Becky and Abby seem to be each other's worst enemy. Exactly two years and one day apart, these sisters are always at each other's throats, allowing petty fights and sibling rivalry to rule them—until the day Becky disappears. She's gone without a single trace, and Abby is left to watch as her family and her life shatters. Her father becomes condescending and focused on the effort to find her, and her mother withdraws within herself, becoming a shell of a person. Abby slowly finds solace in Tommy, her new next door neighbor. They form a tentative friendship that somehow gets them both through the rough spots. But even Abby recognizes that it is nearly impossible to move on without knowing whatever happened to Becky.
The September Sisters is a beautifully penned and emotional book. Abby is a wonderfully expressive and bluntly honest character whose questioning voice is not one that is easily evaded. Her story, told over the span of two years after her sister disappears, is one that is wrought with tension and heartbreak, but also love and hope. The September Sisters is as much a coming of age story as it is one of survival and Abby struggles to stay afloat as her life crashes around her—going to school and receiving her first kiss while struggling with her disintegrating home life and her unanswered questions. Cantor is an extremely sensitive and yet savvy writer, and aptly describes each and every dynamic aspect of the girls' lives, give the book a haunting and persistently real quality. Though the ending of the novel seemed slightly rushed, the resolution is one that is quite believable and will give readers satisfaction. Cantor's impressive debut is a beautiful and heartfelt novel that will appeal to fans of Sarah Dessen, and should not be missed.
The September Sisters will be available from HarperTeen February 24th, 2009.