The Girls - A Book Review
The Girls by Lori Lansens, Published by Virago, ISBN: 9781844083664, Paperback, RRP: $24.99
I loved, loved, loved! this book. I know I say it a lot (I pick pretty good reads, I must say! ;) but I really did love this. So much so I just had to write a blog post as soon as I finished it on Friday night! I'd say this book could def be a contender for inclusion when I revise my Top 10 Fav Books in May!
What B.o.B says -
In twenty-nine years, Rose Darlen has never spent a moment apart from her twin sister Ruby. She has never gone for a solitary walk or had a private conversation. Yet, in all that time, she has never once looked into Ruby's eyes. Joined at the head, 'The Girls' ( as they are known in their small town) attempt to lead a normal life, but can't help being extraordinary. Now, almost thirty, Rose and Ruby are on the verge of becoming the oldest living craniopagus twins in history, but they are remarkable for a lot more than their unusual sisterly bond.
These girls really are extraordinary.
I found this book on the Staff Picks shelves at Dymocks in Rouse Hill. I always check out the staff picks in bookstores as they are always a good way to find new reads. The back of the book caught my attention and I thought it sounded different to anything else I'd ever read.
Have you ever bought a book, expecting it to be a certain way and found it to be so different, but so much more than you could have imagined? This was one of those books.
Rose and Ruby were born joined at the head, hence being craniopagus twins. The book is written like a memoir, even though it is fiction and it works really well in the first person. Rose decides she wants to chronicle hers and her sisters lives. As you can imagine, it's fascinating reading about how they learned to live while joined at the head. Rose has to carry Ruby around as Ruby is born with club feet and short legs that don't reach the ground, whereas Rose is realtivley ok. Every now and then Ruby contributes chapters to their story, and these are always a revelation!
However, the real story here is how Rose and Ruby have navigated life knowing how different they are and facing the fear and predjudice people hold towards those who are different. There is a particulalry shocking part that takes place about part way through the book and it's one of those things that just makes you shake your head. (Actually there were a couple of shocking parts but I don't want to give anything away so i can't clarify which one I mean for you here)
The secondary story of the Girls adoptive parents' romance, and the tragic story of their neighbour, are woven perfectly into the fabric of the girls lives and are so moving they almost become characters of their own.
If you love fiction that reads like a memoir, with strong female characters, then you will love this book. I couldn't reccommend it more, and will telling everyone I know to read it!
Two BIG Thumbs Up!