The Wright Sister
An epistolary novel of historical fiction that imagines the life of Katharine Wright and her relationship with her famous brothers, Wilbur and Orville Wright.On December 17, 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright flew the world's first airplane at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, establishing the Wright Brothers as world-renowned pioneers of flight. Known to far fewer people was their whip-smart and well-educated sister Katharine, a suffragette and early feminist.After Wilbur passed away, Katharine lived with and took care of her increasingly reclusive brother Orville, who often turned to his more confident and supportive sister to help him through fame and fortune. But when Katharine became engaged to their mutual friend, Harry Haskell, Orville felt abandoned and betrayed. He smashed a pitcher of flowers against a wall and refused to attend the wedding or speak to Katharine or Harry. As the years went on, the siblings grew further and further apart.In The Wright Sister, Patty Dann wonderfully imagines the blossoming of Katharine, revealed in her "Marriage Diary"--in which she emerges as a frank, vibrant, intellectually and socially engaged, sexually active woman coming into her own--and her one-sided correspondence with her estranged brother as she hopes to repair their fractured relationship. Even though she pictures "Orv" throwing her letters away, Katharine cannot contain her joie de vivre, her love of married life, her strong advocacy of the suffragette cause, or her abiding affection for her stubborn sibling as she fondly recalls their shared life.An inspiring and poignant chronicle of feminism, family, and forgiveness, The Wright Sister is an unforgettable portrait of a woman, a sister of inventors, who found a way to reinvent herself.

The Wright Sister Details

TitleThe Wright Sister
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 18th, 2020
PublisherHarper Perennial
ISBN-139780062993113
Rating
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, North American Hi..., American History

The Wright Sister Review

  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars!Being a native North Carolinian who grew up visiting the beaches of Kitty Hawk, I have long been fascinated with the Wright brothers and their first flight. How intriguing to learn more about their sister, Katherine, known as a suffragette and early feminist.Katharine is tasked with taking care of Orville after Wilbur dies. Eventually, though, Katharine marries and moves away, leaving Orville behind. She begins writing letters to Orville, but he never responds.Katharine is a strong fem 3.5 stars!Being a native North Carolinian who grew up visiting the beaches of Kitty Hawk, I have long been fascinated with the Wright brothers and their first flight. How intriguing to learn more about their sister, Katherine, known as a suffragette and early feminist.Katharine is tasked with taking care of Orville after Wilbur dies. Eventually, though, Katharine marries and moves away, leaving Orville behind. She begins writing letters to Orville, but he never responds.Katharine is a strong female character, and I loved learning about her. She is forward thinking, a woman before her time. I found the first half of the book even more engaging than the second, especially when it seemed like Orville would never reply to her. Overall, I found the storytelling imaginative and clever with an interesting character study of Katharine.I received a gifted copy. All opinions are my own.Many of my reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com and instagram: www.instagram.com/tarheelreader
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  • Jenna
    January 1, 1970
    More like 3.5 Stars.I really enjoyed this one! A huge thank you to the author and publisher for my advanced copy. What I liked- The Cover- The cover is stunning. The Format- This novel is in an epistolary format. It is a collection of diary entries and letters written by Katherine Wright. This is a work of fiction. The letters and entries are from the authors imagination. The Subject Matter- Katherine Wright. I loved learning about her. I learned about her brothers in school ( obviously ) but I More like 3.5 Stars.I really enjoyed this one! A huge thank you to the author and publisher for my advanced copy. What I liked- The Cover- The cover is stunning. The Format- This novel is in an epistolary format. It is a collection of diary entries and letters written by Katherine Wright. This is a work of fiction. The letters and entries are from the authors imagination. The Subject Matter- Katherine Wright. I loved learning about her. I learned about her brothers in school ( obviously ) but I had never heard of Katherine or given any other family members a single thought. Katherine was an amazing woman. She was well educated and forward thinking. She's described as an early feminist and sufferagist. I appreciated that although she was those things - I didn't have to be those things to relate to her. She was also very loyal and family oriented. She found love later in life. She had a strained relationship with one of her closest siblings. All of this comes through very vividly in the book. The History- Not only did I feel as though I was catching a glimpse of who Kathrine was as a person, this novel touches on parts of American History that I have always been fascinated with. Katherine often reflects on the invention of the airplane and being in the spotlight with her brothers. Henry Ford, Charles Lindbergh and The Great War are also written about briefly. I loved that about this book. The Length- This is a tiny book. It is just over 250 pages but it packs a big punch. Now my least favorite part. Why this book lost some stars in the rating. Sometimes I found myself bored. Towards the end I was skimming. My heart broke for Katherine as her frequent letters went unanswered. I felt as though the pleading in those letters became repetitive and I got tired of reading them. The first half of this book I was fully engaged but a little over half way through my interest started to drop. Also- the author's note. It had very little information and I wanted to maybe hear about the author's research and writing process. Maybe it'll be included in the books final draft?By the end of this book I found myself questioning what parts are fact and what parts were imagined by the author. Now I will do my own research.
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  • Tiffany
    January 1, 1970
    This book is definitely for all the history buffs out there. As I read along I found myself checking Google to learn more about each character and I was in awe of Katherine. She was one of the original feminists out there and as a suffragette she helped women gain the right to vote. While I felt the book started out slowly, I found the ending to be a page turner that left me in tears.Thank you Harper for my gifted copy.
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  • Amanda
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you, Harper Perennial and Patty Dann for the opportunity to read this book!First of all, just look at this cover! It is just stunning. Upon seeing the cover of The Wright Sister by Patty Dunn I could not wait to dive in! Everyone knows about the famous Wright Brothers who are credited with flying the first airplane. Orville and Wilbur were incredibly close to their sister, Katharine. This book begins in 1927 when Katharine is 52 years old. She marries for the first time to Harry Haskell, u Thank you, Harper Perennial and Patty Dann for the opportunity to read this book!First of all, just look at this cover! It is just stunning. Upon seeing the cover of The Wright Sister by Patty Dunn I could not wait to dive in! Everyone knows about the famous Wright Brothers who are credited with flying the first airplane. Orville and Wilbur were incredibly close to their sister, Katharine. This book begins in 1927 when Katharine is 52 years old. She marries for the first time to Harry Haskell, upon learning of the engagement, Orville refuses to speak to Katharine. The book is structured in diary entries and letters to Orville. The diary entries discuss her day to day activities, including her relationship with her husband. But the letters also feel like a diary as well. She is desperate to speak to her brother again and fills him in about her life and reminisces about the past.I liked this book. I liked it but did not love it. I feel like it just skims the surface on an incredibly fascinating woman in history and it often shifted its focus to Harry and Orville. Sorry, I don’t care about Harry and there are so many books and fictional accounts of the Wright brothers. I wish the story would have gone into their trip to Europe where she became a huge celebrity! Her brothers were notoriously shy but she stole the spotlight. Then there is all her work as a suffragette! This book mentions it a handful of times but doesn’t nearly do her justice.However, I did love the layout of the book. I love the idea of diary entries and letters. The author did a great job of getting the readers in her head. It is a quick read, but the ending packs an emotional punch. Again, the attention is brought to Orville. I love history and felt that I learned a lot from this book and many other history buffs will enjoy it too as a quick afternoon read. This is not a detailed fictional account. I rate this book 3 out of 5 stars because while it is good, it could have done Katharine justice.
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  • Stefanie
    January 1, 1970
    You grab a pristine sheet of paper from the ream and breathe in the soothing pulp scent of the page. You lay it flat on the desk and smooth your hand over it, prepping it for the words it’s about to hold. The pen is poised in your hand and you slowly lower it to the waiting ivory blankness. The black ink begins to flow as you scroll intricate letters onto the page. The words come freely as you begin furiously describing all that life has become.The Wright Sister was an epistolary-style book deta You grab a pristine sheet of paper from the ream and breathe in the soothing pulp scent of the page. You lay it flat on the desk and smooth your hand over it, prepping it for the words it’s about to hold. The pen is poised in your hand and you slowly lower it to the waiting ivory blankness. The black ink begins to flow as you scroll intricate letters onto the page. The words come freely as you begin furiously describing all that life has become.The Wright Sister was an epistolary-style book detailing the life of Katharine, the sister of the famous Wright brothers who brought flight to existence. The book is filled with letters to her brother Orville as they are settling into their later years, past the historic flight and the passing of their brother Wilbur. The book is also filled with journal entries as Katharine describes her current life as a newlywed in her fifties, as well as her reminisces about her childhood and their many inventions as siblings.As far as a plot goes, this book didn’t have much of one. But the writing was beautiful as Katharine shared her life. I’m a big fan of epistolary novels and I loved that about this book. It felt so personal and raw to read in that form.I recommend if you love or would enjoy a journal-like look into the lives of historic figures.TW: Loss of a Loved One.*I received a gifted copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review.
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  • Chelsie
    January 1, 1970
    This novel is about the Wright brother’s sister, Katharine, with an A! It is written through letters that Katharine wrote to Orville in her older years, and also as entires in her own marriage diary. It is an interesting read, going between the two. It reminds me a bit like The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society how it was written from the view point of letters. It makes for very easy reading!As Katharine writes letters to Orville, she is reminiscing about their childhood, as well as This novel is about the Wright brother’s sister, Katharine, with an A! It is written through letters that Katharine wrote to Orville in her older years, and also as entires in her own marriage diary. It is an interesting read, going between the two. It reminds me a bit like The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society how it was written from the view point of letters. It makes for very easy reading!As Katharine writes letters to Orville, she is reminiscing about their childhood, as well as how they eventually go to wear they did with flying at Kitty Hawk. As she writes the entries in her marriage diary, she is writing mostly about her life currently, having finally married after half a century and trying to make a new life away from Orv and being used to running a household full of males.I learned a lot about the Wright family, I did not know a lot to begin with but there was a lot to learn about Orville, and essentially Katharine seemed to be some of the brains behind it all as well. She seemed to be a little resentful of having gone through life being referred to as the Wright Brother’s sister, which in a way, I kind of don’t blame her considering her contribution.I thought it was a very interesting read, and I liked the style of writing. Although sometime I had to look at the font to see if she was writing to her brother or in her marriage diary. Thank you to the author, and Harper Perennial for the ARC! I really enjoyed learning about this family and how they contributed to history and the airplane that none of give a second thought to anymore.
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  • Sally Koslow
    January 1, 1970
    No longer hidden by history, the wind beneath Wilbur and Orville’s wings--their brainy sibling Katharine--soars from THE WRIGHT SISTER. Patty Dann’s cunning epistolary page-turner chronicles a woman taking flight at fifty-plus while it reflects on sexual awakening, early feminism, and the unbreakable bonds of filial love. Immensely readable!
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  • Susan Peterson
    January 1, 1970
    Katharine Wright was the sister of Orville and Wilbur Wright, and after Wilbur died, she became the reclusive Orville’s caretaker. This epistolary novel begins in 1926, when, at the age of 52, Katharine marries and moves 600 miles away. Her marriage caused a huge rift between Katharine and Orville. This fictional account is told through the entries in Katharine’s marriage diary as well as letters she wrote to Orville—letters he never answered. Her letters to Orville are heartfelt and poignant, b Katharine Wright was the sister of Orville and Wilbur Wright, and after Wilbur died, she became the reclusive Orville’s caretaker. This epistolary novel begins in 1926, when, at the age of 52, Katharine marries and moves 600 miles away. Her marriage caused a huge rift between Katharine and Orville. This fictional account is told through the entries in Katharine’s marriage diary as well as letters she wrote to Orville—letters he never answered. Her letters to Orville are heartfelt and poignant, but the diary gives us insight into Katharine herself. She was bright and independent, a suffragette, a caregiver, a feminist. She is a fascinating, forward-thinking, passionate character!
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  • Moira
    January 1, 1970
    This is an epistolary novel of historical fiction that looks at the life of Katherine Wright and her famous brothers, Wilbur and Orville. I know so little about the Wright Brothers that I never once considered that they may have had a sister. The story is told through Katherine’s journal entries after her marriage at 52 and the unanswered letters to her beloved brother, Orville, who was not pleased by the union. The story provides an interesting insight into the Orville family as well as life in This is an epistolary novel of historical fiction that looks at the life of Katherine Wright and her famous brothers, Wilbur and Orville. I know so little about the Wright Brothers that I never once considered that they may have had a sister. The story is told through Katherine’s journal entries after her marriage at 52 and the unanswered letters to her beloved brother, Orville, who was not pleased by the union. The story provides an interesting insight into the Orville family as well as life in the late 1920s. Overall this was a quick and easy read, but I would have loved to learn more about Katherine as a suffragette. Thank you to @HarperPerennil for the ARC.
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  • Jill
    January 1, 1970
    This book imagines the letters Katharine Wright wrote to her brother, Orville, after her marriage. Imaginative, fun reading.
  • Dubi
    January 1, 1970
    In my review of The Wright Brothers, my one criticism of David McCullough's excellent, illuminating history of the earliest days of aviation was this:"What I was left wanting in the end was more. With their story so strongly rooted as a family affair, I wanted a deeper account of what happened between Orville and Katharine after Wilbur's untimely death. I also found myself wanting to know more about their private lives."Two years later, what I wanted has been fulfilled by Patty Dann in her novel In my review of The Wright Brothers, my one criticism of David McCullough's excellent, illuminating history of the earliest days of aviation was this:"What I was left wanting in the end was more. With their story so strongly rooted as a family affair, I wanted a deeper account of what happened between Orville and Katharine after Wilbur's untimely death. I also found myself wanting to know more about their private lives."Two years later, what I wanted has been fulfilled by Patty Dann in her novel about The Wright Sister, a fact-based fictionalized imagining of what exactly happened between Orville and Katharine after Wilbur's untimely death. Well, it's known that Katharine's marriage after the age of 50 is what alienated Orv, who like Wil was a lifelong bachelor. But why -- that's the enduring mystery.Patty chooses an epistolary format to tell Katharine's story in the first person -- her marriage diary along with letters to Orv which he never answers or even acknowledges receiving. That's a courageous choice, a structure that has been overused, misused, abused even. But it's a perfect way to imagine what Katharine might have been thinking, especially in areas that an early 20th century woman would never otherwise commit to paper, such as her intimate relations with her husband. And also in her portrayal of Orv's mental health.It's also a courageous choice when you consider that a person would never resort to outright exposition of things lost past when writing in a diary or a letter. So Katharine's role in the development of the first airplane has to come piecemeal, through random comments -- even a subject as salient to the story as the tail rudder, the key innovation that earned the Wright Brothers their place in history over other inventors, is never fully explained except insofar as it is relevant to the state of affairs between K and Orv. So too her life outside of the invention of the Flyer, such as her work as a suffragist helping women earn the right to vote.In the spirit of full disclosure, I received an advance copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review, for which I thank them, the publisher, and the author. Furthermore, I must disclose that my wife has been a frequent student of Patty Dann, who teaches writing in NYC, and Patty provided developmental editing for my own novel, which was excellent and pivotal.One of Patty's recommendations was to excise all that fun stuff one loves to write about, like pop culture references, but which didn't actually advance the story or characters. That would have caused my novel to be really short, which was fine by Patty, who believes that novels should be short, as hers usually are. And that is the case with The Wright Sister, although it is not too short -- it is exactly the right length for the story Patty wants to tell.That could be a plus or a minus depending on your taste -- I am left somewhat fulfilled from my Wright Brothers desire for more, but there's still more that I want to know. But more than that, there are those references to the invention of the airplane that I understood because I recently read The Wright Brothers but which may vex readers not fully versed on the details. I recommend researching that history before or during reading of this book, even if it's just brief or cursory, because there was a lot more to their achievement than just the invention.Just as there is so much more to Katharine Wright than just "The Wright Sister" who (historically) remains too far in the shadow of her famous brothers. Bravo to Patty for shedding light (even if part of it is fictional) on one of the great supporting characters in the history of invention.
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  • Tina Rae
    January 1, 1970
    So I quite enjoyed this one! Tell any story through letters or journals or diary entries and I am immediately hooked! It makes for a quicker, more interesting read in my opinion. So I loved the journal entries and letters that made up this book.Sadly, I have not done a lot of research about the Wright family and didn't even know they had a sister. So that's what immediately drew me to this book. I loved learning about Katharine. She's a strong woman in her own right, a suffragette and honestly a So I quite enjoyed this one! Tell any story through letters or journals or diary entries and I am immediately hooked! It makes for a quicker, more interesting read in my opinion. So I loved the journal entries and letters that made up this book.Sadly, I have not done a lot of research about the Wright family and didn't even know they had a sister. So that's what immediately drew me to this book. I loved learning about Katharine. She's a strong woman in her own right, a suffragette and honestly a really interesting woman both for accomplishments and time period. So I really enjoyed learning more about her and this was a fascinating way to do it. Of course this is historical fiction but I really felt it gave her a strong, interesting voice and I appreciated that. I will definitely be doing more research on her in the future!My only problem with this book is that Katharine is the only character we interact with. The letters in this book are all written to Orville... but he never writes back. So while does talk extensively about her brothers and her husband, it just feels like something is missing? It's mentioned that she writes to someone else living in Orville's house (Carrie, maybe?) and I think this book would've been enhanced by seeing those letters. Just so there would've been some other interaction and would could've had some perspective on Katharine. It's not that I didn't like her but being in ONLY her head just made the story feel a little off.So other than that, I enjoyed this book a ton. It's a quick, fascinating read and I finished in under 24 hours. If you're a lover of historical fiction or just books written in letters, I definitely recommend!Thank you to Harper Perennial for sending a copy of this my way in exchange for an honest review!
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  • Melissa
    January 1, 1970
    3.5So much was packed into such a short book. I loved the letter/diary format. I feel like I learned so much from the snapshots this book provided. I loved that it was historical fiction from a female perspective. And I’m always terribly impressed with the way historical fiction writers are able to take bits of information and spin a tale that feels so real. I would definitely recommend this one if you enjoy historical fiction.I received an advanced copy in exchange for my review.
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  • Kathy (Bermudaonion)
    January 1, 1970
    This historical fiction novel about Katharine Wright, the sister of Orville and Wilbur is written in a somewhat epistolary manner. Interspersed with her letters to her brother Orville are journal entries, piecing together her life. I don’t read a lot of historical fiction, so I may not have been the right audience for this book but it was very slow for me. Not much took place and Katharine’s thoughts seemed to go to the same place over and over. It’s a short book but it took me a long time to re This historical fiction novel about Katharine Wright, the sister of Orville and Wilbur is written in a somewhat epistolary manner. Interspersed with her letters to her brother Orville are journal entries, piecing together her life. I don’t read a lot of historical fiction, so I may not have been the right audience for this book but it was very slow for me. Not much took place and Katharine’s thoughts seemed to go to the same place over and over. It’s a short book but it took me a long time to read it.
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  • Rebecca
    January 1, 1970
    After Katharine, sister of Orville and Wilbur Wright, marries at age 52, Orville shuns her. Obviously devastated by his decision, The Wright Sister is an epistolary novel of her imagined letters to him as well as her diary entries. Ever since living in Dayton, Ohio for six years, I have been fascinated by the Wright brothers and their inventions. I enjoyed this book but overall, I wanted less fluff and more substance about how she helped her brothers learn to fly and about her work as a suffrage After Katharine, sister of Orville and Wilbur Wright, marries at age 52, Orville shuns her. Obviously devastated by his decision, The Wright Sister is an epistolary novel of her imagined letters to him as well as her diary entries. Ever since living in Dayton, Ohio for six years, I have been fascinated by the Wright brothers and their inventions. I enjoyed this book but overall, I wanted less fluff and more substance about how she helped her brothers learn to fly and about her work as a suffragette. If you're looking for another story about the guilt felt by the Wright family after their invention was used by the military in WWI, then I would highly recommend Universe of Two (4 stars) by Stephen P. Kiernan which touches on the same type of guilt but in relation to the creation of the atomic bomb that wiped out Hiroshima and Nagasaki during WWII. 3.5 starsLocation: Kansas City, Missourihttps://www.christies.com/features/Th...I received an advance copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
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  • Diana Imparato
    January 1, 1970
    I received a free copy of this book from Harper Perennial in exchange for an honest review. We all know about the Wright brothers who flew the world's first plane. Few of us know about Katherine, their younger sister. After Wilbur passed away, she lived and took care of her brother Orville. Once she became engaged to their mutual friend Harry Haskell, Orville felt betrayed and the two grew farther apart.The book is half "marriage diary" and half a one way correspondence with Orville, or as she c I received a free copy of this book from Harper Perennial in exchange for an honest review. We all know about the Wright brothers who flew the world's first plane. Few of us know about Katherine, their younger sister. After Wilbur passed away, she lived and took care of her brother Orville. Once she became engaged to their mutual friend Harry Haskell, Orville felt betrayed and the two grew farther apart.The book is half "marriage diary" and half a one way correspondence with Orville, or as she calls him "Orv". Katherine is a really smart woman with a sassy personality. She is happy about her decision to marry Harry and wants to share every little detail with her brother. I knew from the description on the back of the book that it was going to be a one part correspondence but still got annoyed from time to time. Why is Orv not answering? How mad can he be to the sister whom he loves so much ? I wish we would have had even one letter from him, maybe apologize to Katherine for all the time they lost being apart. The "marriage diary" is the part I enjoined the most. Her personality really comes out. She is smart and she knows it. She is not afraid of telling things how they are. She is more worried about the substance than the appearance. Very confident in her own skin, with a really healthy sex life. Many would consider her a woman out of her time. The ending was sad, I really didn't see that coming. What gave me comfort was knowing that she had a happy fulfilling life. What made me sad was the thought that she died without seeing her brother one last time.
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  • Anita Kretzmann
    January 1, 1970
    I read this book in ARC form.Imaginary, perhaps, but also imaginative and well written. Katharine Wright’s voice is heard through letters to her brother Orville and in “wedding diary” entries, all written after her marriage, at fifty-two, to Harry Haskell, a widower and long-time friend of the Wright family.Having read and enjoyed David McCullough’s The Wright Brothers, I was already impressed with Katharine’s intelligence and accomplishments: graduating from Oberlin, teaching, working for women I read this book in ARC form.Imaginary, perhaps, but also imaginative and well written. Katharine Wright’s voice is heard through letters to her brother Orville and in “wedding diary” entries, all written after her marriage, at fifty-two, to Harry Haskell, a widower and long-time friend of the Wright family.Having read and enjoyed David McCullough’s The Wright Brothers, I was already impressed with Katharine’s intelligence and accomplishments: graduating from Oberlin, teaching, working for women’s suffrage, and supporting her brothers and father. Dann manages to bring Katharine to life as a woman one would love to accompany on what she and her Oberlin friends describe as a “walk and talk.”Dann has nothing good to say about their father, Bishop Milton Wright, and I wonder how she came by her opinion. Not doubting it, necessarily, I just hope the final edition of her novel will have some notes in it.
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  • Janilyn Kocher
    January 1, 1970
    The Wright Sister was a decent read. Katharine Wright keeps writing letters to her brother, Orville, that go unanswered. She also keeps a diary that is mostly about her brother, but it reveals snippets of her past. I found this book to be a strange, sad read. Her whole life was wrapped in her brothers. Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for the early read in exchange for my honest review.
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  • BOOKLOVER10
    January 1, 1970
    Patty Dann, in "The Wright Sister," explores Katharine Wright's thoughts and emotions after marrying for the first time at the age of fifty-two. Having spent decades caring for her family, assisting her brothers (Orville and Wilbur Wright), teaching Latin, and traveling, Katharine and Harry Haskell, who was a widower, journalist, and friend of the family, wed on November 20, 1926. Katharine tells her story through diary entries and the many unanswered letters that she wrote to Orville. Wilbur ha Patty Dann, in "The Wright Sister," explores Katharine Wright's thoughts and emotions after marrying for the first time at the age of fifty-two. Having spent decades caring for her family, assisting her brothers (Orville and Wilbur Wright), teaching Latin, and traveling, Katharine and Harry Haskell, who was a widower, journalist, and friend of the family, wed on November 20, 1926. Katharine tells her story through diary entries and the many unanswered letters that she wrote to Orville. Wilbur had already died, and Orville remained in Dayton, Ohio, with his long-time housekeeper. Orv, as Katharine called him, stopped speaking to his only sister when she became Mrs. Haskell and moved six hundred miles away to Kansas City, Missouri. Dann depicts Orville as an eccentric, immature, and needy person who was outraged at Katharine for leaving him.In her correspondence and journal, Katharine comes across as forthcoming, eloquent, witty, and caring. Her delight at becoming Mrs. Haskell is marred by the irrational guilt that she feels for abandoning Orv. Katharine vividly remembers—with longing, anger, and a great deal of pain—the good and bad times that she and her brothers shared. Although she was a college graduate and an activist who fought for women's rights, Katharine felt that she could have done so much more with her life. Sadly, her father, the Reverend Wright, belittled her and undermined her self-confidence. She says, regarding the reverend's condescension towards her, "I was an educated servant to him."In this concise, lively, and enchanting novel, Dann offers us glimpses into the mind of an intelligent, compassionate, and creative woman who was overshadowed by the men in her life. Although she received her share of attention after the invention of the airplane, Katharine spent far too much time catering to needs of others. Her letters to Orville are heartrending, poignant, and intimate. Unlike Orv, she was a good-hearted and forgiving person who tried to rise above pettiness. Had Katharine not been constrained by society's expectations and her devotion to those she loved, what might she have achieved in her own right?
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  • Courtney
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 3.5 starsI knew very little about the Wright Brothers beyond their historic 1903 flight prior to picking up this book, so I was intrigued to learn that they not only had a sister, Katharine, but that she actually was famous by association. And while her perspective is conveyed in this epistolary format, it still packs a punch and tells us a lot about her and the dynamics of the famil I received an ARC from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 3.5 starsI knew very little about the Wright Brothers beyond their historic 1903 flight prior to picking up this book, so I was intrigued to learn that they not only had a sister, Katharine, but that she actually was famous by association. And while her perspective is conveyed in this epistolary format, it still packs a punch and tells us a lot about her and the dynamics of the family both prior to the opening of the book and at the present time the narrative is taking place, with Katharine and Orville still feeling the sense of loss after Wilbur’s death, but also the sense that Orville felt betrayed by Katharine getting married, when they had promised each other they wouldn’t. It’s especially apparent as her letters continue to go unanswered. It also conveys that Katharine was intelligent in her own right. She attended Oberlin College, one of the few coed colleges at the time, in the 1890s, at a time when marriage and children was still the expected life for women, and she actually did not marry until she was fifty-two years old, as noted in the beginning of the novel. Yet,at times, the narrative focused a bit too much on defining her through her brothers and their fractured relationship. There was mention of her contributions to their work, and while it would still have been in connection to them, it would have at least shown her more intellectual side, as opposed to her more domestic-oriented last years. They make a fine capstone to her story, especially the emotional ending, but I would like to have seen more of the earlier events alluded to. This is still a fairly solid book that introduced me to a bit more about the Wright family than I knew previously. If you are interested in the Wright Brothers or love historical fiction about lesser known historical women, I encourage you to pick this one up.
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  • Sofia
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you Harper Perennial for providing a copy for an honest review!I was excited to read this book based on Katherine Wright, the sister of the famous flying Wright brothers, as she finally marries in her older age. I was not familiar with the Wright family story besides them being celebrated for being the first to fly and was intrigued to find out more about this mysterious sister. The story is told through her marriage diary and letters to Orville, her estranged brother. I found her a well t Thank you Harper Perennial for providing a copy for an honest review!I was excited to read this book based on Katherine Wright, the sister of the famous flying Wright brothers, as she finally marries in her older age. I was not familiar with the Wright family story besides them being celebrated for being the first to fly and was intrigued to find out more about this mysterious sister. The story is told through her marriage diary and letters to Orville, her estranged brother. I found her a well thought out character who was forward thinking but at the same time dwelling in the past. She is the heart of the story since we only see her point of view and inner thoughts. Through her letters we feel her grief and joy as she recounts her history and new marriage life. We see her struggles with the changing times and being a 2nd wife but mostly her heartbreak of not having contact with her beloved brother who she tries to reconnect with over and over. He has abandoned her after she became married. Seeing her repeated attempts were a bit frustrating and quite sad but I think that's the point because that's what she would have felt. In the end I enjoyed reading about Katherine but found this short novel a bit too quiet for me. I found some of the scenes repetitive and without emotion. The true gift of this story is piquing your interest in Katherine and the history she helped make along with her brothers. I guarantee you will google her name, it's truly a fascinating story and I loved how the author imagined her inner turmoil. The ending was emotional and a beautiful way to imagine how events happened. contains: single POV, mentions of sex, historical events
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  • Libriamo3116
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you Harper Perennial for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.Katharine Wright has lived with her brother Orville since their brother Wilbur passed away. She cares deeply for her remaining brother, and doesn't want him to shrink from life after his successes in flight. When she marries Harry Haskell, a mutual friend, Orville turns bitter and angry with Katharine, and their relationship sours as her marriage soars. Katharine still loves her brother, so Thank you Harper Perennial for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.Katharine Wright has lived with her brother Orville since their brother Wilbur passed away. She cares deeply for her remaining brother, and doesn't want him to shrink from life after his successes in flight. When she marries Harry Haskell, a mutual friend, Orville turns bitter and angry with Katharine, and their relationship sours as her marriage soars. Katharine still loves her brother, so despite his shunning, she writes to him concerning her life in the hope that he may read and know about her. She knows that he may well be burning her correspondence, but she continues to share her joys and failures as she wends her way through life as a suffragette, a married woman, and as his sister.⁣⁣I really like epistolary novels, and The Wright Sister is told as entries from Katharine Wright's marriage diary, and letters to Orville. This structure worked fairly well, and I appreciated that Katharine's life was different than the usual. She went to Oberlin college, became married after the age of fifty, and was an active suffragette. Her love of Orville is apparent throughout, and it hurt knowing that she wanted to reconcile, but her letters remained unanswered. While some liberties with the past have been taken, I feel like this is a decent exploration of Katharine's later life, though I would have liked more detail about her activism and her contributions to her brothers' work. If you're interested in the origins of flight, enjoy epistolaries, or are interested in the 1920's, The Wright Sister may be for you.⁣
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  • Susan
    January 1, 1970
    This novel is a thoroughly captivating exposition of the behind-the-scenes relationship between one of the landmark figures of early 20th-century America, Orville Wright, and his largely forgotten, but very enlightened and expressive, sister Katharine (who turned out, by her telling, at least, to have functioned as the anonymous keystone to the success of her brothers' invention, the airplane), through alternating letters to the reclusive "Orv"--all unanswered, so it is only her side of the rela This novel is a thoroughly captivating exposition of the behind-the-scenes relationship between one of the landmark figures of early 20th-century America, Orville Wright, and his largely forgotten, but very enlightened and expressive, sister Katharine (who turned out, by her telling, at least, to have functioned as the anonymous keystone to the success of her brothers' invention, the airplane), through alternating letters to the reclusive "Orv"--all unanswered, so it is only her side of the relationship we come to understand--and successive pages from her frank-for-her-time "marriage diary," steadfastly kept over the course of her brief midlife marriage (cut short by her untimely early death). It becomes obvious that Orville had some serious socio-emotional challenges, which give Katharine's reflections on her brother's silent treatment towards her an almost creepy vibe at times. This is why I enjoyed reading her canny reflections on her own marriage and the fate of women of her era in general more than the "Dear Orv" letters, except as windows on the life and times of the Wright clan. I would have liked to see a few pages of notes at book's end, delineating which aspects of Katharine's and Orville's personalities and relationship were factual, and which were the stuff of fiction, insofar as this could be determined from such research materials as authors of historical biographical fiction are wont to consult before putting pen to paper. (Thankfully, the mostly doting domestic married life of Katharine and her journalist husband came across as authentic--she certainly deserved some earthly recompense from at least one of the men she spent her life devoted to!)
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  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to @harperperennial for this gifted copy of The Wright Sister by Patty Dunn!⁣⁣This book comes out on Tuesday, August 18th. ⁣⁣I didn't know much about The Wright Brothers besides the basics but I was definitely looking up info on them as I was reading this. One of these days I'll make it to The Dayton Aviation Heritage NHP or Kitty Hawk. They are 2 of the closer National Park units that I haven't been to yet. ⁣⁣This book is historical fiction and set up in diary and letter format in the la Thanks to @harperperennial for this gifted copy of The Wright Sister by Patty Dunn!⁣⁣This book comes out on Tuesday, August 18th. ⁣⁣I didn't know much about The Wright Brothers besides the basics but I was definitely looking up info on them as I was reading this. One of these days I'll make it to The Dayton Aviation Heritage NHP or Kitty Hawk. They are 2 of the closer National Park units that I haven't been to yet. ⁣⁣This book is historical fiction and set up in diary and letter format in the late 1920s as Katharine Wright is writing letters to her brother Orville, who after her marriage at age 52 stopped speaking to her. I found it a little slow in spots but it was a quick read at only 200 pages. ⁣⁣While there were parts that were interesting, I would have loved to have more on her when she was younger, but this really just focused on her from 1926 to 1929. I kept looking up more on her and Katharine was pretty fascinating! Also at the end in the author's note, she says she did little research and didn't use any letters or visit any of the places. As someone who loves historical fiction, especially based on real people as the primary character I expect research so I was a little disappointed there. So this is heavy on the fiction side of historical fiction... ⁣⁣Thanks again to the publisher for sending me a copy! ⁣
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  • Rachel
    January 1, 1970
    I wanted to like this - I really did - but finishing was a struggle, even though it was quite short. I almost gave up so many times, since at no point did I feel any real drive to continue reading.I read (and enjoy!) a lot of historical fiction, but something about this just didn't work for me. Perhaps it was the completely one-sided presentation, consisting only of letters and diary entries by the same person. Katharine may have had an interesting history before her marriage, but the reader's e I wanted to like this - I really did - but finishing was a struggle, even though it was quite short. I almost gave up so many times, since at no point did I feel any real drive to continue reading.I read (and enjoy!) a lot of historical fiction, but something about this just didn't work for me. Perhaps it was the completely one-sided presentation, consisting only of letters and diary entries by the same person. Katharine may have had an interesting history before her marriage, but the reader's exposure to it was severely limited by her narrow lens. Clumsy exposition irked me as well - would you really write "our brother, Lorin" in a letter to your brother? Or bother to note exact years in your diary? These details seemed contradictory to the format, and only served to break the illusion of archival papers.I understand what the author was trying to do: provide an intimate, introspective portrait of a woman finding herself and her place in the world beyond her famous family. And there were certainly some good bits to be found, but for me they were too few to justify the repetitious and even dull text surrounding them.Also, from a purely aesthetic point of view, the fonts selected for printing - a cramped italic and a not-quite-standard serif - made this extra-difficult to read, and only added to my frustration.
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  • Pamela
    January 1, 1970
    There are too many instances of a smart, intelligent woman being lost to history because the men in her life refused to give her credit where credit was due. Just such a woman is Katherine Wright, sister to Wilbur and Orville Wright. Her contributions to the famous flight at Kitty Hawk in 1903 were all but untold. Patty Dann, using fictional diary entries and letters, tells the story of an extraordinary woman whose brother stopped speaking to her because she had the gall to get married instead o There are too many instances of a smart, intelligent woman being lost to history because the men in her life refused to give her credit where credit was due. Just such a woman is Katherine Wright, sister to Wilbur and Orville Wright. Her contributions to the famous flight at Kitty Hawk in 1903 were all but untold. Patty Dann, using fictional diary entries and letters, tells the story of an extraordinary woman whose brother stopped speaking to her because she had the gall to get married instead of spending the rest of her life taking care of him as she had for the first 52 years of her life. In Dann’s book, Katherine writes to Orville about her new life, etc., but never hears back from her brother. She also keeps a diary where she tells of her new life as a second wife to a family friend Harry Haskell.This is a fast, easy read. Dann keeps us on track with her chapter headings telling where and when the chapter is set. The author brings Katherine to life as she adjusts to life in the unfamiliar society of Kansas City and pursues her interests. If you love historical novels set in the early years of the twentieth century, this book needs to be at the top of your to-be-read list.My thanks to Harper and Edelweiss for an eARC.
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  • Rachel Bielstein
    January 1, 1970
    This novel was one of those easy reads that doesn't require a lot of attentiveness, yet it holds little bursts of heart and emotion that I think will touch you when you least expect it. And, for a book that is basically made up of diary entries and letters, it flowed together smoothly. I will admit that I didn't know much about Katharine Wright, so I purposely didn't look up her history until I finished this book. Even though this was fictional, I didn't want it to be spoiled by the true element This novel was one of those easy reads that doesn't require a lot of attentiveness, yet it holds little bursts of heart and emotion that I think will touch you when you least expect it. And, for a book that is basically made up of diary entries and letters, it flowed together smoothly. I will admit that I didn't know much about Katharine Wright, so I purposely didn't look up her history until I finished this book. Even though this was fictional, I didn't want it to be spoiled by the true elements of Katharine's life that I knew the author, Patty Dann, would include (and she did). The only reason I marked this review as one with spoilers is because I want to say that the ending is perfect for me. Sad and bittersweet for sure, but it gave me such a beautiful sense of closure that I needed after reading about Katharine's heartache! Especially regarding the silent treatment Orville gave her for years. Their relationship captures somethings I think are so important - the willingness to hold on to bonds you care about even through trials, and to make amends before it's too late. And even though these statements don't really say how the book ended, I think someone could easily figure out what I mean once they recognize the major conflict in this story!
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  • Kelsey Bollinger
    January 1, 1970
    DNF @ 41%I really wanted to like this book but after taking over 4 days to only read less than 100 pages I finally just DNFed. I have not read anything about Katherine Wright so I was excited to read about this woman who was such an amazing feminist. However, this book is so heavily character driven there is no plot. It is told entirely in journal entries and letters to her brother Orville after her marriage at 52. This caused a rift between the siblings which is why she is writing the letters. DNF @ 41%I really wanted to like this book but after taking over 4 days to only read less than 100 pages I finally just DNFed. I have not read anything about Katherine Wright so I was excited to read about this woman who was such an amazing feminist. However, this book is so heavily character driven there is no plot. It is told entirely in journal entries and letters to her brother Orville after her marriage at 52. This caused a rift between the siblings which is why she is writing the letters. She talks about the past but with such detachment that I truly did not care what was happening. I was going to keep going since I thought things might pick up in the "climax" but after reading other reviews in which it was said the book gets slower I decided to put it down.If you love character driven books or books about strong woman you might love this one. It is also only a little over 200 pages so it would be a quick read.Thank you Netgalley and Harper Perennial for the advanced copy in exchange for the honest review.
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  • Cheryl
    January 1, 1970
    I am familiar with The Wright Brothers but not really familiar with Katharine. This book is told through a series of letters by Katharine to her brother, Orville. The Wright Brothers are what helped me with my inspiration in aviation.After reading this book, I found another of the Wrights that I did like. Katharine was a good voice of this book. The further I got into the book; the more connected I became towards her. Although, in this case, I was turned off by Orville. Ok, so I understand he wa I am familiar with The Wright Brothers but not really familiar with Katharine. This book is told through a series of letters by Katharine to her brother, Orville. The Wright Brothers are what helped me with my inspiration in aviation.After reading this book, I found another of the Wrights that I did like. Katharine was a good voice of this book. The further I got into the book; the more connected I became towards her. Although, in this case, I was turned off by Orville. Ok, so I understand he was hurt by his sister marrying his best friend but I felt like he carried the grudge on too long. In fact, he acted like a child. If not for his sister, he really would be lost. While, I did enjoy reading this book; I found it to read both fast and slow. Fast because the chapters were short and the overall page count of this book is on the shorter length. Slow because there was not a lot happening. It was really one sided...Katharine's. Overall, I did find this book to still be an enjoyable read.
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  • Holly
    January 1, 1970
    High expectations for this epistolary novel but the author can’t seem to find a way to tell Katherine’s story that doesn’t make her seem like a vapid teenager, even though she is a mature woman in her 50s who deserves her place in history. Instead, the book was very light, even non-existent on the historical side. And the style removes the reader from what (very) little plot there is. The “marriage diary,” often written while she is naked in the tub (?!), seems completely forced, filled with nud High expectations for this epistolary novel but the author can’t seem to find a way to tell Katherine’s story that doesn’t make her seem like a vapid teenager, even though she is a mature woman in her 50s who deserves her place in history. Instead, the book was very light, even non-existent on the historical side. And the style removes the reader from what (very) little plot there is. The “marriage diary,” often written while she is naked in the tub (?!), seems completely forced, filled with nudge nudge wink winks to her sex life. The increasingly desperate and repetitive letters to Orville are completely bland. Then there are lines like, “One of my favorite things at home was to be out in the yard while the boys were working on their contraptions.” Lots of references to their “nifty” inventions and the “fiddling” they did, but no insight whatsoever into what may have been her motivations or her actual relationships. Not everyone’s life merits a novel, but if you are going to try, at least respect your subject by bothering to do some research. Really a terrible book.
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