Author: Cathleen Schine
Publisher: Sarah Crichton Books
Published: September 3, 2019
Book Description: From the author compared to Nora Ephron and Nancy Mitford, not to mention Jane Austen, comes a new novel celebrating the beauty, mischief, and occasional treachery of language.
The Grammarians are Laurel and Daphne Wolfe, identical, inseparable redheaded twins who share an obsession with words. They speak a secret “twin” tongue of their own as toddlers; as adults making their way in 1980s Manhattan, their verbal infatuation continues, but this love, which has always bound them together, begins instead to push them apart. Daphne, copy editor and grammar columnist, devotes herself to preserving the dignity and elegance of Standard English. Laurel, who gives up teaching kindergarten to write poetry, is drawn, instead, to the polymorphous, chameleon nature of the written and spoken word. Their fraying twinship finally shreds completely when the sisters go to war, absurdly but passionately, over custody of their most prized family heirloom: Merriam Webster’s New International Dictionary, Second Edition.
Cathleen Schine has written a playful and joyful celebration of the interplay of language and life. A dazzling comedy of sisterly and linguistic manners, a revelation of the delights and stresses of intimacy, The Grammarians is the work of one of our great comic novelists at her very best.
Rating: 3 1/2 Stars
Review: This a very quick, clever story that spans almost a lifetime. The Grammarians centers around identical twin centers. They are so close as kids that they develop their own secret language. One day their father brings home a dictionary that becomes their prized position. The two remain very close get married have children and spend both their careers in words. Unfortunately it is that same Dictionary that causes the rift in their relationship, as they both want possession of it.
Cathleen Schine’s wrote a story that would seem so typical of a family saga, but yet she wrote something that was ultra unique also. This did not feel like a tired story at all. Daphne and Laurel’s stories are familiar and unfamiliar at the same time. Though I have to say my favorite characters in this book were their Husbands, Michael and Larry and the beautiful friendship that had and maintained even when their wives were not speaking to each other.
Overall, very enjoyable read. This book had definitely more meat to this, but still this is something you can enjoy reading on a Sunday afternoon.
Thank you NetGalley and Sarah Crichton Books for an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.