Julie Enszer, Lambda Book Report

"The strength of Sister is in the details, some of which are constructed through Brown's diction, which is gently infused with a southern dialect but resists caricature. She writes of cutting her finger then blood "pollacking the paper with red' or of "fried comfort' or when her sister came home "bawling, colicky, dispositioned / bad, a mess of black tar meconium.' In each phrase, the particular word from the South captures a precise detail, making Brown's poems visually, as well as aurally, rich. . . . The interplay between girlhood and womanhood for the narrator's mother is another theme carried through the entire collection and explored among the three central characters of the book: the mother, the narrator, and the sister. This trifecta of women is brought to life with great pathos through Brown's artistry. Resisting sentimentality . . . Brown's narrative poems are vital. In the tradition of Sylvia Plath in its insistence to look at and capture the realities of women's lives, Sister is a strong debut collection."