Every week, The Thread checks in with booksellers around the country about their favorite books of the moment. This week, we spoke with Sarah Bagby, the owner of Watermark Books in Wichita, Kan..
Bagby recommends Sheila Kohler's memoir, "Once We Were Sisters." Kohler is the author of more than ten novels, but in this book, she explores her own past — and what shaped her as a writer.
When she was 39, Kohler's sister Maxine died in a car accident in their native South Africa. After hearing the devastating news, Kohler flew home, where she began to sort through the memories and the loss. The sisters were only two years apart, and they had weathered the storm of their childhood together.
"She talks about how this loss — and how other losses in her life — made her a novelist," Bagby said.
"On the surface, Kohler is examining the heartbreaking loss ... But deeper down, she is examining what it's like to have a sister, how your sister influences you, how those early relationships are so close and bound by such a tie to family."
Kohler, Bagby said, also explores the question of whether "we're culpable if we don't point out something that might be dangerous to someone we love."