Sisteria
by Sue Margolis, contemporary (2000)
Headline, £5.99, ISBN 0-7472-5774-4


I totally enjoyed the author's last book Neurotica, an over-the-top look at adultery, and I couldn't put Sisteria in my book bag fast enough. Unfortunately, where Neurotica succeeds because of its nonsensical adultery-as-an-antidote-to-broken-marriage theme, Sisteria relies on the tried-and-true sisterly catfight theme for laughs.

And this time, the annoying and shrill way the two losers of sisters complain about their lives really stick out like hives.

Beverley is the good woman, so naturally she's the homely one. Naomi's the bitch, so she is, no doubt, the high climbing career anchorwoman who has no qualms of crushing the balls of her rivals. Shame on the author for relying on such shopworn clichés.

Naomi needs to get pregnant to get a promotion (I'm not joking) - see, no matter how far a woman goes up, she has to rely on her ovaries in the end to go any further (Woman's Fiction my bum). So what she will do is to get her fiancé's tadpoles and Bev's ovaries and voila! Instant baby.

Of course, soon, Bev starts seeing stars with Naomi's fiancé, while her hubby experiences the seven-year itch thing. And all this set forth the predictable Find myself and my womanhood thing Bev would undergo, and I can't snore loud enough.

Sisteria has some pretty hilarious lines, but the whole premise is so boring and familiar that it just grates on my nerves. The good sister/bitch sister thing is annoying enough, but Bev takes this long to get her act together. To get there, she lets everyone tramples over her. Wait for me, I want to walk all over her too!

The only really fun thing about Sisteria is a scene where Bev and her fellow whiners/losers try to rediscover the Earth Mother (or something) by looking into a cow's... you know. I keep waiting for an accident to happen, but while it didn't, much to my disappointment, what happened next had me laughing for days.

My suggestion to fellow readers is to browse through Sisteria and read the see-the-cow scene. Sure, feel free to buy it, but me, I find Sisteria unmemorable. Humor's one thing, but a book needs more substance than that sometimes.

Rating: 53


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