out to discover what is happening to her, leaving the cocoon of her family’s small repertory cinema for the larger, upended world of someone wildly different from herself. Meanwhile her mother is in the early stages of dementia, and has begun to speak for the first time in decades about another haunting presence: Rose’s younger sister.
In Little Sister, one woman fights to help someone she has never met, and to come to terms with a death for which she always felt responsible. With the elegant prose and groundbreaking imagination that have earned her international acclaim, Barbara Gowdy explores the astonishing power of empathy, the question of where we end and others begin, and the fierce bonds of motherhood and sisterhood.
Gowdy's (The White Bone) new novel weaves an inventive, spellbinding tale of loss, regret, and redemption that takes a heartfelt look at what it means to be a mother, daughter, and sister. Lately, whenever it rains in Toronto, Rose Bowan leaves her own body and enters the body of another woman. She can hear, see, smell, and touch what Harriet Smith senses, and quickly becomes wrapped up in her life problems. Harriet reminds Rose of her dead sister, Ava; Rose sets out to save Harriet's troubled life to make up for not being able to save Ava's. Meanwhile, Rose's mother is in the early stages of dementia, talking about seeing Ava again, and Rose must nurse her mother through these end times while trying to uncover the reasons why she's in another woman's body every time it rains and why she, too, sees Ava in Harriet. A thrilling, captivating exploration of guilt, the female psyche, and the bonds of womanhood.