The Girls Paperback – 11 Jan 2007
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This unusual novel is so satisfying...a graceful meditation on partnership identity and enduring love (The TIMES)
An immensely readable novel, compelling and convincing. The Girls is an enchanting blend of the extraordinary and the everyday (New Statesman)
Perfectly pitched... an utterly heartwarming tale, without any traces of mawkishness. Anyone with a sister will relate to this (Book of the Month - Marie Claire)
Beautifully written and deeply moving, it's unforgettable (IMAGE MAGAZINE)
I promise: you will never forget this extraordinary story. Love, connection, loyalty, raw humanity and much more are the ingredients of this most unusual novel. Lori Lansens' blend of tragedy and comedy will touch you deeply' Isabel AllendeSee all Product description
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Top customer reviews
Rose and Ruby Darlen are joined at the tops of their heads. After their birth on the night of a freak tornado, they are adopted by Lovey, the nurse who delivered them, and Stash, her Slovakian husband.
As they grow up in the Canadian province of Ontario, we follow the ups and downs of their lives as narrated by both sisters, though mainly by Rose who decides to write her autobiography.
The sisters have distinct personalities, likes and dislikes, and their life is often a compromise.
The book is full of woderful characters, typical of small town life and is quite simply a delight to read.
I have only one complaint about this book and that relates to the cover design which shows the legs of two children dangling in water. As ruby had withered legs and clubbed feet that did not reach the ground, the illustration is totally unrelated to the book.
I have a copy of Ms Lansen's previous book, 'Rush Home Road', on my shelf and I will definately be reading that some time soon.
While the book is mostly narrated by Rose, at times Ruby takes over. The use of different typefaces for each is a clever device that makes it clear who is writing at any one time. Lansens makes skillful use of the intertwined narrative to tell opposite sides of a story or to advance the plot. Ruby is the chatty one and she blurts out parts of the story that Rose had been withholding, but (with hindsight) you can see that there were little clues about. Also, at times they differ on the way that they remember something happening, as people do.
Not a lot happens in the novel and I can understand the reviewers who complain that it was slow going. A large part is the back story of their adoptive parents and at times I wanted to move the action back to the twins. It's not one of those fast-paced books that you can't put down. However as it builds, it draws you in and you realise how much you care about Rose, Ruby, Uncle Stash, Aunt Lovey and all the other characters who people this book so richly. The last few chapters are very moving and the end had me in tears.
The Girls is a very good book that I will remember for a long time. It's the kind of book that has the power to change how you see the world a little bit - and that's a pretty powerful thing for a novel to achieve.
Conjoined at the head, Rose and Ruby have a symbiotic relationship. Yet, for all their symbiosis, they are two very different and unique individuals. When Rose, who has a penchant for writing, decides to write her memoir, Ruby decides to add her two cents and write some chapters herself. This book is the story of their lives.
Written as two parallel stories, the author makes the voice of each twin distinct. Each of their narratives is redolent of the personality and world view of the twin writing the chapter. This is difficult to do, and the author succeeds brilliantly. This is certainly a book that will keep the reader turning the pages, At times heartbreakingly poignant, the book is infused with humor and wit, as well as a strong reminder that life is what one makes of it. Bravo!
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