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Trans-Sister Radio (Audio Cassette) (Abridged)
Trans-Sister Radio - Audio Cassette - Abridged Author:Chris Bohjalian, Judith Ivey (Narrator) What if the person you have fallen madly, firmly in love with were to tell you that they are someone else -- someone you are suddenly unsure you know? New York Times best-selling author Chris Bohjalian, known and loved for his inventive tales of people caught in moral and ethical dilemmas, posits this very question in a romantic and edgy ... more »new novel that's impossible to put down.
Alison Banks is an elementary school teacher in her early 40s, whose only daughter is leaving soon for college. To take her mind off the impending separation, she takes a course at the local college and finds herself falling in love with her instructor, Dana. Handsome, sexy, and charming, he is the man Alison had given up hope of ever meeting.
Months into their almost idyllic relationship, he confides a powerful and intimate piece of information: he loves her, but he has long known that he is a woman trapped in the body of a man. After much soul searching and in order to free himself, he is having a sex-change operation at the end of the year.
Alison bolts, but comes back to him when she realizes how deeply in love she actually is. The story is told -- in alternating chapters -- by Alison; her teenage daughter, Carly; her ex-husband, Will; and the charismatic Dana, each adding layers of insight and complexity, each responding in his or her own way to the issue of how and why we love exactly who we do.
In his best-selling novels Midwives and The Law of Similars, Chris Bohjalian examined, with remarkable subtlety and empathy, how lives can be changed through one seemingly random occurrence. In Trans-Sister Radio, he uses that subtlety and empathy to explore the very nature of love and identity. With this compelling, unforgettable new novel, Bohjalian gives his many readers a love story, a tense cautionary tale of morality, an outstanding cast of characters, and a whole new way of thinking about love.
I enjoyed this book very much. Bohjalian manages to take a controversial and, to some, off-putting topic and imbue it with humanity and immediacy. Not an "issue," but a personal (albeit socially constructed) struggle, the subject of transsexualism is handled deftly in this touching novel. I anticipated the "twist" at the end, but enjoyed watching it emerge, nonetheless. For some petty reason, the entire time I was reading this book I was distracted by wondering whether the NPR plot feature was devised merely to justify the book's exceedingly clever title.
What an incredible book! I was touched by the clarity and depth of the characters. Their individual complexity and the power of the whole is undeniable. I felt Dana was particularly well portrayed. Dealing with Transsexuality and gender differences is always difficult, but Bohjalian handles it remarkably and I was thouroughly impressed.
ReadingMonster reviewed Trans-Sister Radio (Audio Cassette) (Abridged) on
Helpful Score: 4
Interesting premise but definitely not my favorite Bohjalian book. A lot of the plot - namely, the relationships between the key characters - just didn't ring true. This could have been a much better read than it was... I was disappointed.