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The Secret Language of Sisters by Luanne…

The Secret Language of Sisters (edition 2017)

by Luanne Rice (Author)

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1094165,897 (4.14)1
Title:The Secret Language of Sisters
Authors:Luanne Rice (Author)
Info:Point (2017), Edition: Reprint, 352 pages
Collections:To read

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The Secret Language of Sisters by Luanne Rice



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Showing 4 of 4
Tilly was too irritating for me to get past page 64.
  mtlkch | Jun 21, 2016 |
I have read Luanne Rice's work before, so when I saw that she wrote a YA, I had to snatch it up.
At first, I was afraid that the "don't text and drive" message was going to be laid on thick, but the novel is much more than it at first seems. In alternating perspectives, we follow Roo, the older sister, gorgeous, talented, brilliant in every way. She is logical and scientific, and seems to never do any wrong, until she sends a 3 second text and crashes.
Then we have Tilly, the younger sister, much more relatable, not as pretty or as talented, much more emotional, and reactive. She looks up to her sister, and it is her incessant texting that Roo answers while on the road.

Throughout the novel, the sisters are living separate lives, a wedge between them getting wider and wider. I didn't find myself much connected to Roo, but was interested in her "locked-in syndrome" and watching her struggle, unable to communicate to anyone that she was not in a coma. Unable to communicate anything at all. It was Tilly I felt the most connected to, the one I rooted for, felt protective over, wanted to take under my wing. As the novel progressed, it was a joy to watch Tilly grow and discover herself and her own talents, to see her learning to forgive herself.

In her usual way, Luanne Rice described scenery so vividly, and so poetically, I felt I was right there. This really helped me see things the way Roo did when she was taking her photographs of landscapes. And by the end, I felt Roo had gained marvelous perspective.

The Secret Language of Sisters is not a "don't text and drive" PSA. It is a novel about love, identity, coping, disability (and Rice handles this beautifully), art, and what we do with all we have inside us. ( )
  imagiphantaria | Jun 15, 2016 |
I picked up this book from the library because it was written by one of my favorite authors. Ms.Rice did a good job telling the reader a dark side of driving and texting. I really felt like the characters were "real" people and the author wrote some true emotions into the story. The story did make me wish for a minute or two that I had a sister, but I really love the brother I have. I enjoyed the artistic and scientific under tones in the story. I enjoyed how the story ended. ( )
  BrendaKlaassen | Apr 9, 2016 |
Roo and Tilly are not only sisters, but best friends. Older sister Roo has a steady boyfriend, Newton, of two years standing, but is feeling like maybe their relationship needs to go away since they're heading to different colleges next year. Tilly is in flux as are most fourteen year olds, unsure of her path in life and terminally impatient. Since their father died of a heart attack not long ago, she feels even more at sea because he taught her to feel free at night as the two of them went looking for owls in the dense forest near their seaside home in Connecticut.
Roo's thing is photography. She has an amazing ability to catch shades of light and darkness and as the story opens, she's taking what she hopes will be the last few great shots she needs for her entry in a prestigious competition for high school seniors. Tilly is waiting in her usual impatient mode at a local museum for Roo to pick her up. She sends multiple texts when Roo is a couple minutes late. Despite knowing that texting while driving isn't smart or safe, Roo sends one to chill her sister's impatience. When she looks up from her phone, she's about to hit a dog being walked by an older woman.
Roo manages to avoid seriously injuring the dog (it suffers a broken leg), but her car flips, ending up in the salt marsh. When Martha, the owner of the dog approaches the car, Roo, hanging upside down and bleeding from her head, is more worried about the dog's welfare than her own. After suffering an injury-induced stroke, Roo is unable to move or communicate, but is able to hear and understand everything around her. It takes a while before her condition, Locked-In Syndrome, is correctly identified and she's moved to a Boston hospital where a specialist in the field from London works with her.
While Roo is making her painful, arduous way to recovery, everyone else in her life is a mess. Tilly blames herself, Nelson blames himself (he also texted her that afternoon) the press jumps all over the situation because of the driving while texting aspect and the girls' mother, already grieving because of her husband's death, can't seem to avoid jumping on the blame Tilly bandwagon.
How Roo recovers, what happens between her and Nelson, how Martha's own experiences while her sister died come into play as a healing aspect in Tilly and Roo's re-connection and where everyone stands by the conclusion makes this an amazing read. The ending is realistic and satisfying. This is Luanne Rice's first YA novel and she has done a great job. I had to stop reading a twice and wait a couple days before picking it up again because of the intensity. Granted the issue of texting while driving gets hammered on a bit too much, but that's a very tiny quibble about a great book. ( )
  sennebec | Mar 2, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0545839556, Hardcover)

When Ruth Ann (Roo) McCabe responds to a text message while she's driving, her life as she knows it ends. The car flips, and Roo winds up in a hospital bed, paralyzed. Silent. Everyone thinks she's in a coma, but Roo has locked-in syndrome -- she can see and hear and understand everything around her, but no one knows it. She's trapped inside her own body, screaming to be heard.

Mathilda (Tilly) is Roo's sister and best friend. She was the one who texted Roo and inadvertently caused the accident. Now, Tilly must grapple with her overwhelming guilt and her growing feelings for Roo's boyfriend, Newton -- the only other person who seems to get what Tilly is going through.

But Tilly might be the only person who can solve the mystery of her sister's condition -- who can see through Roo's silence to the truth underneath.

Somehow, through medicine or miracles, will both sisters find a way to heal?

(retrieved from Amazon Wed, 14 Oct 2015 13:20:58 -0400)

Mathilda (Tilly), fourteen, and Ruth Anne (Roo), sixteen, are sisters and best friends in Connecticut, but when Roo crashes her car while texting she is confined to a hospital bed with "locked-in syndrome," aware of her surroundings, but apparently comatose--and Tilly must find a way to communicate with her sister, while dealing with her own sense of guilt.… (more)

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