When two Union soldiers stumble onto a plantation in northern Georgia on a warm May day in 1864, 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 history.
Twelve 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, too.
As the country moved toward war, Adelaide and Rachel struggled to navigate their newfound sisterhood - from love and resentment to betrayal and, ultimately, forgiveness.
Now, 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?
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By M. Ryder on 20-06-16
A Must Read
Bought this audiobook for just $6.95 instead of using a credit, and really was not expecting too much, but was pleasantly surprised with both the narration and story. Bahni Turpin did a super job of bringing all the characters to life, and I could easily distinguish one voice from the other. Despite the audiobook being 17 hours long, the time passed quickly, probably because I was so emotionally invested in it. That is, I truly cared about the main characters, and wanted to find out exactly how they handled their difficult situations. It was one of those stories that will clearly keep you on the edge of your seat. I have listened to many historical fiction novels, but never have I heard about Jews owning slaves in antebellum America. This surprised me a lot, especially since Jews were once themselves slaves back in Egypt. I also liked that the focus was on the relationship between Adelaide and Rachel, and the bond they had as sisters as well as owner and servant. Throughout the story, we got to see how very complicated their relationship is, mostly because when it actually came down to it, first and foremost, they were family. I am extremely glad that by the end of the book, The author shows the characters as having experienced an incredible amount of personal growth. These women made some rash decisions, and in the process, hurt one another deeply, though still managed to become far better people along the way.Try this audiobook! You will not be disappointed!
39 of 41 people found this review helpful
By Elyse Becker on 27-08-16
Moral Complexity and Compelling Characters
If you could sum up Sister of Mine in three words, what would they be?
complex, compelling, sympathetic
What other book might you compare Sister of Mine to and why?
It shares a concept with Marlen Suyapa Bodden's The Wedding Gift (which is also very good): two half-sisters, one a slave owner and the other her slave. But here, the slave owners are Jewish, a people with a history of enslavement themselves. This gave Ms. Waldfogel's story additional real-life gravitas.
Which scene was your favorite?
When a certain character came home from the war because I rejoiced for the reunited couple.
Who was the most memorable character of Sister of Mine and why?
Rachel. Legally she is a slave, but she remains her own woman, uncowed by the terrible system in which she lives.
Any additional comments?
Bahni Turpin was excellent as always!
13 of 14 people found this review helpful