RoadTrip America

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The Girls: A Novel, by Lori Lansens

Invariably when one hears about twins born conjoined in one way or another, the questions that come up are numerous. How can they do this or that? Do they think separately? Does one hurt and not the other? This book relates a most amazing story that will help answer many of those questions, but more importantly, it describes the lives and personalities of Rose and Ruby. Rose and Ruby were born conjoined at their skulls and sharing a blood supply. When their 16-year-old mother abandoned them, they were adopted by Lovey, an attending nurse, and her husband Stash. Now approaching 30 years old, Rose has decided to write her autobiography and convinces Ruby to add her viewpoint to the finished work.

Lori Lansens has created characters who, although they could have been considered curiosities, emerge as typical sisters, close and loving at times and argumentative at others. The book explores the conflicts between their physical closeness and their desires to lead independent lives. The situations they describe capture the listener's attention and hold it throughout the book.

Rose and Ruby's narrations are spoken by two well-known actresses, Stephanie Zimbalist and Lolita Davidovich. They do such an excellent job of interpreting Rose and Ruby's stories that I felt that the two sisters were talking to me personally.

This book is easy for me to recommend highly. It kept me spellbound, and answers to my questions came about almost as if I was asking them of Rose herself. Lori Lansens researched the subject of conjoined twins extensively and provided an informative as well as engaging description of the physical and emotional aspects of the lives of Ruby and Rose. The writing and the narration were so realistic that I had to keep reminding myself that I was listening to a novel, and not to a talk show interview.

John Mormon

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