Title: Oh, Sister
Author: Jodie Chapman
Publisher: Michael Joseph
Isobel and Jen have spent their entire lives following the rules – of their marriages, and their religion.
But when Isobel’s husband leaves her, and Jen goes through unimaginable trauma, the religion turns its back.
Zelda has never done what’s expected of her. Living on the outskirts of the community that she, Jen and Isobel were raised in, she’s trying to find herself outside of the confines of the world she left behind.
As the lives of these women become entangled, they each face an uncertain future.
Will they find the courage to move forwards? Or will a lifetime of expectation prove too hard to escape…
Oh, Sister is a beautifully written book about three women: Zelda, Isabel, and Jen. Each has their own struggles, but all are linked to a community that makes living in modern society challenging. They all are, or were, part of the extreme religious group ‘The Disciples of the Last Days’, which has hugely impacted how they live their lives.
This is a book that can’t fail to move you in some way. I found it took a while to really get into, but once I did I was hooked. The plot is not fast-paced, but rather a slow builder which drew me in more and more. It’s a fascinating look into how women are often controlled by religion and those at the top, despite them claiming to be doing ‘what is best for them’. There are some really difficult topics addressed in this book but it feels like it’s all treated in a balanced way.
Though all of the characters had their faults, you can’t help but root for them to overcome the people and organisation which is holding them back. I don’t want to give too much away about the story but it definitely highlights the hypocrisy of groups like this, without adding unnecessary drama or hyperbole. The three protagonists – Zelda, Isabel, and Jen – felt like convincing characters and I would have happily read so much more about them – I turned the last page and really wished it wasn’t the end! Oh, Sister is another brilliantly crafted novel by Jodie Chapman and I’d highly recommend it.
My rating: 4/5
Many thanks to the publisher, Michael Joseph, for providing a copy of this book on which I chose to write an honest review.
Oh, Sister is out in the UK on 13 April 2023. Pre-order now on Waterstones or Bookshop.org.