We have a book review today by Linda Tilling of Twin Truths By Shelan Rogers. It’s our book blog tour spot and I am excited to see what Linda thought. This is a psychological, mystery thriller published by Dome Press.
The book begins with a confusing near drowning, and I have to say that the first quarter of the book continues to be very confusing and leaves the reader not quite sure what is going on, but curious and intrigued enough to just keep reading, until things start to fall into place.
When Pippa disappears, Jenny embarks on a voyage of discovery, which takes in Argentina, Brazil, Greece and London. When we first meet Jenny she is working as an English Teacher in Argentina, but is devastated by the loss of her other half, Jenny, and is very mixed up and out of control. She has a bunch of English friends but does not feel close to any of them and treats them with an air of disdain because none of them will ever really know her like Pippa did.
Jenny and Pippa suffer a childhood trauma at the age of 10 and it completely changes who they are, how they see the world and ultimately changes the pattern of how their lives will unfold. They both deal with the situation differently but agree that “We will never speak of it again, it didn’t happen!” Because of this, they become a Psychiatrist’s dream patient, so is it just coincidence or fate that draws Jenny to Ignacio for psychotherapy in Argentine, and eventually, a complicated relationship develops. The first third of the book, Part One, concentrates on Jenny and her side of their lives, but then Pippa takes a turn in Part Two to tell the story and we see things from a different perspective and come to understand their connection a bit better. But there are more questions than answers at this stage and by the time we get to Part Three, we are just getting over the gasp-inducing shock at the end of Part Two, and I continued long into the night fully absorbed and racing to the end and enjoying how things all started to slot into place and make sense. As is my way, I re-read the first couple of chapters again several times, because I read so fast that sometimes I need reminding of where we started to get to this fabulous end.
It is a very difficult book to review without giving too much away, and I don’t want to spoil it for everyone else, so I can only hint at the complexities of twins, who have been psychologically researched for so many decades. Subsequently, you know there are always fascinating stories to be told about how their lives intertwine with each other from the moment they are aware of each other in the womb and continues and does not always end even when one of them dies. The Author takes you on a wonderfully descriptive voyage through South America, which is a country I have never visited, but could completely picture from the writing. I could imagine the heat and colours and vibrancy of Buenos Aires and was enthralled with the images Shelan Rodger painted of the Iguazu Falls and I could imagine and hear the thundering from the huge waterfall in Brazil.
There are many layers to this book and lots of disturbing truths that are played out from the alcoholic mother, to the twins’ absent father, the abusive step-father Frank and various destructive relationships that they both experience together. Because of this, it became very confusing at times as you leap from one person to the next, one story to the next and one country to the next, and I wished the pace could be slowed down a bit to let the reader catch up and digest what the previous chapter was about (there are 77 short chapters in total), together with an Epilogue.
Shelan sympathetically deals with the subject of child abuse and how the fear and self-doubt in the mind of the abused child ensures the abuse is often hidden for so many years until it can be pushed down no longer and eventually explodes. There are several sexual references in the book, some of which are disturbing, but a necessary part of the story, but the book deals more with love, loss, friendship, tragedy and the consequences of how if just one thing had not happened, your life would be completely different. A really good book that is enjoyable and provides food for thought.
The book finishes with a note from the Author about the inspiration behind Twin Truths, which was interesting and explains about how the writing of the book came about, and how Shelan explored the connection between childhood abuse and a psychological disorder in later life. She also mentions one of my favourite quotations which is that “There is no reality, only perception” as everyone can experience the same event in life, but understand and perceive it differently to everyone else, respond to it negatively or positively and ultimately become a different person altogether.
Review by Linda Bishop Tilling on behalf of Love Books Group
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