It is said that when one person in a family is unstable, the whole family is destabilized. Meet the Shreds. Olivia is the sister in the spotlight, but when her stunning confidence morphs into something erratic and unpredictable, she becomes a hurricane leaving people wrecked in her wake. Put simply, she has no brakes.
Younger sister Amy, cautious and studious to the core, survives Ollie’s bullying and outcast status throughout her school years. She dreams of winning a Nobel Prize and unlocking the mysteries of the mind. Amy believes in facts, proof, and the empirical world. Except none of that can explain what’s happening to Ollie, whose physical beauty and charisma mask the bipolar disorder that will shatter Amy’s carefully constructed world.
As Amy comes of age and seeks to find her place—first in academics, then New York publishing, and through a series of troubled relationships—every step brings collisions with Ollie, who slips in and out of the Shred family without warning. For all that upends and unsettles these sisters, an inextricable bond always draws them back.
Spanning two decades, Shred Sisters is an intimate and bittersweet story exploring the fierce complexities of sisterhood, mental health, loss and love. If anything is true it’s what Amy learns on her road to self-acceptance: No one will love you or hurt you more than a sister.
Praise for Shred Sisters:
“I love this book. It moves like a souped-up pickup truck.”—Patti Smith, author of Just Kids and A Book of Days
“Betsy Lerner’s Shred Sisters is a cocktail of raw poetry, needle sharp insights, and propulsive, almost projectile honesty. I can’t get over how deftly it pivots from funny to mean to vulnerable to wise, often on a single page. Lerner explores the contours of complicated relationships with an intoxicating ferocity that—we come to realize—amounts to no less than an act of love.”—Leah Hager Cohen, author of Strangers and Cousins and To & Fro
“The Shreds are in devastating and hilarious pain. Betsy Lerner has turned her memoirist’s eye on a fictional family with candid and surprising results.”—Jill Eisenstadt, author of From Rockaway and Swell
“I loved this poignant story of a younger sister growing and forming herself around her older sister’s erratic behavior. Betsy Lerner articulates moments I have observed but never put into words, and I both laughed out loud and was deeply moved. A brilliant novel.”—Alice Elliott Dark, author of Fellowship Point