Synopses & Reviews
NEW YORK TIMES BESTELLER
Conversations between sisters reveal a deep and constant tug between two dynamics—an impulse toward closeness and an impulse toward competition. It takes just a word from your sister to start you laughing, or to summon up a past you both share. But it also takes just a word to send you into an emotional tailspin. For many women, a sister is both a devoted friend and a fierce rival.
Wise and witty, You Were Always Mom’s Favorite! will leave you with a profound new understanding of the unique and precious sister bond, as well as provide practical advice that will open up communication, dispel tensions, and make a vital connection even stronger, deeper, and more resilient.
What she did for women and men in "You Just Don't Understand," and mothers and daughters in "You're Wearing THAT?, New York Times"-bestselling author Tannen now does for sisters in a groundbreaking book that explores this powerful and perplexing relationship.
About the Author
Deborah Tannen is the acclaimed author of You Just Dont Understand
, which was on the New York Times
bestseller list for nearly four years including eight months as #1; the ten-week New York Times
bestseller Youre Wearing THAT?: Understanding Mothers and Daughters in Conversation; I Only Say This Because I Love You: Talking to Your Parents, Partner, Sibs and Kids When Youre All Adults,
which won the Books for a Better Life Award; Talking from 9 to 5: Women and Men at Work; Thats Not What I Meant!
; and many other books. A professor of linguistics at Georgetown University, she has written for and been featured in newspapers and magazines such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, Time
, and Newsweek
. She appears frequently on TV and radio, including such shows as 20/20, The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Colbert Report, Nightline, Today, Good Morning America
, and NPRs Morning Edition
and All Things Considered
. She is university professor and professor of linguistics at Georgetown University, and has been McGraw Distinguished Lecturer at Princeton University. She lives with her husband in the Washington, D.C., area.
From the Hardcover edition.
Reading Group Guide
Looking back at your childhood, could you have predicted that your relationships with your siblings would evolve as they have?
2. Have you tended to think of yourself and your sister(s) as different, similar, or a combination of both? In what ways?
3. Did the chapters on oldest and youngest sisters ring true to you? Did they change the way
you think about yourself or your siblings?
4. Did the title “You Were Always Mom’s Favorite!” ring a bell? Would “You Were Always Dad’s Favorite!” have been equally or more evocative? If you were to write a book about sisters, what would you call it?
5. If you have brothers as well as sisters, how do your conversations – and relationships -- with them compare? If you have sisters or brothers who are gay or transgendered, how do your conversations and relationships with them compare?
6. Tannen writes, “There is no equal protection clause in the family constitution.” Were there changes in your family’s circumstances that resulted in different opportunities or burdens for different children in the family?
7. If you have half siblings or step siblings, how do your relationships with them compare to your relationships with full siblings, and with the book’s descriptions?
8. Families sometimes categorize siblings in opposing ways: the shy one and the outgoing one, the bookworm and the athlete, or, most unfortunately, the smart one and the pretty one (as if a woman can’t be both!) Why do you think this happens? Have you seen it in your own experience?
9. Many women feel that their sisters have caused them more pain than joy, or have disappointed them in significant ways. Have you experienced this or observed it in friends or relatives? Have you ever thought you’d be better off without a sister? Why?
10. In reading You Were Always Mom’s Favorite! did you sometimes feel that your experience was different because of cultural influences? In what ways?