Thursday, 12 July 2012
The Girls by Lori Lansens review
In twent-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.
The Cover: When I first saw this cover, it told me a lot about the book before I had read the blurb. Really, the essence of the story is the sister relationship of the two narrators and the image of two pairs of bare feet dangling into water really encapsulates that relationship. The cover also ties in to the setting, although not that significantly, I don't think.
The Characters: Rose longs to be a writer, and her passion for books leapt of the page. It was so realistic, and the way she writes is the way a budding writer would. She also leaves the revealing of massive secrets and plot points to her sister, Ruby, who only writes a few chapters. I think this really shows how much Rose relies on Ruby, even though it's often portrayed as the other way round in the book. Ruby is hilarious. I love her voice in the novel. She doesn't take it as seriously as Rose does, she has digs at Rose's expense but she's so loving towards her, the digs don't really matter.The other two characters I love in this book are Aunt Lovey and Uncle Stash. I think that Lansens really hit the nail on the head when creating such loving parents.
The Setting: The only part of the book I can fault, although I'm not sure it's due to Lansens writing. I had absolutely no idea where this was set until about page 200, but that's probably because I'm not that good at geography. The description and imagery of the farmhouse and the bridge over the creek was superb though.
The Overalll Story: Beautiful and heartbreaking. The writing itself is elegant and the relationship between the two girls is so real and just brilliant. You find out about loads of secrets and little funny mishaps as you are carried along their story, but their accounts of their past runs parallel to their present life and present struggles, which really puts it all into perspective, like you have inhabited their heads and you're watching their memories roll by. Also, the ending made me cry. Just saying.
I give this book a 5 out of 5.