Friday 3 October 2014

Twin Truths by Shelan Rodger

Language teacher Jenny's life is seemingly on a self-destruct mission after the death of her twin sister, Pippa. Jenny and Pippa were so close growing up, always knowing what the other was thinking and relying on each other to get through life with their alcoholic mother. Jenny feels lost without Pippa, feeling like part of her is missing. She moves away from her home in London to start a new life in Argentina but she can't escape from the gaping loss she feels without her twin.

It took me a long time to get into Twin Truths. The book is divided into three parts, the first taking place as we get to know Jenny as she struggles through the life she has created for herself in Argentina. I didn't warm to Jenny at all in this first part as she tells so many lies to everybody, from her fellow language teachers to her therapist. The style of the writing jarred with me too so I didn't think I was going to enjoy the book at all. But then I moved onto the second part of the book and the style and voice changed. Although it didn't always make for a comfortable read, I began to get drawn into the book and we find out why Jenny is the way she is.

Jenny and Pippa are very different in the way that they handle situations, with Pippa being the quieter, more studious of the two while Jenny is provocative and daring but both are strong in their own ways and weaker in others. I started off not liking Jenny very much at all but I could understand how damaged she had become from the events of her past. It was difficult to witness how the girls' lives were devastated and how they tried to deal with everyday afterwards and how it shaped the women they would become. I don't want to give any more of the plot away as it would spoil what turned out to be a great read. The book is heartbreaking with such a tangled, mesmerising plot. For me, I thought the ending of the book was a little abrupt. I'd have liked a neater conclusion and there was a loose thread that was niggling at me but overall I did enjoy the book.

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