x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

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
Piatkus
Dh91

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.

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