Sister of Mine

Sister of Mine When Two Union Soldiers Stumble Onto A Plantation In Northern Georgia On A Warm May Day In , The Last Thing They Expect Is To See The Union Flag Flying High Or To Be Greeted By A Group Of Freed Slaves And Their Jewish Mistress Little Do They Know That This Place Has An Unusual HistoryTwelve Years Prior, Adelaide Mannheim Daughter Of Mordecai, The Only Jewish Planter In The County Was Given Her Own Maid, A Young Slave Named Rachel The Two Became Friends, And Soon They Discovered A Secret Mordecai Was Rachel S Father, TooAs The Country Moved Toward War, Adelaide And Rachel Struggled To Navigate Their Newfound Sisterhood From Love And Resentment To Betrayal And, Ultimately, ForgivenessNow, Facing These Union Soldiers As General Sherman Advances Nearer, Their Bond Is Put To The Ultimate Test Will The Plantation Be Spared Or Will Everything They Ve Lived For Be Lost Revised Edition Previously Published As Slave And Sister, This Edition Of Sister Of Mine A Novel Includes Editorial Revisions

Sabra Waldfogel grew up far from the South in Minneapolis She studied history at Harvard University and received her Ph.D in American History from the University of Minnesota and since then, has been fascinated by the drama of slavery and freedom in the decades before and after the Civil War.Her short story Yemaya appeared in the Winter 2013 Fiction Issue of Sixfold Her first novel, Sister of

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  • Kindle Edition
  • 482 pages
  • Sister of Mine
  • Sabra Waldfogel
  • English
  • 12 January 2017

10 thoughts on “Sister of Mine

  1. says:

    I wavered with this book, back and forth between three or four stars Some sections grab you, pull you in and won t let you go Other sections are weaker ordinary, cute or holier than thou Unfortunately, the ending was for me too neat and too sweet, the result being I gave it three stars I liked the book I can recommend it to others Many adore such endings The book covers many themes the production and trade of cotton, the relationship between sisters of different color, Jews in the South, Jewish traditions, discrimination of Blacks, the bloody events of both the Civil War and the chaos afterwards when the Unionists won What the book does best is make the reader feel emotional forces binding and tearing individuals, between father and daughter, daughter and mother, between sisters and between lovers How did it feel to be black and discriminated against Think again.how did it really feel Can we understand this Can we put ourselves in their shoes, but forget it, they often didn t even have shoes Each character is not good or bad, but both good and bad This made them believable There are love scenes, some quite explicit and lengthy Too lengthy I appreciated that the book concludes with an afterword documenting the history and the presence of Jews in the South during antebellum times How many actually had slaves and how did this come to be given their own heritage of discrimination in Europe and slavery in Egypt Bahni Turpin narrates the audiobook She dramatizes In my view, when an author s words are themselves emotive further emphasis is really not needed One easily hears who is speaking infants, youngsters, Blacks, Whites, slaves and gentry There are even shrill chirping birds which I felt were too loud

  2. says:

    Sister of Mine explores a rarely discussed part of the Antebellum South the Jewish community, many of whom were wealthy slaveholders Through the lives of Adelaide Mannheim and her sister Rachel who is her slave, we get an intimate look at slavery s destructiveness Both women are severely limited by society s laws and expectations We see the pervasive cognitive dissonance of Adelaide s friends and family who recite the Jewish prayers and remembrances of when the Jews were slaves in Egypt and when they were discriminated against in Europe and yet are able to justify the slaves they own that provide their wealth and status Waldfogel shows a deft hand with both description and dialogue as she explores the unhealthy intimacy and inequality between masters and their slaves that create complex, painful and at times loving relationships.Note Book provided by Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  3. says:

    Slavery from the owners point of viewThis book is a mess The author has researched Jewish chattel slave owners in the US but does not seem to have studied slavery from the pov of the enslaved.The characters don t behave in realistic ways This feels like white guilt wrote a book.

  4. says:

    It s not perfect, but I m giving it five because of how interesting I found it.Also posted HERE.This is an epic sort of story, one that seemed to take me a while to read, but one I m very glad I did Dealing with slavery and sisterhood in the lead up and duration of the US Civil War in the mid nineteenth century, Sister of Mine is told from the perspective of two young Southern women, one the daughter of a rich Jewish landowner in Georgia, and the other her slave and secret half sister.If you re not from the United States you might want to familiarise yourself with the basics of the war and where the various states are positioned before starting if you want to get the most out of the book.I can t tell you if every detail of the history is correct, but there does seem to be a staggering amount of research that went into this It s not that it overpowers the story, but that the casual mentions of everything from foods to fashions seemed to have been carefully researched before being put on the page.This is historical fiction, which means there s plenty of sadness to go with the better times There are a few points in the story where you re going to find some of the major players very difficult to like, but that seemed realistic to me, and it left lots of room for them to change and grow over the years and through the war.Nobody is perfect here, and it is all much complex with the topic of slavery and seeing a war through the eyes of the losing side, especially as some of it is told from the perspective of people who own slaves I thought it was really brilliant how the author managed to turn characters minds around, and how she found a way for them to be on both sides of the conflict sometimes at the same time.Mostly, this is a bittersweet sort of story It s not fluff that you read through in a few hours, and it was exactly what I d been looking for after one Regency ballroom too many in my recent reads Review copy provided by NetGalley.

  5. says:

    Listened to the audio book I feel this is one of those times when the audio book was better The narrator was one of the best that I ve heard.

  6. says:

    Well writtenThe story pulled me along until the two sisters end up with the same man Then it was strangeI also didnt think so much sexual details was necessary for the story Would have been better without it.

  7. says:

    Contains spoilers A complex and layered story that drew me in to the point where I couldn t put the book down What happens when emotions come in conflict with a system that rationalizes and perpetuates a cruel and inhumane practice Can you be enslaved and yet allow yourself to love and commit in a world where you cannot call your body your own It amazed me that a first time author, Sabra Waldfogel could weave these strands together so well and create a story that s both moving and disturbing The main characters, Rachel, Henry and Adelaide are locked in a triangle Bound by family ties and in Rachel s case literally bound in slavery Rachel is enslaved and at the mercy of the owners, which include her father and sister The memory of her mother s death haunts her and she s left to determine what the relationship could have been between her slave mother and slave master father.Adelaide is, in her way, bound to convention and tradition both the tradition of the culture and her religion She must marry in spite of her own desires, and she s faced with a match that may lead to disaster, only to chose one that might deliver the same fate Henry is conflicted between his own heritage and religious beliefs, and the customs of the country he now inhabits and wants to succeed in Though Adelaide and Henry could make the choice to walk away and risk everything that comes with rejecting religious and social s they do have the choice Rachel does not So the ties that bind depend on where one is in the hierarchy In a heartbreaking scene at a slave auction, slaves try to make arrangements for their own sales in order to stay with family and loved ones This shows that the enslaved were not mute, passive victims They were actively working to make a way out of no way, and taking charge of their survival the best they could within the constraints that imprisoned them Rachel s story reminded me of stories from my own family, particularly when it came to slaves making deals or using trickery to learn to read and write Yet, at the same time, they had to hide their intelligence and strength lest they incurred the wrath of the slave master Rachel must hold her own feelings in check, and try to navigate between staying in her place while reserving the right to call her soul her own even if she can t say the same for her body It s a precarious path that could lead to death, or even madness The author did a great job of showing the conflict within the slaves who must stay subservient, hiding their true feelings and thoughts under the slave mask Their need to work to keep Henry s place going comes mostly from their desire not to be sold off Working to keep him successful keeps their families intact, and lessens the chance they ll end up in an even worse situation As the story continues, each character must face various trials as their relationships are tested Adelaide s growth comes at a price, but she is able to finally come to terms with the world as it is after the war In fact, it just might be a world where she can finally stop being subservient to her father s bidding Her growing acceptance of the real nature of her relationship with Henry, also frees her to connect with Rachel, woman to woman This realization is put to the test when they re threatened by people who see their success and freedom for the slaves as a threat that can t be tolerated Adelaide finally comes into her own and shows she is not the person we saw in the beginning In addition, the author shows how the seeds for present day racist resentments were sown as the various social and economic classes of whites clashed at war s end Once the veil of order and gentility is ripped away, a new reality must be faced Henry s letters give startling and horrific glimpses of war, and his transition also comes with a price Although he still maintains a bit of idealism evidenced by his decision to live his life on his terms with the woman he really loves it also reflects his new found awareness However it is important to note that the people he leaves behind slave and free are the ones who keep things going Thanks to them, he returns to a better situation than others who either didn t return or lost the status and riches they once had Rachel s transition, for me, is about her acceptance of her positions as sister, sister in law, lover, daughter, mother Through it all she keeps her sense of self while navigating a landscape filled with danger She s at the center of a knot of family ties that are also master slave ties, tangled and almost impossible for a reader in the present day to comprehend The author s research is evident, and it gives the story richness that never makes it ring false It s not an easy read, and there are questions asked that are still being answered today This is not a sweeping saga with larger than life characters, but an intimate look at people whose fates are intertwined for better and for worse during a time in this country s history that is still resonating today Received a review copy.

  8. says:

    My thoughts Daughter of a Jewish cotton planter, Adelaide develops a friendship with her young personal maid, Rachel Mordecai Mannheim fathered the half sisters born to different mothers, one Jewish, the other a black slave The girls became friends, and Adelaide taught Rachel how to read and do numbers Forbidden to slaves, Rachel s reading and numbers became her advantage as time passed The Civil War is well researched Varied, but believable characters make up the substance of this book Life in the mid 1800s is so well delineated that through reading this book, details were realistic and authentic Civil War history is one of my favorite topics, and this book satisfied my interest on numerous levels.Relationships became tempestuous and intense as forbidden activities develop between main characters Although I found the book to be a bit slow at times, it is intriguing, passionate and complex If you love Civil War tales, this one is a very detailed and satisfying read Warning Contains explicit intimate scenes.Disclaimer I received a copy of this book through a Goodreads contest in exchange for my honest review All expressed opinions are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.

  9. says:

    The first half of this book was great It really captured the complexity of the South during slavery and the relationships between slaves, mixed slaves, and their white masters However, then the white mistress s Adelaide half black sister Rachel falls in love with her master and starts a relationship with him The idea that she was actually in love with him and allowed the relationship to go as it did seemed so against her earlier character Then the fact that the sisters were able to come to a positive understanding about their situation while the master was away at war seemed so unlikely and so rapid that I just couldn t believe it.

  10. says:

    Read it for a book club Didn t find it particularly interesting as I am not into softcore porn, and it was full of stereotypes The white women were all frigid and the black women represented sexual desire The slave women did not have love affairs with their slave owners, they were beaten and raped This book also perpetuates the myth that black men will riot and kill all the white people, which the basis of all white racist thinking.

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