When we first meet Fawn, the sister of our unnamed narrator, she is wondering how long people have to pretend to be sad following a death: “She couldn’t understand why everyone went on and on after someone died. She was staring out the window, holding her thumb up to the moon. Didn’t they get tired of acting like they were sad? When were you allowed to forget?” This sets the tone for Dixon’s novel: a discomforting look at compounding tragedies through an almost unfeeling lens. The sisters discover (and are responsible for?) dismembered body parts, decapitated animals, arson, and death, all the while constantly, but stealthily, battling against each other. As the narrator cycles between childhood memories of her mother and sister, her time at a residential school for troubled teens, time spent with her estranged father, and her young adult life, we learn more about her but never quite enough to get a firm read. And while Fawn is largely absent from many of the narrator’s recollections, everything always seems to circle back to her. Dixon packs a lot into this novel, and although the reflections on the narrator’s adult life don’t get the care and attention that her childhood and adolescence do, the novel’s weighty center—the relationship between the two sisters—is consistently and devastatingly intriguing.

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