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The Girls
The Girls
Author: Lori Lansens
Meet Rose and Ruby: sisters, best friends, confidantes, and conjoined twins. — Since their birth, Rose and Ruby Darlen have been known simply as "the girls." They make friends, fall in love, have jobs, love their parents, and follow their dreams. But the Darlens are special. Now nearing their 30th birthday, they are history's oldest craniopagus t...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780316066341
ISBN-10: 0316066346
Publication Date: 4/10/2007
Pages: 368
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.

3.9 stars, based on 161 ratings
Publisher: Back Bay Books
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio CD
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed The Girls on + 95 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 10
This book was so good. It is about the life of 2 siamese twins- the story told from each of the twins'- Rose and Ruby's- point of views. The font is somewhat different so you can tell who is writing, although half way through you can already tell who is writing by the 1st sentence. Somehow i started feeling just as the girls did in situations. I felt like they could have been good friends of mine by the end. Definitely recommended.
reviewed The Girls on + 384 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 9
i was tentative in reading this book, thinking that it may be weird or maudlin;how wrong i was!
this book about 2 distinct women,Rose and Ruby, who "just happen" to be attached at the head. the book is written by both women, the font changes so you do not get confused as to who is talking.
They can only see each other in the mirror and one twin has to "carry" the other on her hip, reminicsent of the Reba and Lori Schappell, often seen in documentaries on conjoined twins.
this book is about love,tolerance and acceptance.Read it, you will like it!
reviewed The Girls on + 40 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
Conjoined twins Rose and Ruby Darlen are linked at the side of the head, with separate brains and bodies. Born in a small town outside Toronto in the midst of a tornado and abandoned by their unwed teenage mother two weeks later, the girls are cared for by Aunt Lovey, a nurse who refuses to see them as deformed or even disabled. At age 29, Rose, the more verbal and bookish twin, begins writing their storyi.e., this novel, which begins, "I have never looked into my sister's eyes." Rose evokes country life, including descriptions of corn and crows, and their neighbors Mrs. Merkel, who lost her only son in the tornado, and Frankie Foyle, who takes the twins' virginity. Rose shares her darkest memory (public humiliation during a visit to their Slovakian-born Uncle Stash's hometown) and her deepest regret, while Ruby, the prettier, more practical twin, who writes at her sister's insistence, offers critical details, such as what prompted Rose to write their life story. Through their alternating narratives, Lansens captures a contradictory longing for independence and togetherness.
reviewed The Girls on + 7145 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
Reviewed by Me for

In what has to be the best blend of heartbreaking sadness and unbelievable joy, author Lori Lansens has managed to write a novel about two girls that you will not soon forget -- if ever. After I finished THE GIRLS, I felt many emotions, but the strongest was that I had just read the story of two of my best and dearest friends. And even though I know that this story is fiction, I can't help but think that somewhere, two girls share a life that is a lot like that of Rose and Ruby Darlen.

Rose and Ruby are twins, yes, but they are also so much more. They are craniopagus twins, born conjoined at the right side of the head. As Rose puts it, she's never looked into her sister's eyes, she's never bathed alone, and she's never taken a solo walk. But what Rose lacks in aloneness is made up for with the closeness that she shares with Ruby, her sister, best friend, confidant, and greatest admirer.

The Darlen sisters were born in the small town of Leaford on the same day that a tornado struck the town and scooped up a young boy named Larry Merkel, who was never seen again. On the day that their mother, a young, frightened woman who called herself Elizabeth Taylor, gave birth, she was attended to by a devoted nurse known as Lovey. When the girls' mother later disappeared a week after that fateful day, much as Larry Merkel had been blown into the wind, it was Lovey Darlen who chose the girls as her own -- or, rather, they chose each other.

As Rose and Ruby struggle to learn to live together and yet retain their own individuality, it is their Aunt Lovey and Uncle Stash who provide the love, comfort, and stability that the girls need. Being a conjoined twin has both its benefits and detriments, as both girls learn from an early age. But with the love of their family and the help, support, and dedication of a wonderful cast of supporting characters, the Darlen girls make a name for themselves in Leaford.

THE GIRLS is written as an autobiography, started by Rose to tell the story of her life -- and, with it, the story of Ruby's life, as well. Interspersed with chapters written by Ruby herself, the story doesn't always unfold in chronological order. The things Rose deems important, of course, don't always coincide with what Ruby believes to be necessity.

I laughed while reading this novel, and many times I cried. I went through joy and sorrow, much as the characters did. This is the first story I've read in a very long time that moved me to feel what the characters felt, to feel, in the end, as if I knew them. I applaud Ms. Lansens for her wonderful writing skills, and, although I am sad to say goodbye to Rose and Ruby Darlen, I wish them the best that life has to offer.
reviewed The Girls on + 391 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
I loved this novel about conjoined twin girls. Very moving- An awesome read
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reviewed The Girls on + 3 more book reviews
This book has such an unusual subject matter, I never thought I would want to read it, and in fact, eschewed it for years. Finally bit the bullet after reading other reviews and enjoyed it quite a bit. Recommend.
reviewed The Girls on + 14 more book reviews
Excellent story of conjoined twins and their life with adoptive parents in Canada. Touching and heartwarming and a tale of a life lived with grace, dignity and little self pity.
reviewed The Girls on + 82 more book reviews
This is a great book. It is so unique and you really get attached (no pun intended) to the two main characters. There was one scene in particular that disturbed me, but it was really important to the plot. The rest of the chapters are charming with a little bit of laughter, a little bit of sadness, and a whole lot of sisterly love. I highly recommend this book.