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Review of The Other Sister by Pat Valdata

February 17, 2009 by · 1 comment

Maggie Creshkoff

Pat Valdata is a poet and uses her words as a poet would, deftly weaving the story of a Hungarian immigrant family in the early decades of 19th century America.

Their triumphs and tragedies over three generations are mirrored by events on the world stage; and their personal loves and losses are echoed in the histories of Hungary and the United States during that era.

Pat describes scents, sounds and colors of a by-gone time with clarity and freshness, and embroiders each scene as richly as the archetypal Magyar dress shown on the cover of the book.

She introduces each character as naturally as if we were meeting them on the street or in the marketplace, and builds each chapter to a climax as the characters we cherish learn their own strengths and weaknesses.

A drunkard dies, a sister vows vengeance, children are born and love endures, all this and more against the backdrop of a traditional family that, though buffeted by World Wars, Depression and time itself, remains true, loyal and strong.

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