"You know full well as I do the value of sisters' affections: There is nothing like it in this world."
Yesterday, the first Sunday in August, was International Sister's Day. Whether you're like two peas in a pod or you fight like cat and dog, the sisterly bond is one of the most important relationships you will have in your life. You've always got someone to confide in, to fool mum and dad with (even as adults) and, most importantly, to rely on.
To honour the occasion, we have taken a look at some of the most memorable and heart-warming depictions of sisterhood in literature; a number of the titles, feature on the Kumon Recommended Reading List.
Katniss Everdeen makes the ultimate sacrifice to save her younger sister Prim in Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games.
Picked at the reaping to participate in the 74th annual Hunger Games, a brutal entertainment show, Katniss volunteers to take her place in the face of almost certain death. Katniss and Prim fall perfectly into the ever popular older-younger sister dynamic, that being the fierce, protective elder and the soft, gentle younger. Though, rather than acting as a barrier between the pair, these differences allow them both to grow and develop into their best self!
Louisa May Alcott's literary classic Little Women centres on the four March sisters, all of whom have contrasting natures. Eldest sister Meg is the sensible, motherly figure, principal character Jo is wilful and boyish, Beth is the kind, shy sibling, and the youngest sister Amy is artistic, but self-absorbed. The girls often bicker and their lives go in very different directions, but Alcott shows them coming together in the happiest and darkest of times, to ultimately embrace each other's faults, and we get to observe and admire their mutual, unconditional love.
With a ridiculous mother and a distant father, Elizabeth and Jane Bennett take comfort and solace in their sisterly bond in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. The pair are extremely devoted sisters, often found huddled together discussing their feelings, or offering a supportive ear to encourage and guide one another. Their complementary personalities make the girls a well-balanced team, for each is able to use their strength to help develop the other's weakness. Even when the sisters eventually wed their respective spouses, they marry best friends who live in neighbouring homes, thus happily securing their intimacy long into the future.
Stark personality differences do nothing to hinder the close bond between identical twins Ruby and Garnet in Jacqueline Wilson's Double Act. The girls are inseparable, and even share their very own language.
Unfortunately change, as we know, is not always good, and a period of upheavel threatens their closeness. A spotlight is soon shone upon their differences, and we become privy to their separate struggle for independence, all the while trying to keep their best-friend status.
So as you can see, some of our favourite reads beautifully capture the complex and unique relationship of sisterhood, but don't just read about it, spend some quality time with your sister today, or with those friends you consider to be just like sisters!