A Sibling Post (Plus a Book List)

Oldest to youngest!  At my oldest sister's wedding this past March
My siblings have always played an important role in my life. There are five of us and I am right in the middle. Between my oldest and youngest sisters are less than eight years (yes, my mother is a champion) and nearly all my childhood memories involve my siblings. We played and fought together and developed strong bonds.

Always, they are the constants in my life. 

I remember how my older brother used to walk me to lunch every day when I was scared sixth grader and he was a big eight grader. I think happily now of the "sister time" I would have with my older sister on breaks from college. I remember how my younger brother and I once were arguing and we said "berate" at the same time and we collapsed into laughter that we each used that word. I remember when my younger sister told me she was going on a mission for our church and my first thought was, "Please don't leave me" because of how much I needed her in my life.

They are the people who've known me the longest and seen me through everything. I'm always grateful for their built-in friendship and sympathetic ears. It has been infinitely precious to me to see the special way our sibling relationships manifest themselves in times of hardship or joy.

Early 2000s finest

Along these lines, here are some books that have struck me lately about the relationships of siblings:

1. The Pecking Order by Dalton Conley
This is NOT a birth order book. Instead, this book takes on which siblings succeed and why, and how family circumstances play into development. It was a fascinating and new look at these relationships.

2. Home by Marilynne Robinson
This novel includes the same characters as Gilead but is told from Glory's perspective. It delves deeply into family relationships, and my favorite part was observing Glory and Jack forge a new relationship while living in their childhood house for the first time together since they were children.

3. One and the Same by Abigail Pogrebin
This nonfiction book is all about identical twins. My dad is an identical twin, and because of that I have a strong interest in anything twin related. The stories and interviews captured in this book fed right into my twin-love and I enjoyed the experiences of those in some of the closest sibling relationships.

4. Sometimes a Great Notion by Ken Kesey
Emotions run incredibly deep in this book. There is love, hate, disgust, resentment, passion, and so much more. This story about two brothers who are so different yet are bound by their home has stuck with me ever since I read it.

5. The Wonder Spot by Melissa Bank
While this book is mainly about Sophie's successes and failures, the interactions with her brothers struck me deeply. I found those stories to be the most compelling and poignant, and it made me feel  The way that they all cared for each other was so poignant.

6. The Brothers K by David James Duncan
The four Chance brothers are at the heart of this novel, which covers issues like family ties, the Vietnam War, baseball, religion, and so much more. I loved the interaction of the siblings, especially one particular scene where two of the brothers hide out together to watch their father practice pitching. It is an unforgettable narrative.


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