What would you do if you were constantly being followed?
If every moment of every day there was someone watching your every move? You can’t wake up, roll over, take a shower or read a book without a constant, nagging presence reminding you that you’re not alone. Would you go crazy? Would you try to break free? Would you do anything for a moment of freedom and solitude?
What would you do if the person constantly in your shadow was your sister?
The Girls by Lori Lansens tells the story of Rose and Ruby, a fictional pair of twins joined permanently at the head. They are conjoined twins that cannot be separated, because their heads share a vein vital to the survival of both girls.
Rose is regular height with a misshapen face; Ruby is small, yet beautiful, and needs to be carried on Rose’s hip like a child. Despite being connected, the girls are completely different. It was Rose’s idea to write her autobiography, and The Girls begins from her perspective. Gradually it shifts, and as the story progresses we get to hear from Ruby too
For anyone who might be skeptical about the content of this novel, I assure you The Girls is worth reading. Written in the voice of both sisters, the timeline shifts back and forth as Rose and Ruby share anecdotes from their childhood and plans for their future. Gradually, a beautiful yet tragic story of survival, love and hardship is woven as we learn more about everything the sisters endured in order to live.
We don’t realize how lucky we are to have the ability to be completely and utterly alone…