Lori Lansens novel The Girls is the story of Rose and Ruby Darlen who are the oldest surviving craniopagus twins (they are 29 year old conjoined twins who are joined at the head.) I chose this book because I thought it was such an interesting perspective. I wondered how they did everyday things and what kind of adventures they would have.
When I read the first paragraph I thought it was one of the best things I have ever read:
"I have never looked into my sisters eyes. I have never bathed alone. I have never stood in the grass and raised my arms to a beguiling moon. I've never used an airplane bathroom. Or worn a hat. Or been kissed like that. I've never driven a car. Or slept through the night. Never a private talk. Or a solo walk. I've never climbed a tree. Or faded into a crowd. So many things I've never done, but oh, how I've been loved. And if such things were to be, I'd live a thousand lives as me, to be loved so exponentially."
I love these words. How the dance together and ring so true and leave you with a deep sense of what really matters when you strip everything else away from life.
I was so excited to get in to this book after I read that paragraph. But I think my expectations were set too high. Don't get me wrong I loved the story. I loved reading about their life and all the twists and turns from their perspective. Most of the story is told from Rose's perspective but there are a few chapters sprinkled throughout from Ruby's perspective. There are some very unexpected twists and turns and I did care about the characters.
I just never fell in love with them. I wasn't dying to get home to read. I didn't find myself longing to know what happens next very often. But it was a good story and Lansens does sprinkle some more poetic, moving paragraphs like that first one, but it just didn't grab me as much as that introduction.
I give it 3 out of 5 stars.