Review: The Twins – Saskia Sarginson

Posted 7 February, 2014 by Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms in Reviews / 10 Comments

Review: The Twins – Saskia SarginsonThe Twins by Saskia Sarginson
Published by Hachette Book Group on 27 August 2013
Genres: Adult, Women's Fiction
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley

5 Stars

They were inseparable until an innocent mistake tore them apart.
Growing up, Viola and Issy clung to each other in the wake of their mother's eccentricity, as she dragged them from a commune to a tiny Welsh village. They thought the three of them would be together forever.
But an innocent mistake one summer set them on drastically different paths. Now in their twenties, Issy is trying to hold together a life as a magazine art director, while Viola is slowly destroying herself, consumed with guilt over the events they unknowingly set into motion as children.
When it seems that Viola might never recover, Issy returns to the town they haven't seen in a decade, to face her own demons and see what answers, if any, she can find.

*I received a free ARC of The Twins from Hachette Book Group via Netgalley in exchange of an honest review*

The Twins is a haunting story of two girls – twins – who grew up with their mom close to the woods, liberty, freedom and wildness coloured their childhood until something terrible happens that sets things in motion that makes both of them feel separate, both from each other and strangely also from themselves and who they always thought they were. Switching points of views between Issy and Viola, and also mixing the time from their childhood to present time, The Twins takes the readers on a slow, sometimes painful and sometimes beautiful ride.

Selfish, as only teenagers can be, Viola and Issy want their lives to stay the way it is – they want their mom to be only with them, and are unwilling to share her with someone else. Even as the twins become best friends with two boys who are also twins, they want their mother to be only theirs. So when Rose starts seeing Frank, and wants her daughters to treat his young daughter Polly as their little sister, they do whatever they can to get rid of both of them.

The Twins truly shows how stupid choices kids make can impact several lives, and that time does not at all heal all wounds, whether those wounds are physical or psychological. Dealing with grief and a change of scenery quite differently, Viola and Issy drift apart, but none of them can stop thinking about John and Michael, their mom and even Frank and Polly. The story unfolds oh so slowly, showing the readers tiny glimpses of truth between the two sisters’ trips to the past – be it in thought or through dreams.

Written in first person present time, The Twins never made me confused when the point of view shifted from Issy to Viola and back again, their voices are so different, and the way they see things and react to things very individual as well. And in the background almost all through the story, is the huge shadow that Issy doesn’t want to touch, or think about. She is still so horrified of what happened partly because of her, it is almost impossible for her to keep moving forward knowing about it, and she would like to make sure it stays hidden forever.

Very deep, The Twins also touches on the fashion industry since Issy is an editor in a fashion magazine. There is talk about both anorexia and aids, and I thought the explanations about anorexia and the despair a sick person feels was extremely well done. Of course, this is hard to read about, and a lot of the happenings are so raw and honest that it is not exactly a quick and easy read. However, the prose is beautiful, and the straight-forward way the different themes are dealt with touched me deeply.

A mixture of childhood dreams and the cruel reality of the world, how to deal with souls that seem broken beyond repair, and how to truly pick up the pieces and work to finally be able to move forward again, The Twins is haunting, sad and enchanting all at the same time. If you haven’t read it yet, please do yourself a favor and pick it up – and be prepared to go deep into the minds and lives of Issy and Viola.

 The story of our conception was the ordinary kind they tell you about in biology lessons. You know how it goes: an athletic sperm hits the egg target and new life forms.

Of course, it hurts to starve. But you can use those pangs like a knife to slice out the bad things inside you. Eventually you’ll come to crave that feeling. Because hunger is a friend.

She doesn’t drink. She’s never had the desire to drown herself in that kind of oblivion. There are no gaps in her memory. She likes the feeling of control she has when other people are loosening up, their words running too freely. She’s been at parties where people she hardly knows have confided secrets, whispered their sexual preferences, confessed to infidelities. That kind of vulnerability scares her. Why would anyone do it to themselves?

When we’d asked Mummy about bras, she’d laughed, cupping her hands over her breasts and giving them a careless squeeze. “You are funny! don’t you know that women don’t have to wear those things any more?”

My stomach turned at the steepness of the drop, but I felt a longing to stretch out and embrace the vaulted sweep of sky.

The boys were more than just human; they’d always seemed part earth, part animal, and always inextricably bound into each other.

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Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

About Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

Linda is an English as foreign language teacher and has a Master's degree in English Language and Literature. She's an avid reader, blogger, compulsive one-clicker and a genre omnivore. Ever since she learnt how to read she has been seen with a book or two in her hands everywhere she goes.

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10 responses to “Review: The Twins – Saskia Sarginson

  1. It is pretty intense, Melliane, but it was still a quite quick read that I really enjoyed 🙂

    Thanks for stopping by! Happy Friday.

  2. This sound like an amazing read! I’ve never heard of this book before. Twins fascinate me but sometimes also creep me out (I blame THE SHINING…come play with us!), and I’m always interested in stories where you can trace the way characters connect and have an impact on each other’s lives. Thanks for the review, Lexxie.

    Wendy Darling recently posted: The Winner’s Curse: review
    • *Shudders* the Shining, eh? Well The Twins is nothing at all like that! It is a story that could have been real. And while there is some hard things to read about, it is still a beautiful story.

      Thanks for stopping by Wendy 🙂

  3. Whoa! The Twins sounds incredible, Lexxie. I think you hit the nail on the head with “deep”…it sounds very deep and complex. It seems to have great character development and writing. Darn you! Now I’m gonna have to climb my Mt. TBR to add this one. 😉 But you know I love you anyway, right?!?

    Thanks for the insightful review, my dear. Happy Friday!! *BIG HUGS** (I keep typing ‘bug hugs’ *haha*)

    Bookworm Brandee recently posted: **Sneak Peek ~ Past Imperfect ~ Alison G. Bailey**
    • LOL, isn’t that what friends are for, Brandee? You know, it’s a sport to climb Mt. TBR, right? 😛

      The Twins is different from what I normally read, but it was really good. And deep is good every now and then.

      I would rather have big hugs than bug hugs, my dear 😉

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