22 journalers for this copy...
'I have never looked into my sister's eyes. I have never bathed alone. I have never stood in the grass at night and raised my arms to a beguiling moon. I've never used an aeroplane bathroom. Or worn a hat. Or been kissed like that...So many things I've never done, but oh, how I've been loved. And, if such things were to be, I'd live a thousand times as me, to be loved so exponentially'
In twenty-nine years, Rose Darlen has never spent a moment apart from her twin sister, Ruby. Joined at the head, 'The Girls' (as they are known in their small town) attempt to lead a normal life, but can't help being extraordinary. Now almost thirty, Rose and Ruby are on the verge of becoming the oldest living craniopagus twins in history, but they are remarkable for a lot more than their unusual sisterly bond.
I know it's fiction, but there are of course some conjoined twins that we've seen on TV, like Lori and Reba Schappell (I googled "craniopagus twins", because I didn't remember their names). It is quite fascinating to read about their lives and you can only admire them, because their lives are certainly not easy.
Also I really liked that the book was not only written from one of the sisters' point of view, because how could it be the story of only ONE of them, when they obviously do everything together. There were some chapters written by Ruby, even though Rose was the one who wanted to write their memoir in the first place. There is also a big difference in writing styles and you notice how different their characters and interests really are and what huge compromises they have to make each day and how much they love each other.
A couple of lines I really liked and touched me:
I talked about the odds of publishing her book being slim. She said the odds of twin girls not completely dividing is about the slimmest you can get, but here we are.
Uncle Stash made an oversize rocking chair for us when we moved from the farm to the bungalow. The callous winters on the porch have warped the soft pine, but there's a comforting dip when you rock and a little bump when you rock back. The chair seems to whisper My girls, My girls, My girls, as it dips and bumps. The rocking chair makes Ruby drowsy. I feel the shift in her breathing and the heaviness of her body as her grip relaxes on my shoulder and she falls away from the world. The weight of wonder. The weight of worry. I hum some secret place into being, thinking of this other me, the one that only I can see, a girl called She, who is not We, a girl who I will never be.
And I can't find the exact page in the book right now, but there's a page where Rose says she kind of regrets not having done anything "heroic" in her life. Then later Ruby wrote something like "It's true that she's not going to find a cure for cancer or even help a kitty down from a tree, but she is my sister and I think that is heroic".
participants so far, tentative shipping order:
1. kayjay33 - CANADA (ship pref Canada)
2. rednumbertwo - CANADA (ship pref North America)
3. geishabird - CANADA (ship anywhere)
4. Annodyne - UK (ship pref UK/Europe)
5. lellie - UK (ship anywhere)
6. chambejd - USA (ship pref USA)
7. tiatia - USA (ship pref USA, int. if needed)
8. LadyKnightNiko - USA (ship pref USA)
9. carlissa - USA (ship pref USA)
10. acountkel - USA (ship US or Canada)
11. oi-reader - USA (ship anywhere)
12. StoryChaser - UK (ship Europe)
I am excited to get this bookray started and I look forward to reading what you all think about the book.
- write a journal entry on receipt of the book so the person who sent you the book knows that the book arrived safe & sound
- write a journal entry if there is some delay, maybe you have a couple of bookrings at home at the same time, or you're busy, on vacation, whatever, please let me know, so I don't have to worry
- write a journal entry when you send the book on to the next person on the list
I am in the middle of a large mystery book but will put it aside for now and read this story first.
In spite of all the problems of being joined and never being able to get away from each other except in sleep, there is so much love and caring between the two sisters , even though they both having such different interests and personalities.
One passage stays with me. As they returned from a trip to the Uncles homeland of Slovakia, Rose thought that everything should be different "But life had gone on,hugely and splendidly, without Ruby and me." I think that this sums up life for us all, and things will go on splendidly without us.
I will be sending the book on to the next member of the Bookray as soon as I get her address.
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
This is a controlled release by Canada Post to the next member on this Bookray
I have PMed the next reader in line, and hope to get this in the mail very soon.
Good luck little book!
I have always found conjoined twins fascinating, as I mentioned in my earlier journal entry, and not just because they are an "oddity"; but because they really force us to think about the idea of the individual and how two people can be individuals but at the same time something else. For years I have followed the story of the Hensel twins, Brittany and Abigail; they are dicephalic twins, not craniopagus, and if you haven't yet made their acquaintance I suggest you read up on them. They are two extraordinary young women, and I wonder what they would make of this book.
Thank you so much for sharing this wonderfully moving book. I will be sending it on to Annodyne this week.
This must be a really good book to have inspired such positive journal entries, and I'm looking forward to reading it ;-)
This could so easily have become sentimental and cloying, but never does: balance is achieved through the telling of the dark episodes of the visit to Slovakia, and the stark realities of living as a conjoined twin.
It is beautifully written, subtle and moving, and I loved the way that Rose and Ruby are given distinct and very different voices. Some tantalising threads are left hanging, as they are in life, and I think Lori Lansen is right not to attempt to tie them all up.
I absolutely loved this book, and am really sad to have reached the last page, and have no more to read. To quote Uncle Stash - people do not finish, they just stop. Good books don't finish either, and this is going to stay with me for a long time to come.
I'm going to post the book to lellie next week.
Edited 31/11/07 to add that I'm going to the Post Office today, and will be sending this on its way.
Thanks everyone for passing it on.
I often have this problem in December. It's such a busy month both at work and home that I hardly have time for reading. I don't beleive the peicemeal way I read this lovely book did it justice.
Beautifully written and very moving, also at times surprisingly funny.
Thank you everyone for passing this on, I only wish it had arrived at a different time and I could have read it more quickly.
I have chambejd's address so I will parcel this up now and get it in the post toworrow as soon as the Post Office opens.
ETA: This is being mailed to tiatia on 2/8/08.
This is definately one of the better books I have read this year- thanks so much for sharing it with me! I have Carlissa's address, and will run it to the post office on monday.
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
On to carlissa!
I will be mailing The Girls off today to the next person on the list.
I have some rings in front of this one but I will get to it soon!
Thank you for including me.
It sounds interesting!!
I am going to need a little more time to read this book.
I got behind on other rings.
I really want to read this.
I just need a little while longer
Thank you for including me in this ring!
The next 2 readers have asked to be skipped so, per the organizer's wishes,
I am going to try and see if there is anyone interested in continuing this ring.
Same rules apply from above
1-dabercro-Utah-US Only Shipping
2-classicfox-Ohio-US Only Shipping
3-hopi100-Virginia-will ship anywhere
5-turnpages-UK--Ship in Europe Only
6-Midlifecrisis-UK--Prefer Europe Shipping
7-Icila-France--Will ship Int'l
8-frangelle-UK-Prefer Shipping in Europe
9-tootshelling-Germany---will ship anywhere----------book is on the way here!
10-Wandering-B-Hong Kong--Will ship Int'l
11-sunfi-Ohio--Will ship Int'l
Thanks acountkel for organizing this ring.
The book is on its way to classicfox in OH today. Enjoy!
(And get well soon, classicfox's computer! :))
Thanks so much for sharing this! I'll be posting it on GingerWhinger within the next week (I walk to and from work, so I have to wait for a rainless day to bring a book along! :)). I'll journal when it's in the mail. Thanks again!
ETA (8/7): This will be going out tomorrow! :)
What well travelled book.
Having read all the journal enries I cant wait to start it.
Will try to put mini-whinger to bed earlier tonight!!
This was indeed an emotional yet subtle story that I really enjoyed.
Its been journalled so much its hard to find something more original to write!!
It will be heading off to Turnpages early next week
It arrived safely.
Sorry that I haven't yet journalled the book. The reason is that I haven't actually read the book, yet. A couple of days after I'd got sent the ring another bookcrosser surprised me by sending me a copy of "The Girls" to keep! As I didn't want to hold back the ring I decided to send it on unread, as I've got my own copy now. Once I've read the book, I'll add my comments here, too...
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
Sent on to the next reader...
Merci Midlifecrisis, tu écris très bien en français. Ce serait une très bonne idée de prendre des vacances en France... et de venir nous parler sur le french forum. ;)
Thanks for sharing !
13/11 : on its way to UK
This is a remarkable story about craniopagus twins, who become so real that they are no longer fictional characters but people with strong feelings. I identified with both twins and not once did I feel they were strange, anormal or people you would have to feel pity for. An outstanding read!
"People don't finish, Rose. People stop. To finish is to say, okay, now it's right, never I'm going to change it. To stop is to say okay, it's not perfect, but I have to go to something else."
Mailing off today, 10 November, to the next reader. Thanks again for sharing.
This seems to be the story of conjoined twins, I wasn't able get into it though. The story seemed slow and it just didn't hold my interest. I'm passing it forward to ksreader as a RABCK and ask that she consider passing it onto another bookcrosser once she finishes it.
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
Sent off to ksreader, it should arrive in the next couple of weeks. Happy Travels!