Sisterhood of the Infamous
By Jane Rosenberg LaForge
Barbara Ross was at the center of the punk rock explosion as it took root in 1970s Los Angeles as a guitarist for the all-girl outfit California Youth Authority. Decades later she finds herself at the center of a murder investigation after her one-time girlfriend, the pop music sensation Jasmine, is found dead in the Hollywood Hills. The only problem is Barbara is bedridden and dying of breast cancer, and her older sister, a retired ballerina, is talking to the cops, the press, and all of Barbara’s friends. In SISTERHOOD OF THE INFAMOUS, both women reconsider their separate quests for art and fame, and which carries the higher cost: success or infamy. (Courtesy of goodreads.com)
I received an ARC for Sisterhood of the Infamous and this is my honest review.
Previously, I’d read The Hawkman, and loved the lyrical language so I couldn’t wait to read Sisterhood of the Infamous. This book has a different storyline, but I felt like it addressed similar themes of humanity, identity, social interaction, and how we love others. It describes the life of Barb and her sister with such poignancy it could make me cry over their misunderstandings.
The prose often feels like modern poetry, expressing painful emotions. Showing a connection between anorexia and cancer was one of the most interesting moments for me because I’ve had loved ones who have gone through both diseases. I love it when an author helps us see from a new perspective or to broaden our understanding. LaForge’s writing feel authentic because she delves deeply where others might shy away.
Because of having read previous works, I wondered if there was a fairy tale buried within this story. This may not have been the authors intent, but I saw such a story around searching for fame in Hollywood compared to the anonymous life in New York—a moralistic tale of being careful what you wish for. Is infamous as good as famous? When is it time to accept a life outside of fame? How are you changed?
The external plot is around a Hollywood murder of a gay rights activist and singer, Jasmine, and how her death might connect to Barb since she’s a cancer patient on hospice. This proves to be a wonderful vehicle for the internal plot, exploring what Barb wanted and lost in life. And on deaths’ doorstep, what does she wish for the very most? Is she guilty of murdering her former lover? Does the quest for fame still drive her or something else? (Sorry, I’m not answering and giving spoilers.)
You’ll have to pick up this one for yourself. Sisterhood of the Infamous has the power to touch and change lives.
If you enjoyed Sisterhood of the Infamous, try The Gray House by Mariam Petrosyan.