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.
Touching, poignant, sad, but uplifting in the end. The family lived in such abject poverty - father an alcoholic, mother a "free spirit" , neither one taking on the responsibility for their 4 kids. Moving from place to place to avoid bill creditors, they finally settled in West VA, where they were the poorest of the poor. The kids all got out, though, worked hard and made good lives for themselves. Awesome story.
From the author of the bestselling The Saving Graces.
"How much change can one summer bring? For 32 year old Caddie, one summer can make the whole world look different. Jolted out of her comfy, self-made nest and forced to look at the world with new eyes, Caddie begins to take charge of her future - making a new best friend, taking risks she never dreamed of, and navigating the depths and shallows of true love and crushing heartbreak. And in the course of one extraordinary season, Caddie learns how to trust other people, and ultimately, herself."
A sweet, sad story. More sweet than sad - even tho Caddie loses people she loves, she reaches out and finds other friends/family who help her get thru the pain.
Really liked this - very entertaining and funny. About a reality show where the contestants try to lose weight. We get a pretty good idea of the ups and downs thru the main character, Kat. Shows the diversity of women dealing with their own feelings about their weight issues, plus society's hang-ups. Kat finds out that her problems have less to do with her size and more to do with her attitude. Kat reminded me of Bridget Jones - if you liked that book you'll like this too.