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Names My Sisters Call Me
by Megan Crane

Published: 2008-04-11
Paperback : 336 pages
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Courtney, Norah, and Raine Cassel are as different as three sisters can be. Norah, the oldest, is a type A obsessive who hasn't forgiven Raine, the middle sister, for ruining her wedding day six years ago. Raine is Norah's opposite, a wild child/performance artist/follow-your-bliss hippie chick who ...
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Courtney, Norah, and Raine Cassel are as different as three sisters can be. Norah, the oldest, is a type A obsessive who hasn't forgiven Raine, the middle sister, for ruining her wedding day six years ago. Raine is Norah's opposite, a wild child/performance artist/follow-your-bliss hippie chick who ran off to California. The only thing the two have in common is their ability to drive Courtney, their youngest sister, crazy. When her longtime boyfriend proposes, Courtney decides it's finally time to call a truce and bring the three sisters together. After all, they're grown-ups now, right? But it turns out that family ghosts aren't easily defeated--and neither are first loves. Soon Courtney finds herself reexamining every choice she has made in the past six years--including the man she's about to marry--and the value of reconnecting with the sisters she knows she needs, in spite of everything.

Editorial Review

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chapter one
When Lucas went down, right there on the sidewalk outside my sister’s place in Chestnut Hill, my fi rst thought was: ice.
It was February in Philadelphia. Ice was everywhere, along with slush, gray skies, the threat of more snow, and my personal and only slightly hysterical worry that this would be the year that winter refused to give way to spring, leaving us stuck in some Narnia-ish winter forevermore. ... view entire excerpt...

Discussion Questions

1. The three sisters in the book think of themselves as being very different from one another. Why do you think it's important for them to think so? Are they as different from each other as they think?

2. Which of the three sisters reminds you the most of yourself? Why?

3. Have you ever had to deal with sister/sibling rivalry in your family? How did you handle it?

4. At the end of the book, Courtney gets what she said she wanted: her family, all together. She thinks, “It felt good to see them all, even though I knew nothing had been solved. I thought of my mother's Cassel Cake, her acknowledgment that no one dessert could please all three of us. We were sisters. We knew each other best, and least. We would always want different cakes. We'd probably always fight about it. The important thing was we were all here.” Do you agree with Courtney that what matters is that the family is all together? Are you satisfied with this ending?

5. Courtney spends part of the book worrying about Matt Cheney, even lying to Lucas about what she's up to. She almost kisses Matt, and sneaks out to see him perform. How did her behavior make you feel? Do you think what she did constitutes as cheating?

6. Lucas suggests at one point that “to the casual observer, [Courtney's actions] might look a lot like someone who doesn't want to get married.” Do you think Courtney wants to get married? Do you think she's ready?

7. Matt and Raine's relationship is never completely spelled out in the book. What do you think is between them? Where do you think they'll end up?

8. Do you think Raine knew about Courtney's relationship with Matt all along? How do you think she felt about it?

9. Matt confesses his love to Courtney, and asks her, six years later, to come be with him and live with him in San Francisco. Do you think he means it? Do you think he would have said these things if Courtney wasn't engaged to Lucas? What do you think he'd have done if Courtney said yes?

10. At the end of the book, many family secrets have come to light, and Courtney feels much closer to Norah than she does to Raine, which is a reversal of her feelings for her sisters at the beginning of the book. Do you think Raine and Norah's feelings have changed for Courtney? What about for each other?

11. Raine thinks of herself as a free spirit, and an artist on the cutting edge. What do you think her photographs say about her? What do you think she thinks they say about her?

12. Who's your favorite sister? Is she the one like you, or not?

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

What is it about sisters?  

This was the question I asked myself as I found myself writing a book about three very different women who happened to be sisters, and put them on a collision course with each other. Is there anyone else on earth we love so much we want to kill them half the time?

Family is the love you’re stuck with.  The love that defines you, constructs you for better or worse, and teaches you everything you know about how to be a person—which if you are lucky you will use as a base from which to grow, and if you are not, you will have to

unlearn. But how you go about that unlearning-- that's what fascinated me while I was writing this book.  Everyone I know finds their family frustrating, no matter how much they also love them.  How do you come to terms with your family as an adult?  Aren't we all trying to figure that out?

Megan Crane

Book Club Recommendations

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
  "Names My Sisters Call Me"by Joyce K. (see profile) 06/15/09

Pretty superficial and predictable. Not much depth to the characters. An easy book to give away.

  "OK not much to discuss"by Suzanne M. (see profile) 01/10/09

  "Realistic view on relationships within the family."by Karen M. (see profile) 12/09/08

This book is a realistic view on relationships within the family. The author does not try to sugar coat any of the situations and exposes the character's strengths, weaknesses and fears.
... (read more)

  "Entertaining read"by Donna C. (see profile) 12/04/08

This book was a good read and made for a fun discussion at our book club.

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