Date of Award
Master of Fine Arts in Writing
This story is a first person true account of love and loss between two sisters. The sisters are separated by seven years and other siblings, yet the bond formed in childhood is strengthened through the trials and tribulations of life. When the older sibling learns that she has terminal cancer she wants her sister by her side.
From the perspective of the younger sister, the story weaves from past to present, back and forth, as each substantial scene unfolds. Through her eyes, the younger sibling sheds light on the early years and the reader learns what it was like growing up in the modest home where the relationship between the sisters was forged.
As they move through the course of the illness, the experience of the most intimate of moments is shared with the readers. At the heart of the story the reader is offered snippets of journal entries inspired by the ill sister as communication with her friends and loved ones. The journal entries and her responses provide insight into her character from others points of view.
When she is ultimately claimed by death, the writer begins the task of ensuring her sister's wishes are honored while contemplating how this unwelcomed change has forced her to move from understudy to main character.
Harris, Linda Denise, "The Understudy" (2010). Theses. 761.
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