The book’s prologue takes place in the early 1990s when a reporter for Vanity Fair seeks to interview Harriet Szász on the death of her sister Josephine, the successful actress. While at first reluctant, she agrees. The story begins when Lenny and Maude Szász have twin daughters. The couple decides that their girls should enter show business, where they both had early breaks. By 1918, Josie and Harriet start performing together when Lenny decides that the act would have greater appeal if he made the five-year-old girls appear to be conjoined twins. For ten years, the Siamese Sweets are a successful vaudeville act touring the country when Josie, the sister with the greater star-quality, leaves for a career in Hollywood. Harriet is left behind to figure out what lies ahead for her.
The Sisters Sweet is an engaging story about a young woman coming to terms with being abandoned by her twin sister and seeking her own direction in life while trying to be a good daughter to her struggling parents. The book reveals the stories of a father who never realized his own dreams and a mother who once had a taste of success only to lose it all after an injury. Neither parent can look beyond their own troubles and disappointments to provide Harriet with the support she needs. Author Elizabeth Weiss has done a fine job creating characters that have substance and inner conflict. While slow at times, the story held my interest throughout. Fans of historical fiction with a show business backdrop will enjoy this book the most.
Many thanks to NetGalley and The Dial Press | Random House Publishing Group for the opportunity to read Weiss’ impressive debut in advance of its release.
Rated 4 out of 5 stars.
Publication Date: November 30, 2021.
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