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My Sister LifeReview - My Sister Life
The Story of My Sister's Disappearance
by Maria Flook
Broadway Books, 1998
Review by Su Hunter
Mar 15th 2001 (Volume 5, Issue 11)

This book is misleading in both its cover and title. It looks like a great book, and the title sounded appealing. Unfortunately, this was not the case. Maria Flook starts her book with her sister Karen missing one afternoon. Then Flook tells the story of their childhood, and in telling the story she jumps back and forth between early childhood and teenage years. Flook and her sister spend time with their parents in France during their growing years. She keeps referring to a shipwreck that they were supposed to be on but missed. The two girls that were in the cabin that they were supposed to be in were killed. She narrates this short story throughout this book, but there really isn't any meaning to it. After Karen runs away, Maria tells their two stories concurrently. Karen runs away with an older man called James and lives in a trailer court with him and a lady named Ruth. Ruth owns a Laundromat with a whore house behind it. Karen begins working for Ruth at the age of 14. Flook goes into too much time and detail about this part of Karen's life. It would have been a better book without the smut. Karen was not forced into it, and indeed, it was Karen's idea to start working there.

While Karen is away and beginning her life career as a teenage whore, Maria is at home dabbling in drugs. She is arrested several times for mischievous play. She is placed on probation, but continues to get into trouble. Karen finally makes her way back home after two years. Her parents put her into a mental home. Ray, the father, is in the hospital and Maria goes to visit. On her way, she stops at a shop and meets the store owner. They have sex after their second meeting, and soon he has her transporting drugs. After a bit of time, Maria finds out that he is seeing others, and she tells her parents that she doesn't want to see him anymore. Ray tells her to give back what he gave her (a guitar). Maria tells him that no one can give her back what he took from her. Karen is finally released from the mental institute, and not long after, Maria is put there. All of a sudden then, the book jumps to their adulthood and ends pretty quickly.

Maria goes into details about the life of a whore that Karen is leading. Then she tells the details of her life as a drug addict and troubles in school. Throughout the whole book both the girls blame their parents for their bad decisions. But if there was anything that the parents did really wrong, she did not say it in the book. She could have written a more powerful book with fewer sexual details, and more of the psychological details.

I would not recommend this book to anyone. It really had nothing to do with psychology, and read more like a smut book.


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