Wednesday, December 19, 2007


In case you couldn't tell from the title, my newest book, THE YEAR MY SISTER GOT LUCKY, is about sisters. About two sisters, who, after moving to a new town, grow up and grow apart and fight and confess and get closer. It's a kind of dance that they perform, which is fitting, since they are dancers--aspiring ballerinas...just like my sister and me. I'm fairly obsessed with the topic of sisters--there's just so much drama and complexity and love and competition. Think of all the great sister stories that have been written: Jane Austen's SENSE AND SENSIBILITY; Jennifer Weiner's IN HER SHOES; heck, the SWEET VALLEY series. Our closest friends can be like sisters, certainly, but there's something about the sister bond -- about knowing someone all your life, about seeing yourself in another's face--that's wholly unique.
My older sister, to whom I dedicated the book, was the inspiration for the story. Like Michaela, my sister was the star pupil at our dance school and she was always the rational, tidy, levelheaded one, while I was the messy, hotheaded, dramatic one who was too busy daydreaming to get her pirouettes just right. We balanced each other well, like partners in a dance do. As my sister grew up, though, she began to change -- she stopped dancing ballet and started spending more time with her friends and a few boys (!) than she did with me. She started wearing lipstick, and cut her long, curly hair to her shoulders. We started looking less alike. We stopped whispering in our beds every night. It was difficult, wrenching at times, that feeling of being left behind. It took a long, bumpy time before I realized that I needed to grow up a little bit myself, that maybe the perils of the adult world -- boys and romance and make-up and secrets -- weren't all that perilous. My sister and I are still best friends - while I was writing this post, she interrupted me for an iChat, which made my night -- but we also have our own lives, our own paths and identities. Sure, I'm still nostalgic for those simple, carefree nights when we'd lie on our bedroom floor, painting each other's toe nails and making each other laugh so hard we cried. But we still have those moments, even if they're rarer now.
I'm curious. What are some of YOUR sister stories? Are you close with your sister? Are you two similar, or different? If you've read my book, how does your relationship with your sister compare to Katie and Michaela's?I look forward to hearing from you!
Happy holidays!


Micol Ostow said...

I used to STRONGLY resent my brother for not being a sister. All I wanted was a little girl who loved pink (and ballet!) as much as I did. But I've forgiven him since then, and I actually often say that I think it saved me a lot of heartache, not having a sister, since I am SO competitive as it is! But the relationship between the sisters in your book felt so authentic to me! It highlighted all of the drama and complexity inherent in that dynamic. Brava!

Aimee Friedman said...

Thank you, Micol! That was going to be my second queston-how the brother-sister relationship compares to the sister-sister one. (Or the brother-brother one, for that matter). Siblings...always providing fodder for angst and good stories! Then, of course, there are only children--like my mom, and, funnily enough, many of my good friends throughout my life. They have their own fascinating tales to tell...