Friday, April 27, 2012

Do twins begin in the womb? Or in a better place?

"Do twins begin in the womb? Or in a better place? 

Kaeleigh and Raeanne are identical down to the dimple. As daughters of a district-court judge father and a politician mother, they are an all-American family -- on the surface. Behind the facade each sister has her own dark secret, and that's where their differences begin. For Kaeleigh, she's the misplaced focus of Daddy's love, intended for a mother whose presence on the campaign trail means absence at home. All that Raeanne sees is Daddy playing a game of favorites -- and she is losing. If she has to lose, she will do it on her own terms, so she chooses drugs, alcohol, and sex. Secrets like the ones the twins are harboring are not meant to be kept -- from each other or anyone else. Pretty soon it's obvious that neither sister can handle it alone, and one sister must step up to save the other, but the question is -- who?"

Identical is the story of Kaeleigh and Raeanne, mirror image identical twins. It deals with incest/sexual abuse, drug abuse, alcoholism, cutting and mental illness. It also has a surprising twist and a hopeful ending.

Kaeleigh deals with her issues by trying to be a "good girl". Making others happy, acquiescing to the needs of others, not saying NO. Raeanne becomes the "bad girl". Turning to drugs, alcohol and sex, rarely saying NO (even when she should).

It is well written enough that I started it at noon and didn't put it down until I finished it at 6:30pm (well, I did make lunch in there and I might have taken a wee nap). While the subject matter is intense, it is not gratuitously graphic.

As a survivor of several of the subject matters discussed, I can honestly say that Ms. Hopkins deals with them honestly. Many may not like the issues (and, no doubt, she is or will be often challenged in libraries) the emotions and language are genuine. I can hear much of myself in her words.

I am looking forward to reading more of her books.

Identical Excerpt

Mirror, Mirror
When I look into a
it is her face I see.
Her right is my left, double
moles, dimple and all.

We are exact 
Kaeleigh and me.
Mirror-image identical
twins. One egg, one sperm,
one zygote, divided,
sharing one complete
set of genetic markers.

On the outside
we are the same. But not
inside. I think
she is the egg, so
much like our mother
it makes me want to scream.


That makes me the sperm,
I guess. I take completely
after our father.

All Daddy, that’s me.

Good, bad. Left, right.
            Kaeleigh and Raeanne.
One egg, one sperm.
One being, split in two.

And how many

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1 comment:

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