Rated of 5
As a story, this book is okay (twice). It was not the kind of book I "couldn't put down" until the last few chapters, when I absolutely HAD to know how things were going to turn out in each universe. For a while, I'd think one life was better; then I'd be sure it was the other. I am convinced the author did exactly as Irina did when she .... [edited to remove plot spoiler].
Aside from the story, which many reviews have described so I won't, there is the technique! What fun it must have been to have included some of the same details in the corresponding chapters, and what fun it was to "discover" them. The little rubber ring from a car used as a "wedding ring" in one chapter causes an excuse for a long, romantic walk in the opposing chapter, for example. What was most clever was the way the final chapter [edited to remove plot spoiler]. Not just anybody could do that!! Of course, I found myself favoring one life over the other, but I think that's the point to some extent...and then to question your choice. Is great passion worth hurting something so very stable? Is stability worth giving up great passion? In the end, either way, Irina lived in a way that satisfied her.
I received this book from BookBrowse (I won it - thanks BookBrowse!) so I felt I should write a review of it, and now I want to read "We Need to Talk About Kevin" by the same author because I really do like her style of writing. She thinks I'm smart (doesn't dumb down her prose) and I appreciate that.