The Girls by Lori Lansens

“I have never looked into my sister’s eyes. I have never bathed alone. I have never stood in the grass at night and raised my arms to a beguiling moon. I’ve never used an airplane bathroom. Or worn a hat. Or been kissed like that. I’ve never driven a car. Or slept through the night. Never a private talk. Or solo walk. I’ve never climbed a tree. Or faded into a crowd. So many things I’ve never done, but oh, how I’ve been loved. And, if such things were to be, I’d live a thousand lives as me, to be loved so exponentially.”

I just finished reading The Girls by Lori Lansens. It is an unusual story about conjoined twins Ruby and Rose. Their arrival into the world was just as unusual as their existence;  they are delivered and abandoned in a small town hospital during a tornado.

Rose is the main narrator and the story is written as an autobiography. Rose is an aspiring writer tackles the task of writing her autobiography as a writer would. She recognizes that she can’t tell her story without allowing her sister to tell her side, so Ruby contributed some sections to the book. Ruby isn’t a writer, but, in a way, she is the one who keeps her sister honest. She tells her story plainly and simply. Throughout the novel, the reader comes to count on Ruby to reveal things that Rose isn’t yet ready to tell.

Lansens does an excellent job of capturing two very unique characters and isn’t sentimental or pitying towards her characters. She portrays these two woman as fully human, and not like circus freaks.

A must read.

 

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