My first book read in 2018. Although I am neither a twin nor have a sister I share a close bond with, I enjoyed Curtis’s book. I however, think that the story could have been told in fewer pages. At a point, the book seemed like a movie with too many characters and too many sub-plots. Despite their challenges, I liked the way the sisters looked out for each other. Style wise, i enjoy a book better when its picturesque. Although very voluminous, I could not clearly find my way around St Louis in my head and most of the time, it was dark and dull- i thought the imagery could have been better. Nevertheless, I read every single page and in record time too. I decided last year not to write out the entire summary in my reviews but this was a 521 page book and I have no idea where to leave my readers so I’m breaking my rule and doing a longer summary than usual.
The story revolves around a twin pair who have psychic abilities they call senses. Whereas Vi accepts her senses and does nothing to dull them, Kate is terribly embarrassed by her senses and does everything she can to dull and hide them so she can live a normal life. They grow up in a very dismal environment with a depressed mother who apparently did not want and had no idea she was expecting twins until she was due. Their very reticent father could do or did nothing to improve their situation. Although it remained unclear the nature of the romantic relationship between their parents it remained clear that their childhood although not terrible was not one of utter bliss.
The identity crises that Kate struggles with remains with her throughout high school up until they both go off to different universities. At this point, Vi drops out school barges in on Kate’s life and attempts to destroy all semblances of the normal life she has created in college. Kate sends her packing home and their relationship takes a nose dive. Kate realizes that she cannot marry her long-time boyfriend, after her mother dies from overdosing, because his life is too perfect and he cannot understand where she has come from. With this realisation came a shattering of the shell that Kate had attempted to build around herself. Even though she returns home, it takes her a long time to recover from her mother’s death and also to find some level of self acceptance.
In the long run, Kate meets a perfect young man, Jeremy,who loves and accepts her just for who she is-Vi had already sensed that she would meet and marry him. She settles happily with him and has two wonderful kids. She becomes a stay at home mum so she can give the kids full attention. Vi on the other hand, having never completed any degree programme, takes her “senses” to a different level and becomes a professional psychic. Everything is seemingly going well until, Vi predicts an earthquake which shakes St. Louis and becomes topical even at the national level. Although, her “senses” had been dulled, Kate picks up October 16th as an important date and when she tells Vi they both assume it’s the date of the earthquake and announce it to everyone.