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Summary

Longlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction, 2007.
Shortlisted for the British Book Awards, Richard and Judy Best Read, 2007.
A Richard and Judy Book Club selection.

In 29 years, Rose Darlen has never spent a moment apart from her twin sister, Ruby. She has never gone for a solitary walk or had a private conversation. Yet, in all that time, she has never once looked into Ruby's eyes. Joined at the head, "The Girls" (as they are known in their small town) attempt to lead a normal life, but can't help being extraordinary. Now almost 30, Rose and Ruby are on the verge of becoming the oldest living craniopagus twins in history, but they are remarkable for a lot more than their unusual sisterly bond.

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©2006 Lori Lansens; (P)2006 Hachette Audio

Critic reviews

"Exquisitely read by Stephanie Zimablist and Lolita Davidovich. I was off-put at the idea of a novel about conjoined twins ¿ but with Rose¿s first words, 'I have never looked into my sister¿s eyes...' I was completely entranced. Connected at the side of their heads, they face the world together, and, while Ruby is beautiful, Rose¿s face is lopsided. Each is a totally distinct character and they have lived all their lives in the small town of Leaford where they are known as 'The Girls'. It is Rose who is driven to tell their story, but Ruby wants her voice to be heard too, and as they continue through the present, they look back, separately and always together. Touching, funny ¿ and incredibly real." (Daily Express)
"This unusual novel is so satisfying...a graceful meditation on partnership identity and enduring love." (The Times)
"Perfectly pitched...an utterly heartwarming tale, without any traces of mawkishness. Anyone with a sister will relate to this." (Marie Claire) "This incredible story seems real because of the outstanding characterizations." (AudioFile)

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    4 out of 5 stars

Compelling

An original idea and compelling story, moving without being sentimental, and often humorous. The details of the twins' lives were so convincing, I had to keep reminding myself that it was fiction!