Sister of Mine by Sabra Waldfogel Summary Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Sister of Mine

Plot Summary Part 4

So why doesn't he simply elope with Rachel and leave the South? That thought never enters his mind. No, despite what he says, Henry wants his plantation and wants his slaves. Hypocrite!

Henry bones Rachel one last time before he goes to fight. They have rough sex! Rachel likes it.

The next day, Rachel realizes she is pregnant. How does one feel a pregnancy the day after sex? It makes no sense.

The last 150 pages of this book are a real disappointment. They consist of four things:

1) War letters from Henry, basically saying, "Hi there! I'm still alive! War is brutal!'

2) Adelaide fighting with Rachel because Adelaide realizes she's become cuckolded.

3) Poachers coming onto and shooting up their land.

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4) Worrying about how much money they will get for their crop.

What's missing from all this is interaction between characters, except #2 above. It feels just like filler that has no impact on the reader.

The only thing of consequence that happens is that Adelaide and Rachel become buddies. Adelaide accepts the fact that

  1. A) Her husband no longer loves her

  2. B) Her husband loves someone else

  3. C) Her husband loves a slave

  4. D) Her husband loves a slave who is her half sister

and by the end of the book, Adelaide is fine with that, saying how she wants to remain good friends and wishes the happy couple the best of love. How realistic is that?

Oh, the book ends with their getting a lot of money for their crop, the slaves are freed, Henry comes back, Henry bones Rachel, and Adelaide is very happy for them.

The end.

Literary Criticism:

The overall idea of this story was interesting--a slave master boning a slave and making his wife jealous. It would have been interesting to see Adelaide compete with Rachel for Henry's affections. But that never happened. Adelaide simply shut down. The best source of drama, the competition between the two, never happened.

Instead, once Henry finally boned Rachel, the book descended into third person letters about the civil war, dealing with poachers, and selling crops. Zzzzzzzzz. Sorry, I briefly fell asleep.

A good story needs drama. This story set up the conditions for it but never followed through. Furthermore the story could have been enhanced by more than one dramatic conflict. Why couldn't the slaves have more conflict with each other? Their characters were not developed, they were purely background characters. Almost the entire story was carried by the Adelaide-Rachel-Henry triangle and that was not enough to fill 500 pages, which is why the story felt so slow.

Furthermore, the characters were not believable. Henry hates slavery with a passion. Then why did he seek out an opportunity to own a plantation full of slaves? If he had inherited a plantation already in debt, that would be one thing. But Henry entered this profession knowing what it entailed, and then complained about what he was doing like he was an abolitionist. It made no sense.

Adelaide's evolution from angry cuckolded wife to accepting cuckolded wife is totally unbelievable. In a real situation Adelaide would have sold Rachel or done worse to her. Watching her being buddy buddy with Rachel and Henry at the end makes absolutely no sense, and makes the entire story feel ridiculous.

And lastly the sex scenes were explicit, but repetitive. X took off Y's closes. X stuck his fingers in Y's v_gina. Y moaned. X boned Y. They established a rhythm. The rhythm was exciting.
Every sex scene was the same. This author doesn't know how to write good sex scenes. And she's hooked on men putting their fingers in women's v_ginas, because everyone in this book does it.

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Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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