15 Famously Fantastic Sibling Relationships in Fiction
Sibling relationships can be...complicated.
National Sibling Day (Monday, April 10, 2023) is just around the corner and I feel it would be irresponsible to let the day slip by uncelebrated in some small way since I was blessed with three of the best big sisters on the planet.
In celebration of National Sibling Day, I've compiled 15 Famously Fantastic Sibling Relationships in Fiction to share with you.
The March Sisters
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
What list of famously fantastic siblings could possibly skip Alcott's beloved March sisters? Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy practically set the standard in Little Women, a beautiful book that follows the sisters through their transformative years into adulthood.
The Bennet Sisters
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Like Little Women (above), no list of fiction on sibling relationships could quite be complete without including Austen's beloved Bennet sisters in Pride and Prejudice. Whether you love Elizabeth and Jane's close relationship, love to hate Kitty's & Lydia's immaturity, or roll your eyes at Mary's pomposity, there's a little something of ourselves to be found in Austen's relatable Bennet sisters.
The Mortmain Siblings & the Cotton Brothers
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
Dodie Smith's first novel, I Capture the Castle, features two sets of siblings -
Rose, Cassandra, and Thomas Mortmain
Neil & Simon Cotton
Set in the English countryside (and yes, in a castle), the coming-of-age novel is full of eccentricities, twists-and-turns, loyalty, sacrifice, and a surprise ending.
Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
I think one of the relationships that made Anne of Green Gables such a heart-warming tale is the unique relationship that Anne's guardians share. Brother and Sister, the Cuthberts share a peaceable and pleasant country life together (neither having married) in the gabled house of their childhood. The addition of Anne at the beginning of the novel is the piece of the puzzle these siblings didn't know they were missing.
Jem & Scout
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
To Kill a Mockingbird focuses mainly on older brother, Jem, and his tomboy sister, Scout, during their elementary years in rural Alabama during the 1930s. I was expecting racially charged reading when our Monthly Book Club read TKaM last year, and admittedly there is some of that in this Pulitzer Prize Winning novel, but most of the book felt like a nostalgic look at the idealism of yesteryear and the shenanigans that kids used to get up to in days gone by.
The Dashwood Sisters
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
Often overshadowed by the Bennet sisters, Elinor and Marianne Dashwood from Sense and Sensibility definitely deserve a spot on this list of fantastic fictional siblings. My personal favorite sibling set created by Austen, Elinor is nothing short of aspirational as far as big sisters go, and through the pages of the novel you grow to love the entire family as they strive and sacrifice.
The Ingalls Sisters
Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Ma and Pa raised three remarkable young ladies on that prairie. We read the entire series to both sets of our kids and one of the perks of doing that was to demonstrate the self-sacrificing sibling love that the Ingalls sisters shared through all of the novels.
The Rivenhall Siblings
The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer
Granted, there were so many siblings in the Rivenhall family that I had to construct a family tree to keep them straight, I loved that only child Sophy (their cousin) knew the importance of peaceful sibling relationships and from the moment she entered their home, she strove to smooth the wrinkles between them. This one is a definite must-read for those that love big families with big personalities.
The Foss Siblings
Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate
Lisa Wingate masterfully wove a tale from the perspective of the oldest child of a sibling group that were kidnapped, underwent unbelievable cruelty at the hands of a crooked and vile woman in the south in 1939, and follows the few that eventually escaped the horror. Grab a box of tissue. You are going to feel a surge of emotion for your siblings when you read this one.
Dorothy & Etty
The Orphan Sisters by Shirley Dickson
Two sisters who were dropped unceremoniously into an orphanage in England by their mother until they came of age, The Orphan Sisters is a great novel about the strong familial ties that bind us. Aging out several years ahead of the younger sister, the older did her best to pave a smooth path for the younger when she finally joined her. This novel shows how two siblings can go through the same upbringing, yet the experiences shape each in very different ways.
The Rossignall Sisters
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
"The stories of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France―a heartbreakingly beautiful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the durability of women." I could not have said it better myself.
The Weasley Siblings
Harry Potter series
Perhaps the most relatable of all the sibling groups, the Weasley siblings embody everything good, frustrating, full of feeling, humorous, opinionated, annoying, and every other characteristic you'd use to describe your own siblings wrapped up in the warm hug of a loving family. Plus, with seven of them, there is bound to be one that you can relate to more than the others.
The Lanyon Siblings
Venetia by Georgette Heyer
Due to the enormous amount of responsibility of running her family's Yorkshire estate as well as her invalid brother, Aubrey, Venetia lives in comfortable seclusion and, by all accounts, contented happiness with her younger brother. What is most heart-warming about the relationship between siblings Aubrey and Venetia is that neither feels themselves having missed something grand in life because they keep house with one another rather than marrying - a feel-good throwback to Matthew and Marilla's arrangement in Anne of Green Gables (if we'd met the two siblings at a much younger age).
The Honeychurch Siblings
A Room with a View by E.M. Forster
While most of A Room with a View focuses on Lucy, I was enamored with the relationship that Lucy shared with her younger brother, Freddy. Never having had a brother, I was touched at Freddy's interest in what would, in the end, make his sister happiest, and that his playful youth & vigor encouraged Lucy to be herself, making the choice for her lifelong partner an obvious one.
The Baudelaire Siblings
A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
Never has a title been more appropriately descriptive than this YA series following the lives of three orphaned siblings. Their genuine care for one another is what shines brightest among the Baudelaire orphans, but it is closely accompanied by their self-sacrifice, extraordinary perspective, and problem-solving cleverness.
These are just a few of my favorite titles that highlight famously fantastic sibling relationships in fiction. Which are yours? Share your titles in the comments and let's keep this list growing.