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The Girls
By Lori Lansens
Read by Stephanie Zimbalist and Lolita Davidovich

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The Girls

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The Girls
By Lori Lansens
Read by Stephanie Zimbalist and Lolita Davidovich
Hachette Audio, (2006)
An Abridged Recording on 5 CDs
ISBN: 1-59483-223-4
Genre: Fiction

Reviewed by Auggie Moore - June 7, 2006

Imagine that you were physically tied to your sibling, yet unable to ever see her. This is the focal point of Lori Lansens' new novel, The Girls. The girls in questions are the conjoined twins, Rose and Ruby Darlen. As the story unfolds, Rose and Ruby are about to pass an unprecedented milestone by becoming, as they near the age of thirty, the longest living set of craniopagus conjoined twins. Knowing that their life span may be drawing to an end, Rose decides to document her life history, and it is not long before her sister Ruby begins to follow suit. Thus begins an extraordinary adventure into the lives of these two unique women.

The novel is told, in equal measure, by each twin in turn. This give and take of viewpoints is wonderfully captured in this audio edition of the book. The reading, by two established actress, Stephanie Zimbalist and Lolita Davidovich, is unforgettable. Together they capture not only the nuances of the book, but also the depths of Rose and Ruby's inner emotions.

In their writings, the twins chronicle the highlights and sorrows of their lives, from their birth to the loss of their virginity as well as telling observations of the life around them. Raised in a small town outside of Toronto, the twins capture the seasonality of country life, the people they meet, and the pain felt when they are treated like freaks. Joined at the head, yet each with their own brain, the twins are totally unique individuals and this uniqueness is obvious in the writings attributed to each. More important, while joined, each has striven to live as much of an independent life a life as possible from the other. This drive to develop a sense of individuality and independence is one of the most amazing aspects of this unforgettable and riveting book. The Girls is a great book that is full of raw emotion and which offers a unique glimpse into the lives of two extraordinary women.

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