Read This: Invisible Sisters by Jessica Handler

When I received the ARC of Jessica Handler's memoir about losing both her sisters to blood disorders, I was expecting a technical and/or depressing story. How could it not be? Not only did she lose her sisters, but her family unraveled. Handler's father descended into madness, while she disconnected from her family and moved to LA to get away from the stigma of being the "well sibling." So, yes, there is sadness here, but Handler has a knack for finding humor and grace in such heartbreaking circumstances.

  The narrative moves back and forth in time as Handler recalls little slices of her life and mines her own meticulously kept journals to tell this story. Handler's Jewish, progressive household -- where the kids were treated like adults, allowed to make their own decisions (and face the consequences) and not hovered over by their parents -- is recreated in these pages with great insight and love. Those who grew up in the late 60 and 70s will recognize the easier way of life before helicopter parenting took hold.

  Ultimately, this is Handler's story as much as it is her sisters'. Running away and working in television production in LA and the fast lifestyle of easy sex and drugs are not glossed over, nor is an abortion and a decision later in life not to have children with her husband for fear of passing on the genetic anomaly that killed her sisters. Susie and Sarah are always present, gently guiding Handler along to tell her story and theirs. This is a fitting memorial and a portrait of strength under pressure many of us can only imagine.

Jessica will be reading at numerous events in Atlanta and around the country in the coming months. Check out her blog at to find out if she'll be near you, and don't miss the opportunity to hear her read from this amazing debut.


omg that cover is brilliant. 3 reflections, 1 girl. i'm putting this top on my list.
jessica handler said…
Collin, here's a big kiss -mmmmwha. How fun to read your review! Waiting on "Conquering Venus" now...
Maggie May said…
Damn this sounds amazing. I will definitely be reading.

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