A fascinating, illuminating, and ground-breaking book, Francine Klagsbrun presents a lively, comprehensive exploration of the sibling bond and the indelible imprint the sibling experience leaves on our adult lives. Mixed Feelings delves into the love and resentment, the intimacy and anger, the admiration, jealousy, dependency, and guilt that evolves between siblings; the pressure points, from parental favoritism to family secrets such as alcoholism or sibling incest that create tension between brothers and sisters; and the lasting early sibling encounters have on our self-esteem, our relationships with lovers and spouses, our work, and our behavior toward our own children. Based on scrupulous research, more than 120 in-depth interviews, and the data from a meticulously designed survey, Mixed Feelings reveals truths that will leave you with new insights and new questions for yourself and your siblings. In portraying the experiences of dozens of brothers and sisters, Mixed Feelings becomes as engrossing as a novel. It is a landmark book, one that can help siblings find the common ground that will draw them closer together and help them stay that way.
FRANCINE KLAGSBRUN is the author of more than a dozen books on social and religious issues, including Jewish Days, Voices of Wisdom, and The Fourth Commandment, and was the editor of the bestselling Free to Be…You and Me. She is a columnist for The Jewish Week and Moment magazine and has contributed numerous articles to national publications. Among many awards, she holds an honorary doctorate degree from the Jewish Theological Seminary. She and her family live in New York City.
“Francine Klagsbrun’s Mixed Feelings is a revealing excursion, as profound as it is provocative, into the perilous realm from which few are exempt: the primeval love and hate of siblings for each other. In family history after family historyeach one a mythic drama or novel-in-littleKlagsbrun brings to brilliantly clarifying life the most fundamental stories of the human race. Is there a reader anywhere who will escape self-recognition in these wise and transfixing pages?”
—Cynthia Ozick, author of Metaphor and Memory
“With the scholarship of a behavioral scientist, the craftsmanship of a novelist, the insight of a psychotherapist, and the love of a sister, Francine Klagsbrun explores and illuminates the multifarious facets of sibling relationships to fashion a rare jewel of understanding and utility. I recommend Mixed Feelings as required reading for those of us who are therapists or are in therapy, and for the rest of us who wish to understand more about how our relationships with our brothers and sisters have shaped our selves.”
—Stuart C. Yudofsky, M.D., chairman, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Baylor College of Medicine
“In this book, as in her previous ones, Francine Klagsbrun has demonstrated again that erudition can be reconciled with sensitivityand pain with atonement.”