BookBrowse Reviews The Girls by Lori Lansens

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Girls

by Lori Lansens

The Girls by Lori Lansens X
The Girls by Lori Lansens
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    May 2006, 352 pages
    Paperback:
    Apr 2007, 368 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team

Buy This Book

About this Book

Reviews

BookBrowse:


Not just a sophisticated literary accomplishment but a darned good read. Novel

From the book jacket: Meet Rose and Ruby: sisters, best friends, confidantes, and conjoined twins. Since their birth, Rose and Ruby Darlen have been known simply as "the girls." They make friends, fall in love, have jobs, love their parents, and follow their dreams. But the Darlens are special. Now nearing their 30th birthday, they are history's oldest craniopagus twins, joined at the head by a spot the size of a bread plate.

When Rose, the bookish sister, sets out to write her autobiography, it inevitably becomes the story of her short but extraordinary life with Ruby, the beautiful one. From their awkward first steps--Ruby's arm curled around Rose's neck, her foreshortened legs wrapped around Rose's hips-- to the friendships they gradually build for themselves in the small town of Leaford, this is the profoundly affecting chronicle of an incomparable life journey.

Comment: Lansens minimizes the voyeurism in her tale of conjoined twins living in a small Canadian community to focus on the individuals themselves.  Like regular twins the two girls have separate personalities and interests and even their own jobs.  When Rose, the bookish one, decides she's going to write her autobiography, Ruby at first ignores the project then, reluctantly, starts to write her own version; both agree not to read each other's work until they are finished.  By juxtaposing the two stories Lansens cleverly takes us deeper into the personalities of each woman - Rose is the more circumspect of the two, whereas Ruby's writing cuts straight to the chase showing her to be a lot more than the "shallow pretty girl" that Rose thinks she is, and revealing much more about her sister than we learn from Ruby alone. 

If you've enjoyed books such as The Time Traveler's Wife, you are likely to find that Lansen's blend of tragic-comedy will draw you in and leave you well satisfied.

Lori Lansens's first novel, Rush Home Road, about the descendants of the "underground railroad" living in Chatham, Ontario, was published in Canada in 2002 to considerable acclaim, with publishing rights sold in 11 countries and at least 8 languages.  She wrote it while she was pregnant with twins.  For her second novel, she was planning to write about a man living with multiple wives but saw a documentary on the Schappell sisters, the oldest-living craniopagus-twins (now 46-years-old), and found herself intrigued.

This review was originally published in May 2006, and has been updated for the April 2007 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.



This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Last Mrs. Parrish
    The Last Mrs. Parrish
    by Liv Constantine
    Amber has lived in poverty all her life, and she has had enough. Of course, wishing to have money ...
  • Book Jacket: Never Coming Back
    Never Coming Back
    by Alison McGhee
    18 out of 23 reviewers gave Alison McGhee's Never Coming Back a rating of 4 or 5, with an average ...
  • Book Jacket: Solar Bones
    Solar Bones
    by Mike McCormack
    Written in a poetic, line-breaking style, Mike McCormack's Solar Bones reads with a breathless ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
If the Creek Don't Rise by Leah Weiss

A debut novel bursting with heart, honesty, and homegrown grit.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Wonder Valley
    by Ivy Pochoda

    A visionary and masterful portrait of contemporary L.A. from the author of Visitation Street.
    Reader Reviews

Who Said...

When I get a little money I buy books...

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

E Dog H I D

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.