by Sukey HowardMarch 2003
A portrait of sisters' corresponding lives
<B>A portrait of sisters' corresponding lives</B> In 1934, Nora left the drab, insular Ontario village she was born in to seek her fortune in New York City as a radio actress. Her older sister, Clara, stayed at home. With the candor of restrained memoir, gifted Canadian author Richard B. Wright evokes the next four years of their lives through the letters they exchanged and Clara's intimate diary in <B>Clara Callan</B>. Wright etches these portraits with deft strokes Nora, pretty and effervescent, Clara, guarded and contemplative. But both sisters stumbled on the social strictures of that "low, dishonest decade," as they yearned for love and companionship. Nora succeeded in her minor career, fluttering from man to man; Clara fell into an unexpected affair with a married man and her unassuming life was charged forever with turbulence and stigma. Anne Twomey and Joanna Adler read in alternating voices that underscore this quietly compelling story.