The Language of Sisters

A Novel

The Language of Sisters

Ten years ago, Nicole Hunter left her troubled home behind her, unable to cope with the demands of a life with her disabled sister, Jenny. Though her search for happiness—both in career and in love—has fallen short of her dreams, Nicole pretends that all is well. Then a shattering event turns her world upside down, and suddenly, she is back in her hometown, caring for her pregnant sister and trying to heal her embattled relationship with her mother.

Reunited with her family and forced to confront the guilt that haunts her, Nicole finally has the chance to be the sister she always wished she’d been. And when she is faced with the most difficult choice of her life, Nicole rediscovers the beauty of sisterhood—and receives a special gift that will change her life forever.
  • Washington Square Press | 
  • 320 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781451688146 | 
  • July 2012
List Price $10.99 (price may vary by retailer)

Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for The Language of Sisters includes an introduction and discussion questions. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.


Nicole has simplified her life as much as possible. She has an uncomplicated job and a stress-free love life. Everything is more or less manageable until she gets a call from her mother to come home. As soon as Nicole’s plane lands in her home town of Seattle, everything begins to unravel. Her severely handicapped sister has been raped in her residential institution, and is five months pregnant. Racked with guilt and frustration, Nicole takes Jenny out of the institution and moves into her mother’s house to care for her. The emotional and physical strain of caring for a severely handicapped person threaten to defeat Nicole, but the warmth of an old friend and excitement of a new love interest buoy her spirits. Nicole must decide what she wants out of life: the quiet, structured existence she’d built for herself in San Francisco, or the messy, joyful unknown of returning to her roots in Seattle.  

Topics & Questions for Discussion 

1. Nicole was trained as a therapist but she gave up her practice to become a baker. As a baker, she a see more

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About the Author

Amy Hatvany
Photograph by Allison Zenner

Amy Hatvany

Amy Hatvany is the author of nine novels, including It Happens All the Time, Somewhere Out There, and A Casual Encounter. She lives in Seattle, Washington with her family.