Many books have attempted to tackle the complex theme of sibling connection. But rather than look at the minutiae of these relationships, journalist Susan Scarf Merrell examines the big issues that all siblings wrestle with in their own unique ways *in particular the Three Cs: Competition, Cooperation, and Comparison. What she discovered was that no matter what kind of relationship we now have with our siblings *close or distant, loving or hostile *our histories with them exert a profound effect on our current relationship with lovers, friends, coworkers, and our own children. Drawing on the most current research; the work of psychologists, psychiatrists, and family experts; and stories from brothers and sisters themselves, Merrell illustrates that through siblings, we come to know both the worst and the very best that lurks within each of us.

A fascinating and informative read.
— The Boston Globe
Susan Merrell brilliantly illuminates how the peculiar mix of biology, history, and intimacy makes our attachments to siblings so essential to knowing ourselves.
— Mary Kay Blakely, Author of American Mom
Merrell probes the complex unions that exist between siblings and the long-term effect of these relationships on the adult psyche. By examining nine sets of siblings, Merrell is able to explore such intriguing questions as how two or more children can grow up in the same environment and yet perceive their common experiences so very differently. Among the more interesting phenomena that Merrell analyzes is the ability of an adult sibling to project onto a brother or sister those negative qualities the first sibling possesses. As each set is studied, a wide range of attachments and disconnections is revealed, from the two sisters who—because they grew up in a rather odd family situation—came to depend completely upon each other in childhood and beyond, to a set of three where one always felt the outsider, rejected by the other two. A perceptive look at children and why they develop into the adults they become.
— Brian McCombie, Booklist
A RICH SOURCE OF FASCINATING MATERIAL about the complex realities of siblinghood and a valuable commentary on the impact that these little-studied relationships have upon our lives.
— The New Republic