Wednesday, October 14, 2009

it's all a matter of perspective

The Girls by Lori Lansens
Rating: 4.5 stars (out of 5)
Genre: fiction
Review: Imagine writing a book with two characters that must inevitably share every experience, and yet giving each character a unique and vivid perspective. That is what Lansens has done with her novel of conjoined twins Ruby and Rose, the oldest surviving (they are approaching their 30th birthday) craniopagus (joined at the head) twins.

Lansens demonstrates that her twins have different perspectives on life by having them by joined such that they face at angles to each other (as Rose says, "I have never looked into my sister's eyes."), a neat literary trick. And of course they sometimes remember the same events differently as any two people, real or imagined, will. In some ways, Lansens ability to create two such different characters is not very remarkable, since most authors do it in every book. But we must return to the fact that Lansens' characters are not the same as any other two characters in a different book. And yet, they are. And it is Lansens ability to make them so normal, and so real, to her readers that is just a part of what makes this book so good.

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