The farthest place you can go is closer than you can imagine.
Rose is a sensible woman, thirty-four years old. Together with her widowed mother, Fiona, she runs a small repertory cinema in a big city. Fiona is in the early stages of dementia and is beginning to make painful references to Rose’s sister, Ava, who died young in an accident.
It is high summer, and a band of storms, unusual for their frequency and heavy downpour, is rolling across the city. Something unusual is also happening to Rose. As the storms break overhead, she loses consciousness and has vivid, realistic dreams—not only about being someplace else, but also of living someone else’s life.
Is Rose merely dreaming? Or is she, in fact, inside the body of another woman? Disturbed and entranced, she tries to find out what is happening to her.
Like The White Bone, Gowdy’s international bestseller, Little Sister is a fictional tour de force. As the author explores the limits of the human mind, the result is an impassioned tale of one woman’s determination to help a woman she has never met, and to come to terms with a death for which she has always felt responsible.
“Little Sister is an existential puzzle about the female psyche. Gowdy is renowned for her ability to shine light on the hidden, unsavory and electric recesses of the mind...her storytelling is fearless, inventive and dazzling.”
“Wonderfully haunting and unsettling, Little Sister is quite unlike anything I’ve read before: an examination of the porous boundaries of identity, time, sanity and madness. The novel seamlessly weaves together moving themes of grief, buried guilt, longing and, ultimately, redemption.”
“I read it fast. Too fast, probably, but I couldn’t help myself…the mystery is irresistible. I love reading Barbara Gowdy because she’s not afraid to get weird, to put her reader in troubling, inexplicable states of consciousness...Such a satisfying read!”
“This imaginative, alluring novel from an acclaimed Canadian author unspools steadily and grippingly and may earn Gowdy many new fans stateside.”
“With Little Sister, without a doubt Gowdy renews her reputation as one of Canada’s most innovative writers.... Gowdy’s descriptions of Rose occupying Harriet while retaining her own consciousness are remarkably similar to what it is, in the most magical moments of writing, to embody a character.”