Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Book review: The Twins is a strong debut novel about diverging lives of sisters

In her strong debut novel The Twins, Saskia Sarginson explores the complex relationship of very different twin sisters.

The Twins
Saskia Sarginson

As with most literary mythos revolving around the nature of twins, Saskia Sarginson's debut affirms the eerily omniscient connection the pairs survive on. Her protagonists, Isolte and Viola Love, are the offspring of a passionate but scatterbrained hippie mother and an absent father. Despite these circumstances, their childhood spent in the Suffolk forests is an ideal one, until an act of carelessness leads to its end.

Ten years later, the trees of the country have been replaced with the smoke and buildings of the London cityscape. Isolte is now a fashion writer for an upscale magazine and Viola lies withering away from an eating disorder in a hospital ward. Isolte is in a steady relationship that shows promise for more while Viola pines for her first love. Isolte tries to keep the past buried; Viola refuses to let it go. Though change has been inevitable, the effect on their relationship is painfully apparent.

Sarginson's study of relationships as seen through the innocence of childhood and later on the jaded eyes of an adult runs smooth through her characters' troubled lives. As such, The Twins makes for a strong debut.


Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Hajer Almosleh, the winner of the last year's short story competition, at her home in Dubai. Duncan Chard for the National

Get involved with The National’s short-story competition

Writers have two weeks to craft a winning submission, under the title and theme "The Turning Point".

 It is believed that the desert-like planet of Tatooine is being recreated for Star Wars: Episode VII. Could that be where filming in the UAE comes in? Courtesy Lucasfilms

Could the force be with us? The search for Star Wars truth

On the hunt for the Star Wars: Episode VII set, which a growing number of people are sure is in Abu Dhabi, but no one can seem to find.

 With an estimated 18,000 comic and film fans having already paid a visit to this weekend’s Middle East Film and Comic Con, organisers are hopeful they will have surpassed last year total, of 21,000, by its close. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

In pictures: Middle East Film and Comic Con in Dubai

Dubai's World Trade Center was awash with people visiting this weekend’s Middle East Film and Comic Con. Here's some of our best pictures.

 Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak, the Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, presents Quincy Jones with the Abu Dhabi Festival Award as the Admaf founder Hoda Al Khamis-Kanoo applauds. Courtesy Abu Dhabi Festival.

A candid talk with Quincy Jones about the UAE, Lil Wayne and the Abu Dhabi Festival award

The Abu Dhabi Festival honoree Quincy Jones discusses his legendary career as a music producer, the return of Dubai Music Week and why he can’t handle the rapper Lil Wayne.

 Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince George of Cambridge arrive at Wellington Military Terminal on an RNZAF 757 from Sydney on April 7, 2014 in Wellington, New Zealand. Chris Jackson / Getty Images

In pictures: Will and Kate visit Australia and New Zealand

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince George of Cambridge are on a tour Down Under for three weeks.

 A protester gives a victory sign during clashes near Tahrir Square in Cairo in November 2011. Goran Tomasevic / Reuters

Street life: humanity’s future depends on ability to negotiate and sustain public space

Negotiating our ever more crowded cities and maintaining vibrant public spaces are among the major challenges facing humanity in the coming decades.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National