Hungary, 1956. Russian tanks brutally crush the revolution against the Communist regime. Sisters Katalin and Marika escape Budapest with their family and settle in London.
However, the past is not so easily left behind. Their father is a wanted man, and the sisters’ relationship hangs in the balance. Their futures are shaped by loss. For Katalin, this means the failure of her ambition and a devastating discovery; for Marika, an equally heart-breaking experience.
Caught between their Hungarian heritage and their new lives in Britain, the sisters struggle to reconnect. Family secrets are exposed, jeopardising Katalin’s and Marika’s identities.
Can their relationship survive war, division and grief?
My thoughts on My Sister, Myself
There’s something about a story of children during wartime that just adds that extra layer of poignancy that doesn’t seem to come across so easily in coming of age books set in more current times. Perhaps it’s the nostalgia factor, perhaps it’s the sense of extra volatility that must come with growing up during times of war. For me, in My Sister, Myself it was the pure character-driven narrative that made me really connect with this story.
What I loved about this book was how it made me thankful for my relationship with my own sister, which is and was quite straightforward when I think of the era we grew up in. Despite the usual sisterly bickering all the usual first-world growing up problems between sisters, that seem important when coming of age, we had all we needed and a stable family to keep it all in place. Our protagonists in this story were not so lucky and while this is a fictional story, the hardships they endured are very much a reality for many children the world over.
MySister, Myself gives an interesting insight into family relationships and left me wondering how much those relationships are defined and influenced by circumstances. How different would things have been for Katalin and Marika and even their aunt had they grown up in a different part of the world, at a different time? How would their relationship have evolved without the backdrop of the Hungarian Revolution and the life events this triggered for the sisters? I couldn’t shake the feeling that they were pure victims of circumstance and this made My Sister, Myself quite an emotional but also inspiring read.
It’s been a while since I picked up a historical fiction novel and I’m glad I chose this one to reignite my interest in this wonderful genre of storytelling.
MySister, Myself is a skillful portrayal of family dynamics and the situational impact the world we live in can have on these relationships.
I give this book a very solid 4-star rating based on amazing character development and the fact that the author didn’t allow the plot to get too bogged down in the historical narrative of Hungarian Revolution, which could have been a distraction.
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About the author
Jill Treseder was born in Hampshire and lived all her childhood in sight of the sea on the Solent and in Devon, Cornwall and West Wales. She now lives with her husband in Devon overlooking the River Dart. After graduating from Bristol with a degree in German, Jill followed careers in social work, management development and social research, obtaining a PhD from the School of Management at the University of Bath along the way. Since 2006 she has focused on writing fiction.
My Sister, Myself is available in ebook and paperback now. You can purchase your copy here.