Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Girls by Lori Lansens

I didn't think such a small What are you reading Monday's? entry would get the attention of so many people, but it did. It seems most of you have never heard of this fabulous book (and I do mean fabulous!). I hadn't heard of it either but I'm so glad it found it's way to me.
Even reading the back cover didn't give me insight as to the plot of this story. I thought I was getting myself into another round of chick lit based on the cover, boy was I wrong!
The story is written mostly from the perspective of Rose Darlen, a (fictional) craniopagus conjoined twin. (There are small chapters written from the perspective of her twin, Ruby interspersed without.). Rose has set out to write the story of her life.
To be honest I really had not given the lives of conjoined twins much thought before. Like many others I was riveted to CNN when they were separating Mohamed and Ahmed Ibrahim in 2003 (shortly after I made myself stop watching CNN as I got caught up in the story but disillusioned with the lack of follow up once the surgery was successful). I've heard tell of Chang and Eng Bunker and wondered how their married lives worked (they fathered 21 children between the 2 of them). But that was about it really.
This story fascinated me. I couldn't put it down and it was the cause of some very late nights (reading until my eyes literally wouldn't stay open and focused anymore). It isn't just that the characters are conjoined, it is also that the book is very, very well written. The girls have extremely distinct voices (just as separate people would). And that is something that had me thinking. Of course conjoined twins are separate people, they just can't separate from each other. But they are individuals all the same.
If you are looking for a wonderful read, I highly recommend this book. I loved it!

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