What is it about the topic of sisters that causes so much controversy? My new Regency-set historical, Mastering The Marquess, is partly a story about a pair of sisters, and the life-threatening situation they confront together. Meredith, my heroine, will do anything to keep her little sister Annabel out of harm’s way—even if it means putting her own life at risk. And she does that without blaming Annabel for their predicament, or feeling resentful that she must potentially sacrifice her own chance for happiness.
Meredith’s selflessness didn’t seem odd or out of character to me, likely because I have an older sister who has always been uber-protective of her siblings. She would take on a herd of charging elephants without a second thought if it meant keeping me or my brothers safe. But to my surprise, a few readers of Mastering The Marquess expressed discomfort with Meredith’s willingness to sacrifice herself for Annabel. They thought their relationship was too perfect—that real sisters fought more, and that Meredith should, at the very least, be resentful of Annabel. That took me aback since I can count the number of times I’ve fought with my sister on one hand, with a few fingers still left over. Maybe I’ve been lucky and I just happened to win the grand prize in the sister lottery, or it could be that we’re just a pair of really irritating goody two-shoes!