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Saturday, June 14, 2008

Summer reading suggestion: The Girls

Do you know what "craniopagus" means?

You will before you finish page 3 (which is really the first page) of Lori Lansens' second novel, The Girls. You will also try to get your head around (so to speak) what it would be like to live as twins joined at the head; what it's like to occupy either of two parts of the adoption triad; and what it's like to know, more or less, the ending of your own story.

I reserved this book at the library immediately upon reading a review of it by Sandra Hanks Benoiton on the website Our Adopt*. While I urge you to click on over, Sandra has given me permission to reprint her review here.

You might want to open up a tab for your library or bookseller -- you are going to want to get this book in your hands soon.
"Under normal circumstances, I read between five to seven books a week, usually having one going downstairs as another waits upstairs for my nighttime reading. Lately, however, with my concentration shot to bits by the huge and shocking shift that recently hit out of left field my concentration skills have not been up to par, and it's taken me weeks to finish "The Girls", no matter that it is very well written, engaging and a perfect read for anyone feeling down.

"The Girls" is a novel, but well-researched fiction that revolves around the lives of sisters Rose and Ruby, conjoined twins attached at the head and sharing an artery that prevents any thought of separation.

As craniopagus twins, their lives are as joined as their heads are, and although as different as any two siblings can be, privacy is a cooperative effort, as is movement, sleep and everything else involved in daily living. Because, however, of the positions of their faces, direct eye contact is not possible, so they live their lives surrounded by mirrors that allow them to communicate as directly as sisters with a bit more distance their advantage.

There are strong adoption threads that run through the story and impact the characters in profound ways, but I leave it to readers to discover these for themselves as the unfolding of the story is the best part of the read.

Each sister tells her own story in her own words, and this is done flawlessly and adds greatly to the multidimensional experience the novel provides. It's a double life story attached at the soul that enriches the reader with more than twice what many novels offer. The hope, the dreams and the acceptance of the world as it is juxtaposed directly against the horror, frustration and disabilities their world places at their feet every day inspired me, presented a perspective that put much into needed focus.

* Sandra also blogs from the Seychelles at Paradise Preoccupied.

My thumbs are aimed skyward, and I wish you happy reading. Please come back to leave a comment once you read the book to share your thoughts.


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2 chiming in:

Deb said...

I read this book last summer and really enjoyed it. It is well written and the characters were very interesting to me. I think I will pick this one up again because it was a book that I was sad to see end. It amazed me how different the two sisters seemed to be at various times.

chicklet said...

This book looks awesome, but if it has a sad ending, I don't know that I can take it right now... Dont' make me cry lady...

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