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Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite
Sister Carrie by William H. Coles is a great novella that follows the relationship between two sisters, Carrie and Jessie. After the death of their parents, no one is willing to take Carrie. Her older sister, Jessie, decides to take her in and she is determined to bring up her seventeen-year-old sister with the discipline she’d learned from her Christian parents. But then she discovers that Carrie has been having an affair with a political activist, a man old enough to be her father, and someone she bonded with over the internet. The situation is not only disappointing; Jessie can’t allow her sister to get involved with an older man she met on the internet. Can she convince Carrie to quit the relationship or will she be forced to abandon a sister to whom she’d assumed the role of a parent?
This is an emotionally charged narrative that is as realistic as it is entertaining. The story features great characters and I really loved the way that Carrie and Jessie are developed. Zamel is an interesting character as well and I was keen to see how his relationship with Carrie evolves. The premise is strong: a sister who is willing to do anything for her sibling loses her to a relationship without her blessing. The novel has an interesting twist and surprises that I never saw coming. I particularly enjoyed the way the author writes about online dating, a phenomenon that is contemporary and raises so many questions. Sister Carrie is a powerful story, a fast read that is well-written. Read by William H. Coles and in a voice that allows the imagery to come out strongly, starting with the description of the graves of the sisters’ parents, the voice captures the emotions, the tone of the story, the drama, and the conflict beautifully. The audio is clear and professionally done.