Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Twins by Saskia Sarginson

The Twins is a story about Viola and Issy, a pair of "inseparable" twins that were torn apart by an "innocent mistake" (to quote the blurb). The novel starts with them in their twenties, as Issy tries to hold it all together and Viola is in the hospital. It then jumps between the past and the present as the book slowly reveals what this horrendous mistake worse.

Personally, I found this book confusing. I understand that they wanted to reveal the story behind the deep dark secret a little by little, but it ended up feeling like there wasn't much of a story. Plus, the secret wasn't that much of a deep dark secret (although I guess I was expecting something like a Sarah Rayne book when I was thinking 'deep dark secret')

I think the book should have just focused on one aspect. Either the sister's relationship or the present or the past. Right now, the book had a lot of things going on, but it felt very fragmentary and well, I think it wasn't thoroughly explored. Perhaps it's the effect of the multiple narrative voices - it can make a book feel well-rounded, or it can be so dizzying that all you feel is the surface.

This is probably a very deep book about friendship and sisterhood. I did enjoy some parts - especially their childhood, as they dealt with their mother getting a boyfriend (and generally moving from being an unconventional mother to a more conventional one). I really wanted to know more about that. If the book focused on that and then ended with a glimpse into the future as them in their twenties, I'd probably have felt the impact of their actions a lot more. As it is, there was a lot of buildup, and when I finally found out what their mistake was, my reaction was "meh", could be worse.

Disclaimer: I got a free galley from the publishers via NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review.

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