On Goodreads and Envy by Gina DiVito Moran
Charlotte Bronte once wrote, “You know full well as I do the value of sisters’ affections: There is nothing like it in this world.” But what happens when affection is overshadowed by envy? What happens when the envy is based not on something passing like looks or luck, but on hard-earned accomplishments?
Just before Thanksgiving last year, the older of my two younger sisters announced via a much-liked Facebook post that she had self-published her first young adult novel on Book Patch. The gossip mill, lovingly known in our family as the PNN (Portuguese News Network), joined forces with our proud mother and the Italian aunties from the other side of the family to form quite the cheering section. Soon the holidays were upon us and I could not escape the fact that my little sister had achieved one of my goals—and so much earlier than me.
My sisters and I are 24 and 15 months apart, respectively, and grew up divided among two modest bedrooms under the watchful eyes of super-supportive immigrant parents that also had super-high-back-in-my-day-expectations. Academic and social comparisons in high school gave way to college and career comparisons when we all hit our 20s.
Back to the present. When I first read that fateful Facebook post, I turned to my husband John and declared, “Big woop. Anybody can get a book up on Book Patch.” John was not amused with my attitude. He reminded me that not everyone can just up and write a book worth publishing, in any form. It’s true. I have to admit my sister Sam is incredibly intelligent, and has been writing creative stories inspired by her favorite young adult books, cult TV shows and movies since middle school. Sam’s got a little bit of a Veronica Mars thing going on. And there I was, just an extra.
For nearly six months now, I’ve avoided reading Sam’s books (there are now five in the series). I’ve made excuse after excuse. Save for a deep love of Harry Potter, and the occasional Katniss hit, young adult isn’t really my cup of tea. Well. I could only go so long before I broke. She’s on Goodreads now – it’s for real. If nothing else, I have to see what the buzz is about.
Last weekend, the DiVito women put aside our posturing for the annual high holiday of Mother’s Day and headed to a local café where Sam’s books are for sale. The manager came over to congratulate Mom on her budding novelist, and our youngest sister pointed to her own copy in her handbag. I sighed.
The next day, I slipped back in to the café and bought the first book. The clerk slid my debit card and looked at the name – “Any relation to the author?” she asked. I decided to seize the moment. “That would be my sister.”
Gina DiVito Moran is a middle school special education teacher with a love of reading, writing, people watching, color coding, and kids with ADHD. She lives for memoirs and is currently working her way through Naked by David Sedaris for the fourth time.
Love / Hate is the spot for raves or rants on any book or reading related topic. Submit yours here.
There's nothing we love more at Shelf Pleasure than a ..
Author and Shelf Pleasure contributor Karen A. Chase on how ..
One of author Mary Miley’s favorite things about being a ..
Author and police psychologist Ellen Kirschman, Ph.D., weighs the pitfalls ..
Little known fact about Shelf Pleasure's Kristen: she's obsessed with ..
Although Debbie De Louise has been a librarian and avid ..