In My Sister’s Country

In My Sister’s Country


  • An authoritative fictional debut. —The Boston Globe
  • Beautifully compressed, sensually charged…A wonderful novel. —Steve Almond, NPR
  • Mary Karr meets Dave Eggers…Haines puts you into the skin of the narrator—which makes it easy to relate to, regardless of your own experience. —Rocky Mountain News
  • Haines is a published poet, and it shows: her language and dreamy images are striking, unexpected, and beautifully controlled. . . . a compelling, wonderfully twisted little book . . .very unlike most of the debuts…which would argue for it having the unlikeliest of all virtues: originality. —BookForum
  • Lise Haines has written a beautiful novel about a young’s woman desire to understand the mysteries of life, especially those within her own family. In My Sister’s Country is full of startling characters, human frailty, and poetry. An impressive debut.” —Sarah Willis, author of Some Things That Stay
  • Provocative first novel…Even in sex, the truth is elusive. And the reader is easily hooked by the story’s pursuit of it. —Boston Magazine
  • In [an] unraveling story, the author takes two concurrent tracks to arrive at a conclusion worthy of the best dramatic mystery…Precise targeting of language. —The Denver Post
  • Sibling rivalry carried to the max…Molly’s antagonism fuels the plot…The scenes with Molly’s mother achieve a genuine sadness and sense of loss. —Kirkus Review
  • A compelling story of family relationships. —Santa Barbara News-Press
  • Few protagonists are as memorable as Molly, the sassy, passionate seventeen-year-old narrator of Haines’s first novel…A new writer to watch…High-powered fiction. —Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
  • Readers will be captivated by Haines’ sardonic take on the precociously jaded milieu of urban rich kids, by her ribald and yet deadly serious depiction of a teenage girl’s desperate sexuality, and by her imaginative grasp of sisterhood, secrets and the Windy City. They will want to visit Haines’ country again…A remarkable novel. —The Boston Herald
  • [A] darkly comic debut novel of sibling rivalry and family dysfunction…There’s a sinister, dreamlike quality in the way Haines handles this material…Not for the psychologically squeamish, this inventive twist on family malaise makes the unbelievable believable and lingers creepily after the last page. —Publishers Weekly
  • Provocative . . . the reader is easily hooked. —Boston Magazine
  • [In My Sister’s Country has] a conclusion worthy of the best dramatic mystery. —The Knoxville News Sentinel
  • Manic, impetuous, sexy…Haines’s narrator, Molly, hits us front and center, Holden Caufield rechanneled as a desperado on a wobbly pair of heels.  The voice is thrilling here, a flagrant electric scrawl on a field of blue. —Sven Birkerts, author of The Gutenberg Elegies
  • If a slightly older Lolita had a chance to writer her own book, it would probably resemble In My Sister’s Country. Haines uses quick, light prose and dry humor to successfully negotiate a journey thorugh difficult emotional terrain. —Baltimore City Paper

Amanda is the domineering force in Molly’s life, as the two sisters continually lock horns. When Molly acts out her frustrations through random sexual encounters–including a risky obsession and charade with Amanda’s boyfriend–she revisits the twisted life with her sister and parents, in particular the tyrannical mind games their father played with the girls and his ruthless control over their weak-willed mother. This tale of two sisters and the dark rivalry that simmers between them provides both a compulsive read and an insightful look at sex, manipulation, and power–and introduces readers to one of the most fascinating narrators in recent fiction. The director Sam Mendes (Revolutionary Road, American Beauty, etc.), held on to the book for several months, thinking of making it into his next film, when it first came out. The film industry is a fascinating place and In My Sister’s Country may yet see its day in the cinema.


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