Seven Sensational Stories of Siblings
Sibling Stories hit me in the feels, y'all. Right in the heart. I grew up the youngest of four sisters. (The youngest never refers to herself as "the baby," by the way. Just "the youngest.")
There's no need to lord anything over anyone when you're the youngest, not like when you are older. Maybe that's because the youngest are the most mature. Yeah, that sounds about right. We are the most mature.
And the wittiest. Can't forget our awesome sense of humor combined with impeccable timing that keeps the family in stitches.
Oh, and we are the most winsome. The youngest siblings definitely have winsomeness in spades.
What does that have to do with the Seven Sensational Stories the title promises? Nothing at all. I just wanted to ooze some sisterly love for the ladies in the above photo that contributed to the person that I am today...you know, the mature, witty, and winsome youngest on the far left.
My sisters, though? They are the real deal.
They show up.
They are cheerleaders.
They love hard.
They are kind and compassionate.
They push you to be and do better - even if it smarts.
They are honest - sometimes annoyingly so, but always with the very best intentions.
They are thoughtful.
And forgiving, when the situation arises.
Kind of like some of the siblings in these Seven Sensational Stories of Siblings I want to share with you focusing on the stories of love among siblings.
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
If you've never read Little Women, what are you waiting for? It is an essential read for sisters, in my opinion. Chock full of sacrifice, love, dreams, family fun time, and a few surprising sibling squabbles, this March Family chronicle is a must-read sibling story.
Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate
I did not know what I was getting myself into when I started reading Before We Were Yours. (Where is the crying emoji when you need it?) 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 for this one. And be prepared to feel a surge of emotion for your siblings.
The Orphan Sisters by Shirley Dickson
I chose this book based solely on the title and cover photo from my local Half Price Books clearance section. BOY, did it pay off! The Orphan Sisters is a novel about two sisters who were dropped unceremoniously into an orphanage in England by their mother and were left to grow up as best they could under strict, harsh governance until they came of age and were shown the door. 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 them in very different ways.
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis
This is the first in Lewis' beloved series that I read aloud to my kids. What I loved about The Chronicles of Narnia is that there's a Pevensie sibling for everyone to connect with through the reading of the series. There is adventure and a magical land and deception and redemption and sacrifice and talking animals and...I would consider this a family read-aloud classic of the highest degree.
A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
My oldest daughter eagerly devoured these when they were first published and her love of them was infectious. A Series of Unfortunate Events is a brilliant sibling story of woe, sacrifice, resilience, cleverness, tenacity, buoyancy, devotion, and loyalty wrapped up in interesting plot, conflicts, and sublime verbiage.
Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery
Everyone talks about Anne (with an E, of course), but I think one of the relationships that made Anne of Green Gables such a heart-warming tale is the unique relationship that her guardians share. Brother and sister Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert both reside in their family home in rural Canada and function in their gender roles to keep the house running smoothly, much like a middle-aged married couple would have at that time (minus the perks married couples enjoy - don't be gross). One sibling is incredibly shy, the other is incredibly stern, yet they share a peaceable and pleasant country life. The addition of Anne (an orphan they inadvertently adopted) is just the piece of the puzzle they didn't know they were missing.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Let's talk Lizzie and Jane. They share a room. They share a bed. They share their hearts. They share their hair ribbons and opinions and embarrassment of their mother and sisters. They even share a would-be suitor, thankfully for only the briefest of moments. ("What excellent boiled potatoes.") But the Bennet sisters are not the only siblings that share a remarkable relationship in Pride and Prejudice. Let's talk Darcy and Georgiana. They share a different, yet equally endearing sibling relationship, especially considering the age difference and Darcy's role as Georgiana's guardian. He confides in her. He protects her. He is her quiet hero and loyal brother. Georgiana, in turn, is Darcy's confidant - especially in matters of the heart. While Darcy is a private person, often seeming aloof and closed off, it is with his younger sister Georgiana that he feels the freedom to be himself. Isn't that what we all want, to be loved and accepted for who we really are by those that know us best?
What are YOUR favorite sibling stories?
I'd love to hear your recommendations, either in the comments below or on the Book Recommendations at the top of the Facebook Page.
And while you're feeling the warm fuzzies for family and a fond tenderness for your siblings, why not let them know how much you love them? Text them. Call them. Email them. Facetime or ZOOM them. Let them know you're thinking about them and remembering your shared sibling stories.
"That's the best thing about little sisters: They spend so much time wishing they were elder sisters that in the end they're far wiser than the elder ones could ever be." ―Gemma Burgess (author)
Thanks, Gemma. I couldn't agree more.
(Click here if you want more siblings talk because this Pretty Literate Live was recorded on National Sibling Day 2022 and is the one when we talk about the WHYs and WHAT-IFs of reading.)
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