Through thick and thin, a good sister will always be there for you.
Through thick and thin, a good sister will always be there for you. But in Anna Jarzab’s The Opposite of Hallelujah, Caro and Hannah don’t share an irreplaceable bond like close sisters do. Hannah, the older sister, had entered a convent when she was still in her twenties. Hannah decides sisterhood isn’t for her, and returns to live with her family. Caro’s relationship with Hannah has always been delicate, but Hannah’s return becomes a life altering situation.
Caro is not what you would call a model citizen. She’s a hard partier, and has regular disputes with her parents. Caro was very against Hannah coming to live with her family. To her, Hannah is nothing more than a stranger. It soon becomes apparent the something is amiss with Hannah. She’s not eating or talking. Caro is determined to figure out Hannah’s life threatening secret. Can Caro fix this train wreck before it’s too late?
Throughout the book, both religious and scientific views are exposed. Strong emotions are also present, causing the reader to be on the edge of their seat. At times Caro was very frustrating to me, because I could tell she was intentionally hurting her sister. This novel was both intense and slightly depressing.
With suspense, romance, and the true meaning of sisterhood, Jarzab’s novel is very well rounded. I recommend it for twelve and up, because it may be to mature and uncomfortable for anyone younger. It also contains alcohol use and crude language. The first person view brings you right into Caro’s thoughts. Although it’s 449 pages long, the flow of the book is so well executed; readers will soon find themselves at the end of this emotional novel. But be warned; this book is not for the lighthearted.