Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sister Mine by Nalo Hopkinson

Sister MineSister Mine by Nalo Hopkinson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Why I read it: Hopkinson was on my list of Caribbean authors to read, and I thought I might be able to count it for a Caribbean read.  Then it ended up set in Canada!  

Publisher summary:
As the only one in the family without magic, Makeda has decided to move out on her own and make a life for herself among the claypicken humans. But when her father goes missing, Makeda will have to find her own power--and reconcile with her twin sister, Abby-if she's to have a hope of saving him . . .

We'd had to be cut free of our mother's womb. She'd never have been able to push the two-headed sport that was me and Abby out the usual way. Abby and I were fused, you see. Conjoined twins. Abby's head, torso and left arm protruded from my chest. But here's the real kicker; Abby had the magic, I didn't. Far as the Family was concerned, Abby was one of them, though cursed, as I was, with the tragic flaw of mortality.

Now adults, Makeda and Abby still share their childhood home. The surgery to separate the two girls gave Abby a permanent limp, but left Makeda with what feels like an even worse deformity: no mojo. The daughters of a celestial demigod and a human woman, Makeda and Abby were raised by their magical father, the god of growing things--an unusual childhood that made them extremely close. Ever since Abby's magical talent began to develop, though, in the form of an unearthly singing voice, the sisters have become increasingly distant.

But when her father goes missing, Makeda will have to find her own talent--and reconcile with Abby--if she's to have a hope of saving him . . 

I have been wanting to read Nalo Hopkinson ever since meeting Tobias S. Buckell at a Shared Worlds reading. We chatted about Caribbean fantasy and science fiction authors, and he gave me the short list of the three I should read - Buckell, Lord, and Hopkinson. This is my first of Nalo's, and I'll be back. While she is living in Canada now, and this book is set near Lake Ontario, the Caribbean influence is so prevalent that each mention of Canadian setting would shake me up a bit.

Between the hoodoo and the kudzu and the Caribbean food and slang, I'd just forget. I really enjoyed reading this book, and look forward to more. Here is an example of the sensory writing:
"I perceived Abby as a shimmering arpeggio, lavender shot through with juniper green and scented with a bouquet of seawater and new shoe leather. I wondered how she saw me."

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