Official Review: Sister Carrie by William

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Official Review: Sister Carrie by William

Post by bookowlie » 21 Oct 2017, 12:08

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Sister Carrie" by William.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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Sister Carrie by William H. Coles is a novella about the changing family dynamics between two sisters. After their parents’ death, Jessie takes in her 17-year-old sister Carrie since their older siblings don’t want to take on the responsibility. Carrie soon meets Zamel, an Arab immigrant, after chatting with him on the internet. A quickie marriage, without Jessie’s prior knowledge or consent, causes the sisters to become estranged. When a government investigator approaches Jessie about Zamel’s potential involvement in shady activities, she becomes even more worried about Carrie’s safety.

I enjoyed this character-driven story. Much of the plot focuses on Jessie’s feelings toward Carrie and Zamel’s marriage and the fractured relationship with her sister. Jessie is an interesting, layered character. The emotions jump off the pages as she becomes lonely and concerned for her sister’s welfare. Carrie’s character is not as well drawn. It’s unclear why she is so intent on marrying a man she hardly knows, particularly considering his desire for a green card. While it’s true that some young women are naïve in affairs of the heart, Carrie’s behavior seems extreme.

The plot feels rushed and there are sometimes long jumps in the timeline. The sisters’ periodic encounters are quick with scant details. When Jessie visits her sister’s “home” (basically a rundown garage), Carrie barely lets her inside and pushes her sister to leave. Their meetings at Carrie’s movie theatre job are no better, with offers of free popcorn and talks that end after a few minutes. The choppy dialogue feels awkward and doesn’t seem the way I would expect people to converse.

While the premise of the story is intriguing, I wanted more meat on the bones. The relationship between Zamel and Carrie is not fully explored. He is a compelling, although mysterious, character and I would have liked a little backstory about him.

There are interesting subplots, such as Jessie’s affair with her married boss and the Reverend from her church who harbors romantic feelings toward her. These side stories fit nicely into the plot and give depth to Jessie’s character. The author also tackles the theme of prejudice against foreigners in a subtle and sensitive manner.

This book has earned a rating of 3 out of 4 stars. I struggled with the rating as I was moved by the story and loved Jessie’s character, despite the issues I mentioned. I would recommend this book to readers who enjoy stories about family drama.

******
Sister Carrie
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Post by Rebel_Phoenix » 08 Jan 2018, 08:22

Love how much care Jessie shows Carrie even after the whole deal with zamel and their estrangement. It's such an inspiring story on sibling bond especially with the comparison to their other sibling

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Post by gali » 08 Jan 2018, 08:47

A tale about the changing family dynamics between two sisters sounds interesting. Too bad the plot feels rushed, the relationships were not fully explored, and that there gaps in the timeline. Not my cup of tea, but I am glad you enjoyed it despite the issues mentioned. Great review as always!
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Post by Yaone » 08 Jan 2018, 10:57

The story is insightful and entertaining,. The review explains it so well.

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Post by bookowlie » 08 Jan 2018, 11:01

Thanks everyone for taking the time to read my review and post a comment! My favorite part of the book was the realistic way the sisters' relationship changed. It's very relatable that the family dynamics would change when a new person enters the picture, especially if there is reason for concern.
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Post by william92 » 08 Jan 2018, 14:05

Loved it, blood is thicker than water, this is shown by Jessie towards Carrie, the much care she showed to after her marriage and Zamel's estrangement.
Very exciting.

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Post by Kalin Adi » 08 Jan 2018, 19:33

The relationship between sisters is sometimes complicated, especially if there is age gap. However, the story does sound compelling with the delicate theme of prejudice towards immigrants. Thanks for this detailed review!

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Post by bilal sial » 08 Jan 2018, 23:22

Really good its complicated but a good story between the relashionship of a brother and sister however the story does sound good

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Post by Mercy Bolo » 09 Jan 2018, 05:16

This is a heartbreaking situation for Jessie to be in. It is one with relevant life lessons and a many people can relate to it.
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Post by kislany » 09 Jan 2018, 09:13

I've just written the review of another William H. Cole book, and it seems that both books by the author are strongly character driven. I love that feature because it makes the plot so much more interesting!

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Post by sherif olabode » 10 Jan 2018, 13:35

Guardian of Deceit by William H. Coles is all about lies, scandal, secrets and mystery. William H. Coles is an American author who has skillfully crafted this intriguing tale about a 17-year old teenager's painful life.

I'd like to thanks the author, William H. Coles, for giving this opportunity to read and review his book.

Darwin, a 17-year old, has to leave his nearly dying aunt in Pittsburg, who happened to be his only living guardian, since Darwin lost his parents 5-years ago. Now he is going to live with his new guardian, Luther, who happens to be his filthy-rich cousin and also a famous footballer in New York. Soon after reaching New York, Darwin sees the true color of his new guardian, who forces him to earn his way in life instead of living off on his trust funds. With no other way, Darwin works his way up to med school, since it was his dream to be a doctor. But when Darwin goes to med school, he gets involved in drugs, gambling and many other reckless activities mainly because of Luther's lifestyle. But as Darwin's life unfolds, more secrets and revelations surface up, making things more complicated.

Well, it was a good book, with a good pace. I felt sympathy for Darwin's messy and defeating situation in life. Luther and Darwin, both the characters were very convincing from the reader’s point of view. I loved the strikeness that the author drew in Darwin's character from how determined he was to get into a med school to how drugs and gambling becoming a part of his life. There was loads of secret to be unraveled by Darwin, which also left us very engaged with the happening plot. The author's narration was pretty eloquent and with his vividness, I was able to understand the imagery and underlying mystery of this book.
There was another important character relevant to Darwin-it was Luther's girlfriend, Sweeney, who because of Darwin's patience and wisdom shared all her problems with her and soon we can have the feel of a one-sided affair. (view spoiler)

Read this, if you want to enjoy a good thrilling and captivating story of lies, cheats and murder-all at once!!

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Post by Liquid_canvas » 12 Jan 2018, 07:28

That was a good review. I read this book some time ago and I do agree with many of points you made. Good job.

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Post by bookowlie » 12 Jan 2018, 09:55

Thanks everyone for the nice feedback. :)
Kislany - I like character-driven novels and agree it adds to the plot.
Liquid_canvas - I always enjoy reading reviews of a book I previously read!
Sherif olabode - I am not sure if you intended to post your review of another book here. You can always contact the moderators to move your review so that it is in its own separate thread.
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Post by CommMayo » 12 Jan 2018, 15:24

Thank you for the interesting review. It almost sounds like you were generous with the 3 out of 4 review...I often wish it was out of 5 or 10 stars!

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Post by kandscreeley » 14 Jan 2018, 10:38

Your review was quite thorough. It sounds like a nice short story that couldbe developed into something a bit longer and more detailed. Still, I'm intrigued by what happens to the two sisters after the abrupt marriage. Thanks!
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