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ORIGINAL SINS, Alther's second novel, begins like KINFLICKS in a small town in Tennessee, but instead of recounting the life and loves of one character, this broad-canvas book follows five characters from childhood into adulthood. They called themselves "The Five" and spent their childhoods trading dreams in the branches of the Castle Tree. They were convinced that they were special -- and they were, even though their dreams did not work out quite as they had hoped they would. Once they enter high school, the ties that bind them together begin to dissolve. And what happens to them through twenty years of growing up is just about everything they had and had not dreamed of. In ORIGINAL SINS, Alther brings to life not only the passions of her characters, but the fantasies and follies of an entire generation. LIBRARY JOURNAL, in praising the novel, notes that Lisa Alther "tackles big topics and handles them deftly; the novel is in turn a moving evocation of childhood, a send-up of 1960s high school life, a satire on Southern rednecks and Northern liberals, and, fundamentally, a lyric, ironic, bittersweet tale of the South." TIME magazine called the book "an old-fashioned novel in the best sense of the term. It propels singular, interesting characters through a panoramic plot."

"Alther has hooked us with sheer good writing...a sharp eye for detail...an acute ear...and a delightful talent for confronting human idiocy." -- Susan Isaacs

"Alther triumphantly surpasses her splendid first novel, KINFLICKS, with this rueful, devastatingly clear-eyed look at Southern life....hilarious and heartbreaking by turns." --COSMOPOLITAN