Hopkinson has a quick wit and a knack for crafting characters who feel alive. Sister Mine is no exception: The voice of each character sings strongly in its own distinct timbre. Unfortunately, while the portrayal of a sibling relationship attempts to pay tribute to the joys and challenges of sisterly love, it fails to match the vibrancy of the characters’ individual voices, striking a false note. All the tributes in the world can’t bring that relationship to life, and the other characters (uncles, mothers, fathers, gods and goddesses) do not have any better luck in this narrative. In the end, the potential story, and the potential of the relationships, end up being much better than the actual story.

Makeda and her twin sister Abby have been joined together their entire lives — first literally, and then figuratively. Still living in their childhood home well into adulthood, Makeda struggles to find her place and her power. Abby, the seemingly perfect one, with the mojo and the singing voice and the Harley- driving boyfriend, is not entirely honest with Makeda about the story of their lives. When Makeda finds the truth amidst the magic and the myths of their family, the depths of both the betrayal and the love behind the lies threatens to undo her. (GRAND CENTRAL, Mar., 320 pp., $23.99)
Reviewed by: 
Victoria Frerichs