I may be the only one in the publishing world who hasn’t read LUCKIEST GIRL ALIVE, which shot Jessica Knoll into author superstar orbit. But I did get my hands on her new novel, THE FAVORITE SISTER (Simon&Schuster).
It’s an exciting enough premise: Two sisters on a reality television show aptly called GOLD DIGGERS. One of them dies, the other isn’t innocent, but whodunit? A fast paced thriller? Not my takeaway.
“It is a dangerous thing to conflate feminism with like all women. It limits women to being one thing, likable, when feminism is all about allowing all women to be shades of all things, even if that thing is a snake oil salesman.” The Favorite Sister
It may be because I read the interview with Jessica Knoll at the end of the book first, that I knew what she was attempting to do with THE FAVORITE SISTER. It’s more than just a thriller that’s shot up the bestseller list and has been optioned for a movie.
Jessica Knoll takes a look at the sisterhood and the reality of how society pits women against each other. It highlights how some women act as if they support one another, while keeping one another down. It’s a political statement about how our culture keeps women in “their ” place and a wake up call for women to join together while pushing toward equality.
“I think the feminist sisterhood is a lofty goal to aspire to, but I think it’s disingenuous to pretend it’s all pink pussy hats and pun-y protest signs when women get together. We’re dealing with eight generations of restricted access to positions of privilege and power.” Jessica Knoll
Knoll creates an environment where powerful women are feared, and at the same time, feared by one another.
“THE FAVORITE SISTER acknowledges the reality that people are still uncomfortable with ambitious women. And not just uncomfortable, but afraid. There is a real fear about what an ambitious woman might do, the status quo might change.” Jessica Knoll
I enjoyed THE FAVORITE SISTER and believe you will, too. I just didn’t appreciate the preachy undertones. I thought Knoll was trying to play it both ways – entertainment and message, which is really tough to do. Sometimes it works, other times, not so much.
Ultimately, THE FAVORITE SISTER examines the invisible barriers that prevent women from rising up the ranks in today’s America—and offers a frightening portrayal of the dark side of the sisterhood.
Jessica Knoll is the New York Times bestselling author of LUCKIEST GIRL ALIVE, which has been optioned by Lionsgate with Reece Witherspoon set to produce. Jessica has been a senior editor at Cosmopolitan, and the articles editor at SELF. She grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia and graduated from The Shipley School in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, and from Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and bulldog, Beatrice.
Thanks to Simon & Schuster, we have one copy of THE FAVORITE SISTER to giveaways. Just tell us your thoughts about reality shows. We’ll announce a winner soon. Good luck.