I really wanted to try this one – a few years ago I very much enjoyed Curtis Sittenfeld’s very clever American Wife, the fictional account of a First Lady with more than a passing resemblance to Laura Bush. Her other two books – Prep and The Man Of My Dreams haven’t made it off my bookshelves yet. But there was something about the synopsis of this one, the twins with a special gift, that really attracted me.
Kate tells the story, but it alternates between present day and the earlier lives of the twins, with some wonderful descriptions of what life is like in small town America. As the narrator, Kate portrays herself as the constant voice of reason, the stabilising influence, the exemplary mother and child, but the flaws in her character are beautifully revealed and portrayed. Violet is magnificent – the embarrassing relative you wish you could hide, and the source of most of the humour in the book as you watch her behaviour. The relationship between the girls is beautifully drawn, a true love/hate with bonds that can’t be broken. The psychic part – the “senses” – is done with a light touch, with a lovely twist towards the end of the book.
My thanks to netgalley and Transworld for the advance reading e-copy. This book was published in the UK on 6th June in hardcover and for Kindle: the paperback will be published in January 2014 by Black Swan.