A rich celebration of life with three sisters.
In this clear-eyed but always loving description of her family, memoirist Ginsberg (Raising Blaze, 2002, etc.) explores the differing ways her siblings relate to each other, ways familiar to all who have sisters. Ginsberg lives in southern California, where she shares a home with her teenage son Blaze and her younger sister Maya. Her parents live close by, as do her two other sisters, Deja and Lavander, and only brother Bo. Ginsberg is the eldest, Deja the youngest, none is married, and Ginsberg is the only parent. The family gets together regularly for dinner and holidays, which are always lively, often contentious, but never nasty. Like an enlarged contingent of musketeers, they’re there for one another—helping Ginsberg with babysitting, comforting their mother when her only sister dies, and loyally attending Deja’s plays. They're also there to offer advice and sympathy when their various relationships with men don’t work out. In separate chapters, the author describes her relationship with each sister as well as with Bo. She explores their varying interactions and recalls the family’s past. Their free-spirited parents met in London in the early 1960s: her mother was from South Africa, her father from Brooklyn, and for many years the family moved often, from London to Brooklyn to South Africa to upstate New York and finally southern California. That kind of family experience unsurprisingly fostered tight-knit bonds. Ginsberg is closest to Maya and finds it most difficult to relate to Lavander, who pushes Ginsberg’s buttons more effectively than anyone else in the family. Lavander is also the only sister not in the entertainment business—she’s a realtor, while Ginsberg writes, Maya is a musician, and Debra an actor. Ginsberg particularly appreciates her sisters’ roles as exceptional aunties to developmentally challenged son Blaze.
Loving and candid, as the best family stories are.