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Publisher's Summary

A Scotiabank Giller Prize Finalist

Raised in Montreal by their disinterested single mother, half-sisters Lark and Robin form a fierce team in spite of their differences. When Lark flees to America to attend college, her sister soon joins her. But even as Lark discovers a calling working in documentary film, she struggles with self-doubt, and Robin chafes against the demands of studying piano at Juilliard. Their bond strains under increasing pressure until it breaks.

Years later, Lark’s life is in tatters and Robin’s is wilder than ever. As Lark tries to take charge of her destiny, she discovers that despite the difficulties of their relationship, there is only one person she can truly rely on: her sister.

A gripping, unforgettable novel about art, ambition, sisterhood, motherhood, and self-knowledge, Dual Citizens captures the unique language of sisters and makes visible the imperceptible strings that bind us to the ones we love for good.

©2019 Alix Ohlin (P)2019 Random House Audio

What the critics say

“[An] engrossing, intricate tale...Ohlin smartly chooses a broad scope and expertly weaves disparate lives into a singular thread, making for an exceptional depiction of the bond between sisters.” (Publishers Weekly)

“[Dual Citizens] is a lovely, deeply moving work. A lyrical account of the lives of two women, their failures and hopes, and ultimately their quiet redemption....[Ohlin] asks smart, complicated questions not only about family, but also about the nature of narrative itself - whether in literature or in film - about the difference between artifice and truth and the meaning of nostalgia.” (Kirkus)

"Ohlin’s touching, beautifully crafted story traces the unbreakable bond holding the sisters together, even when miles apart, through many changes.” (Booklist

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What listeners say about Dual Citizens

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  • BDC
  • 2019-10-31

Slow start but fascinating story

The first chapter was a little painful to get through but I'm glad I persisted. The story of two sisters with a neglectful mother isn't a new idea but I like the depth that it's examined of the effect on the sisters. There's no sugar coating or happy endings. It's complicated and messy. The sister Lark is the narrator and she's hard to like or understand but she is fascinating to listen to. She starts to unravel the story through her own neuroses and you really start to get a sense of how weird the world must see her. In contrast to her sister Robin who is prettier and more poised but ultimately can't escape the outcome of their childhood either and she plummets into her own weirdness. It's a story of trauma told by two sisters who barely even know how badly they've been traumatized and how they survive it. Often sad but always interesting. The writing is magnificent and the narrator is really good despite playing all the parts... it just works.

3 people found this helpful

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Enjoyed

I did very much enjoyed the story itself, as well as the narration. Absolutely recommended!

1 person found this helpful

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Sublime

Such a touching story about sister. Incredible character development and never cliche. I loved it to death.

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did not enjoy

struggled to finish this one. Not a fan of this book at all. keep waiting for something else

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Story of unrequited admiration and longing

Engaging characters in this life chronicle of two sisters told from the perspective of the admiring one (who sees herself as the less interesting sister). The story also features difficult mother-daughter relationships but mainly chronicles the thoughts and activities of a woman who spends most of her life unsure of what she wants until her late 30s. It’s character-driven with a subtle plot. I cared enough about the pensive narrator and the other characters to stay interested and keep listening.
Great narration with the only occasional sour note being the reader’s rough pronunciation of the occasional French words.

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a great ride

I loved this story. the narrator played every part to perfection. I couldn't wait to start listening each day, until, sadly it was over.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Deborah Reback
  • 2019-07-17

Annoying narrator

The story is compelling, but it’s very difficult to spend much time with this narrator, which is unfortunate.