As an only child, Janet longs for a sister. In Kindergarten she meets Sophie, also an only child but very unlike herself. As is often the case, opposites attract. Janet and Sophie become inseparable.
Due to Sophie’s tragic home life and unavailable parents, she spends much of her childhood in Janet’s home. There they are dubbed “The Bufflehead Sisters” by Janet’s bird watching father. He teaches them about life and nature, while Janet’s mother is forced to take on the responsibility of Sophie’s morals and values, as well as Janet’s.
As the girls grow, they continue in opposite directions, though remaining as close as sisters. Janet tries to make healthy choices, while Sophie goes through one disastrous situation after another.
Finally reaching adulthood, Janet finds out things about Sophie, including secrets she long kept hidden from Janet. These secrets change everything Janet thought she knew about Sophie, their friendship, their “sisterhood”, and their lives both together and apart.
I was totally absorbed in this unique coming of age novel. At turns funny and heartbreaking, Bufflehead Sisters will touch you and affect you.