62 pages
ISBN 0-88754-553-X
DDC C812'.54




Reviewed by Nanette Morton

Nanette Morton teaches English at McMaster University.


Sistahs is a brief ensemble piece about reconciliation and bonding
between a group of women of color. Sandra is a Trinidadian-born history
professor who “carr[ies] my story in my womb”—a statement that
reveals the complexity of her experiences as a woman, a mother, a lover,
and a survivor of uterine cancer. Finally eschewing the poisonous
chemotherapy that destroys even as it cures, Sandra gathers her friends
and family to create a soup “made with love” that will nourish,
sustain, and heal them all. The soup makers include Sandra’s daughter,
Assata; her lover, Dehlia; her half-sister, Reah; and her friend
Ceriese. Each woman has been told to bring something to add to the pot,
which becomes, in the words of Djanet Sears’s preface, “the
psycho-physical and metaphorical container for an epicurean balm.”

One of the wounds Sandra is trying to heal is the rift between herself
and her daughter, Assata, who in the beginning wears a “walk
woman”—a symbol of the inability of Sandra and Assata to connect.

The conflict between these two characters is particularly well
developed. Other conflicts, however, are merely sketched out. The
conflict between Sandra and her half-sister is referred to but never
really developed, while the suggested class differences between Sandra
and her lover imply a potential conflict that never gets explored or
resolved. Still, the play is an interesting one, worth seeing in


Bailey, Maxine, and Sharon M. Lewis., “Sistahs,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 19, 2024,