Meryll and Leslie (left to right) posing for a studio photo and pretending to be perfect sisters. The scenario on this page better captures real life.
Time: 1961. As five-year-old Leslie rounds the curve taking the stairs two at a time shrieking in pursuit of the cats, ten-year-old Meryll opens the door, book in hand, baring her weapon - sharp fingernails - hissing "you're obnoxious." Our dad entering the scene philosophized. “When you grow up, you will be best friends.” Both girls are mystified; Leslie by the concept of growing up and Meryll by the idea of being friends with this misfit. Time: 2013. It may have taken a few decades, but after writing this book about sister-friends, two sisters have truly become friends.
Descended from Russian Jews who fled in 1912 and 1913, the sister-authors both developed a passionate interest in Russian Studies and family history growing up in the safety of suburban Columbus, Ohio. As they interviewed the subjects and wrote this book, the thought that “this could have been us living in the USSR,” hovered over their heads. Writing the book together forged a sister-friendship that grew with each argument and rewrite. Meeting Vera and Alisa in St. Petersburg and Stockholm in September 2011 and walking through their lives with them was a unique journey into their friendship and deepened the authors’ connection to the women and to each other.
Both sisters share a brother, Chuck, who is likely riding his horse right now patrolling Jack London Park in Sonoma County. If you go there, say hello.