A Well-tempered Heart: Sibling relationships

I am grateful of the opportunity I have to read some amazing books through my relationship with From Left to Write. If this is your first time stopping by, our book reviews aren’t traditional reviews but more of starting points for a blog post, we take a theme or topic and write about it. This months books were no different, I devoured them both already. The first book was A Well-tempered Heart by Jan-Philipp Sendker.



I didn’t read the first book in this series, and I do not think you need to in order to read this book. I loved it, but I really disliked the ending, it just felt so abrupt. A theme that really touched me was the relationship between Julia and U Ba.

I have two half sisters that I don’t have a relationship with, much like Julia and her brother. But I have an amazing relationship with my sister Caitlin.



I think a huge factor on why we are so close is the fact that we are only 13 months apart. We pretty much went through everything together. We were and still are each others best friends. We tell each other everything. (I think this is a major reason as to why it hurts me so much to not be able to give B a sibling close in age) and we don’t judge each other.

We had the same circle of friends growing up, we eventually ended up in colleges in the same city, we worked the same miserable part-time jobs and the same fun part-time jobs. We ended up at the same full-time job post-college, Nick was confused about how we could work together all day and then spend an hour or so on the phone together almost every night. We both quit that job and went to graduate school, she went to New Orleans, and I stayed in Boston. That was the hard part, we’d never been that far apart. Up until then I’d never not been able to call her and say I need you, and she would be here in under an hour.


From our time in San Francisco


No words could ever do justice to relationship we have. It sure has had its downs, but after awhile we figured out our groove. Our relationship is a bond that not many can understand, I feel her pain when she is going through a tough time. She lets me cry on the phone for as long as I need when I go through something difficult. When I was pregnant with B she took one train trip from Philly for what was sure to be his birth, it wasn’t, she went back to Philly for an exam, and then turned around again because I had him.

I understand a sibling relationship where it doesn’t work, you don’t click, you never will, and that sucks. But there is nothing like the love of a sibling, the person who for most of your life has seen your ups and downs, your worst moments and your best. I can’t tell you how many times in high school we would come out of our respective rooms and essentially be wearing the exact same outfit. This still happens.


I know that some friendships end without cause or reasons and that is hard. I don’t know where or who I’d be without her, and I am sure glad I don’t have to think about it.

Do you have great relationships with your siblings?

16 thoughts on “A Well-tempered Heart: Sibling relationships

  1. I have one ‘whole’ sister, two half sisters and an adopted sister and I’m closer to all of them now that we’ve all grown up. I don’t know, it seems like there’s less need to compete and more room to appreciate who we all are (:

    • I wish that were true for me as well, but that’s a blog post for another time :). I do agree though, as we get older my sister and I aren’t very competitive.

  2. I have a sister that I feel about the exact same way you feel about your sister. And I even feel bad that I had a boy and a girl and didn’t give my daughter a sister to be close to. There is nothing like a sister’s love :)

    • I totally understand what you are saying, but know that sisters and brothers can have the same relationship, my husband and his sister have a wonderful relationship!

  3. This post was so beautiful and I loved loved loved reading about it. I love how there for you your sister has been and classic Nick not getting how you can spend so much time together, hahaha.

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