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A smart, mysterious and heartbreaking novel centred on two sets of sisters whose lives are braided together when tragedy changes them forever. From the award-winning author of The Golden Mean.Saskia...
A smart, mysterious and heartbreaking novel centred on two sets of sisters whose lives are braided together when tragedy changes them forever. From the award-winning author of The Golden Mean.Saskia...
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  • A smart, mysterious and heartbreaking novel centred on two sets of sisters whose lives are braided together when tragedy changes them forever. From the award-winning author of The Golden Mean.
    Saskia and Jenny are twins who are alike only in appearance. Saskia is a hard-working grad student whose interests are solely academic, while Jenny, an interior designer, is glamourous, thrill-seeking, capricious and narcissistic. Still, when Jenny is severely injured in an accident, Saskia puts her life on hold to be with her sister.
    Sara and Mattie are sisters with a difficult relationship. Mattie, the younger sister, is affectionate, curious and intellectually disabled. As soon as Sara is able, she leaves home, in pursuit of a life of the mind and the body: she loves nothing more than fine wines, sensual perfumes, and expensive clothing. But when their mother dies, Sara inherits the duty of caring for her sister. Arriving at the house one day, she finds out that Mattie has married Robert, her wealthy mother's handyman. Though Mattie seems happy, Sara cannot let this go, forcing the annulment of the marriage and the banishment of Robert. With him out of the picture, though, she has no choice but to become her sister's keeper, sacrificing her own happiness and Mattie's too. When Robert turns up again, another tragedy happens. The waves from these events eventually engulf Sara and Saskia, sisters in mourning, in a quest for revenge.
    Consent is a startling, moving, thought-provoking novel on the complexities of familial duty and on how love can become entangled with guilt, resentment and regret.

Excerpts-

  • From the cover Chapter Two
     
    October 2011
     
    At the funeral, Mattie and Sara held hands. They accepted condolences together with a grave grace. Many of the mourners told them they had never seemed more alike, or like their mother. Afterwards they hosted a reception at the house, Sara offering drinks and Mattie methodically approaching each guest with a tray of hors d’oeuvres, vegetables frilled with cream cheese that she herself had piped.
     
    After their guests had left and they had tidied the house, Sara asked Mattie if she would like to watch one of her movies.
     
    “Will you watch with me?” Mattie asked.
     
    It was dusk. Sara stood by the arm of the sofa, watching the men and women on the screen sing and dance in their flounced dresses and fancy pants. Every night for the past week she had stayed in her old room, listening to Mattie cry herself to sleep. Sara wanted wine. She wanted salmon sashimi. She wanted her laptop on her lap—her work—in her own chair in her own living room, with her own view into the lit, stacked living rooms of the high-rise across the street and the other single lives being profitably led there. She would have to sell the house, soon, and find Mattie somewhere to live. A group home, with staff to care for her, and friends who liked the same things she did.
     
    “You’re hovering,” Mattie said. “You’re making me nervous.” This was something their mother used to say.
     
    Sara perched on the edge of the sofa.
     
    “Sit back.”
     
    Sara stood up. “Will you be all right on your own tonight?”
     
    The musical number concluded with the entire cast striking an exuberant pose. Then everyone relaxed and the dialogue resumed as though it had never stopped. Mattie turned away from the television and met Sara’s eyes with a bleak look in which neither intelligence nor the lack of it had a place.
     
     
     
     
    Robert was the handyman. He did odd jobs around the neighbourhood: replaced the furnace filter, unstopped the antique upstairs toilet, cleaned the gutters, put up shelves. When Sara had helped her mother with the household accounts at the end of every month, there had always been some little sum for Robert, nothing she had ever questioned. Now her mother was gone less than a month and Mattie had phoned to say she and Robert were married.
     
    “No, Mattie,” Sara had said. “You’re not married.”
     
    Mattie had invited her for supper, to come see.
     
    You are unkind, their mother had told Sara, not long before her heart attack. I am not trying to smother you. You would have your own rooms here, your own office, everything you could want. You can even have your meals on a tray when you are busy with your work. You know what is coming as well as I do. Why do you fight it?
     
    As Sara parked her car in front of the big old house, she recalled the only time she had met Robert, the previous spring. She had been getting out of the car just as she was now when he had come around the side of the house with a mangled squirrel on a shovel.
     
    “Sara Landow.” She stepped onto the lawn, extending her hand. He set the shovel down and they had shook, both of them stronggripped, wary. He was her age, late-thirties, with ginger hair cropped close to his skull, thin lips, pale blue eyes. She intuited a dark, bitter sense of humour, and a matching strain of intelligence.
     
    “Ms. Landow.” He nodded. “The older sister, the...

About the Author-

  • ANNABEL LYON is the author of seven books for adults and kids, including the internationally bestselling The Golden Mean. She teaches creative writing at the University of British Columbia.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    October 12, 2020
    The lives of two pairs of sisters from Vancouver intersect in Lyon’s intense, intimate novel of love, grief, and murder (after The Sweet Girl). After 30-something Sara Landow’s mother dies in 2011, Sara assumes responsibility for her intellectually disabled younger sister, Mattie. A month later, when Sara returns from a short trip, Mattie has married their late mother’s handyman, Robert Dwyer. While Mattie had never been declared legally incompetent, Sara doubts she is capable of consenting to marriage, and tries to have it annulled. In 2015, the lives of 27-year-old twins Saskia and Jenny Gilbert are derailed when a car accident leaves Jenny in a coma. While Jenny is still unconscious in the hospital, a man is caught masturbating in her room. As Saskia, disturbed by the news, learns about Jenny’s practice of BDSM, Lyon alternates back to Sara as she grieves in the aftermath of Mattie’s death from a fall for which Robert was present, a few years after they married. When Sara and Saskia eventually meet, they process their sisters’ disturbing relationships. While the circumstances leading to the women’s connection are not entirely surprising, their reactions ramp up the novel toward a deliciously dark conclusion. Lyon’s mesmerizing novel perfectly captures the odd mix of love and resentment faced by caregivers.

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    Random House of Canada
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    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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