A Bond Like None Other: Sometimes proximity isn’t the same as closeness

January/February 2012

The Sibling Effect: What the Bonds among Brothers and Sisters Reveal About Us
By Jeffrey Kluger
Riverhead Books. 320 pp.
ISBN: 9781594488313
Purchase this book on Amazon

When a Brother or Sister Dies: Looking Back, Moving Forward
By Claire Berman
Praeger Books. 140 pp.
ISBN: 9780313355288
Purchase this book on Amazon

Ever since Cain and Abel, sibling rivalry has been with us—big-time. Had the Bible been a tabloid, the headline would have screamed: “Brother kills brother! Murderer denies sibling responsibility and is cursed by God!” And if you think sisterhood is superior to brotherhood, just try the story of Rachel and Leah: “Older sister steals, then shares, younger sister’s intended hubby, Jacob!” As for the blended family of half-siblings that Jacob and his two wives produced and raised, you can read all about it in the saga of Joseph, whose half-brothers sell him into slavery, thereby setting in motion a story filled with so many lies, tricks, and turnabouts that even the most accomplished psychotherapist might have despaired of finding a way to the family reunion that eventually ensued.

These archetypal tales continue to possess us because our sibling…

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