NANCY JENSEN, who received an MFA in Writing from Vermont College, has published stories and essays in numerous literary journals, including "The Louisville Review, Other Voices, "and "Northwest Review." She was awarded an Artist Enrichment Grant from the Kentucky Foundation for Women and an Al Smith Fellowship from the Kentucky Arts Council, and teaches English at Eastern Kentucky University. "The" "Sisters," her first novel, was named one of the Best Fiction Books of 2011 by "Kirkus Reviews."
"Fans of THE HELP will be beguiled by Jensen's debut novel. Set in rural Kentucky in the midst of the Depression, and inspired by Jensen's own family history, it centers on an incident that created a lifelong breach between two sisters, one that reverberates throughout three generations. It's a sweet but never saccharine tribute to the pull of family.""--Whole Living ""First-time novelist Jensen--tracing the lives of two sisters separated in their youth by a tragic misunderstanding--[has] an observant eye, adept characterization, and a keen grasp of social issues.""--Publishers Weekly""A single tragic event shapes four generations of American women in this accomplished and poignant debut...Encompassing the lives of women in the 20th century, this sprawling saga is tender and satisfying, with a heartbreaking end.""--Kirkus Reviews""You'll be drawn into the arms of The Sisters as if these women were your own family. You'll want to hold them, warn them, betray their secrets. But this is a novel, one that is fresh and vibrant and complex. You cannot live the sisters' lives, but only share in their joy and heartbreak and ultimate triumph. A remarkably powerful book."--Sandra Dallas, author of "Prayers for Sale""""Nancy Jensen has the natural story-teller's ability to command attention, but with sophisticated psychological understanding and beautifully crafted writing. "The Sisters" is a "needed" novel that will become a very popular classic."--Sena Jeter Naslund, author of "Ahab's Wife""""A beautiful and touching novel about the events and choices that shape not only our lives but the lives of generations to come. Nancy Jensen takes us on an epic yet intimate journey through eighty years, ultimately revealing the flawed but lovely landscape that makes up a family. Her characters will stay with us long after the book's final pages."--Brunonia Barry, author of "The Lace Reader"
In Jensen's debut novel, set during the Great Depression, two sisters, Mabel and Bertie Fisher, suffer under the tyrannical rule of their abusive stepfather. In an effort to start a new life, Mabel secretly concocts an escape plan with the help of Bertie's boyfriend. But things go wrong and Mabel and her sister are separated. Cassandra Campbell's narration is warm, rich, and a pleasure to listen to. She creates distinctive voices for all the characters, and her tone conveys deep empathy and compassion. Campbell is even able to make the stepfather-who is evil and wholly unsympathetic-believable and authentic, his voice tough and hard, yet laden with the frustrations and disappointments of his own life. Additionally, Campbell lends voices to the book's numerous children and grandchildren that reflect their separate personalities and dreams. A St. Martin's hardcover. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.