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The Girls
Cover of The Girls
The Girls
A Novel
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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,...
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,...
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Description-

  • 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 as pot 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.As Rose and Ruby's story builds to an unforgettable conclusion, Lansens aims at the heart of human experience—the hardship of loss and struggles for independence, and the fundamental joy of simply living a life. This is a breath taking novel, one that no reader will soon forget, a heartrending story of love between sisters.
 

Awards-

About the Author-

  • Lori Lansens has written several films and is the author of the novel Rush Home Road. This is her second book. She lives in Toronto.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    January 16, 2006
    Conjoined twins Rose and Ruby Darlen are linked at the side of the head, with separate brains and bodies. Born in a small town outside Toronto in the midst of a tornado and abandoned by their unwed teenage mother two weeks later, the girls are cared for by Aunt Lovey, a nurse who refuses to see them as deformed or even disabled. She raises them in Leaford, Ontario, where, at age 29, Rose, the more verbal and bookish twin, begins writing their story—i.e., this novel, which begins, "I have never looked into my sister's eyes." Showing both linguistic skill and a gift for observation, Lansens's Rose evokes country life, including descriptions of corn and crows, and their neighbors Mrs. Merkel, who lost her only son in the tornado, and Frankie Foyle, who takes the twins' virginity. Rose shares her darkest memory (public humiliation during a visit to their Slovakian-born Uncle Stash's hometown) and her deepest regret, while Ruby, the prettier, more practical twin, who writes at her sister's insistence, offers critical details, such as what prompted Rose to write their life story. Through their alternating narratives, Lansens captures a contradictory longing for independence and togetherness that transcends the book's enormous conceit.

  • Library Journal

    Starred review from March 1, 2006
    Twenty-nine-year-old twins Ruby and Rose Darlen are conjoined at the head and share an essential vein, which makes separation impossible. Born during a freak Canadian tornado and abandoned by their teen mother, the girls were raised by Aunt Lovey, the fiftysomething nurse who delivered them, and Lovey -s husband, Uncle Stash. In two wildly distinct voices, Lansens brings to life these surprisingly independent sisters (they have separate jobs at the public library) who couldn -t get any closer and yet who have secrets from each other and unexpectedly private interior lives, tempered always by a humor rich in what-can-ya --do self-deprecation. Rose, the catalyst for getting their story into her laptop, is a natural-born storyteller whose exquisite use of language masks many of the shattering truths that blaze forth in Ruby -s reluctant long-hand version. Lansens fills Rose and Ruby -s world with loving parents who have stories and secrets of their own and friends found in unlikely places. This novel after "Rush Home Road"speaks volumes about solitude, loneliness, and enormous personal courage. Highly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, "LJ "/1/06.]" -Beth E.Andersen, Ann Arbor Dist. Lib., MI"

    Copyright 2006 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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    Little, Brown and Company
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