The Sister’s Brothers by Peter DeWitt

A grade 11 reading list choice, this original and compelling novel was recommended to me wholeheartedly by my students, so what could I do: read it, of course. Great decision.

Immediately, this quasi-cowboy novel gripped me with its direct narrative style and character driven plot.

Two brothers, the eponymously named “sisters” are paid killers disillusioned with life. Told in the first person, we learn first hand that Charlie is mean and ruthless. Witnessing offhand murders and devious thefts, we follow the brothers on their journey to the north during a period gripped by gold fever. They are tracking down their target: a man called Herman who has a formula to find gold but is unwilling to share it with their boss, the Commodore.

Needless to say, all does not go according to plan. Herman is far too sympathetic to kill – plus the three of them could work together and make a fortune! The story twists and turns but never loses pace and the comical cowboy genre is original and entertaining.

The story, although lighthearted, is often quite dark and deals with redemption, soul-searching and the potential for change in everyone, no matter their past.

Brutal and in your face, I found this great fun to read; it’s no wonder the grade 11s enjoyed it – I did too!

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