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Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite
My Five Sisters by Pam Franklin is one of the most riveting reads I’ve ever had. Categorized by the author as a “psychological thriller” based on a true story about multiple personalities, Pam Franklin had me tightly gripping My Five Sisters from the moment I read the chilling opening lines. From that point on, I was turning pages as fast as I could go as I read about a little girl, Patra, being terrorized by her sibling, Angela, until Patra was finally old enough to stand up for herself and Angela…well…I’m not going to spoil the ending for you by telling you now what happened to her.
But why is the book titled My Five Sisters? Because the tragic Angela has inwardly split into 5 personalities. Patra relates to each of them through their adjectival names: Angry, Sad, Normal, Kind and Hero. Unfortunately, it’s the dominant personalities of Angry and Sad that make Patra’s life miserable. Patra lives in constant fear of being killed by Angry or watching Normal die at the hands of Sad who is forever cutting herself. What has brought the normal Angela to this sorry state of existence? Sexual abuse at the hands of her father. And where and when do Hero and Kind come in? When Angry and Sad sacrifice themselves to prevent the same sexual abuse from happening to the beautiful little Patra. Oh, what a story!
However, is it realistic? Well, those familiar with the Three Faces of Eve or who are themselves victims of incest (as I was), or those who work in mental health will tell you it’s all too believable. And then there’s Pam Franklin’s own comments, both on her website and in the book: “Pam Franklin spent a lifetime trying to escape her past”…a past that included “abuse she had endured at the hand of her mentally unstable older sister.”
One of the interesting asides to this book is the author herself: Pam Franklin grew up to have a successful career in the film industry, and at the end of the book has included many photos taken with celebrities like John Candy, Jeff Bridges, Tom Selleck, Ellen DeGeneres, Jennifer Lopez…just to name a few. Is there the possibility of a “happy ending” for little Patra? If little Patra is Pam Franklin, as I suspect, and given the happy ending that many of us with traumatic childhoods achieve, yes, it is entirely possible to survive and thrive, something I think Pam Franklin wanted to show in writing My Five Sisters.
Is there a future movie in My Five Sisters? Given Pam Franklin’s connections, that wouldn’t surprise me at all. Will it be as riveting as the book? Good question. In case there isn’t a movie planned, read the book.