Fern & Rose are twin sisters, who grew to adulthood in less-than-ideal circumstances. Raised in a single parent household after their father left the family, they have each had their share of trauma as children, some at the hands of their mother, others at the hands of their mother’s suitors, and one particularly devastating accident when they were 12, and their Mom’s eventual overdose in their teen years, but they’ve always had – and continue to have – one another.
Fern suffers from a sensory disorder, for lack of a better explanation – she is very sensitive to sounds, crowds and such – and takes the spoken word very literally. She works in the local library, and lives in a sensible apartment by herself, close to her sister’s home. She lives a simple, organized life, walks to work each day and is content with things as they are.
Rose, recently separated from her husband Owen (although she does not share that fact with her sister – Fern believes he’s working abroad) lives nearby, and the sister’s share evening meals a few times a week. It’s on one of those evenings, as Rose is preparing for a month away in London with Owen, that Fern discovers Rose is trying to become pregnant, but is unable to do so. As the sisters discuss it, Fern decides that she wants to become pregnant to carry a baby for Rose.
With Rose away, to occupy her time and her mission to become pregnant, Fern sets her sights on ‘Wally’, the maybe-homeless gentleman who frequents the library for showers and lives in his van. The two develop an unlikely friendship that grows into more as Fern moves ever closer to her goal of carrying her sisters’ child. How she sets about accomplishing the task is both hilarious and heart-warming! But as her pregnancy progresses, Fern begins to have second thoughts about keeping her baby, while Rose is more determined than ever to be a mother.
Told from the present in Fern’s point of view and supplemented with writings from Rose’s journal entries (as recommended by her therapist), the reader is taken on the journey of childhood to adulthood with the girls, and in their memories along the way. But as the memories begin to diverge, the real story emerges – a tale of manipulation, co-dependence and cruelty – with the reader not knowing who exactly can be trusted – if anyone…
This book was a very pleasant surprise! I got caught up in the story quickly, lost in the troubled childhood of the characters – it took me longer than it should have to realize that all was not as it seemed in the lives of these two now grown women. A great read, with a very satisfying ending!! I highly recommend!!
I received this book as an Advance Reader Copy from Netgalley, in exchange for an objective review. Do you love to read?? Visit netgalley.com and start reviewing books today!!