Twin Truths by Shelan Rodger

twin truths Shelan RodgerTwin Truths is the story of twins Jenny and Pippa. Part 1 is told from Jenny’s perspective, part 2 from Pippa’s, and part 3 from, well, I won’t give that away! This is a novel about the nature of identity and truth, and how those things intertwine.

I love an unreliable narrator and Jenny is just that, particularly in the beginning. She lies to everyone around her about her past and why she is in Argentina, doing her best to shock them. Even when she seems sincere you can’t quite believe her, though you always get the sense she’s hiding something bad that has happened to her and/or Pippa. It’s not long before she reveals just how insecure and vulnerable she really is.

In the first part, alternate chapters are from the point of view of Jenny’s therapist, Ignacio. I did not like Ignacio. I quite enjoy reading unlikeable characters most of the time, but not when they’re written in a way that makes me think I’m supposed to root for them. There’s also a relationship between Ignacio and Jenny that is just really inappropriate – he knew she was a vulnerable woman and that he was in a position of power (even if Jenny’s false bravado made it seem otherwise). I can see what Rodger was doing with it – Ignacio’s struggle between his professional and personal identities ties in with the main theme of identity and a ‘split’ within this identity. But the inappropriateness of it was only questioned a little before it was forgotten, and it felt like I was supposed to forget it too – that it was a twisted but perfect relationship for them both. *Bias alert* I’m a psychologist so this sort of thing probably annoys me more than it would a non-therapist. It might not bug you at all. *Bias alert over*

The novel twists and turns, and the revealed ‘truth’ when Jenny and Pippa’s truths finally come together is pretty good. The minor twist in the epilogue was a twist too far for me, and I felt it slightly undermined what she was trying to do with the end. I would have preferred the book without it.

The author’s note about the inspiration behind the book was interesting, and I actually found it more engaging than the book itself, and it made me like the book more. I also think a lot about the nature of identity and how it ties to memories and narratives we tell about ourselves and others.

The chapters are very short (often just two pages) so it feels like a very quick, easy read. I preferred parts 2 and 3, because even though in many ways Jenny is the more intriguing twin, part 1 was a little repetitive in places and I just couldn’t get along with Ignacio’s chapters.

For me it was ok, not great, but interesting enough if you fancy a quick easy read with a slight edge.

I received a free copy from Cutting Edge Press in exchange for an honest review.

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2 Responses to Twin Truths by Shelan Rodger

  1. Pingback: June Reads | mischief and miscellany

  2. Pingback: June Reads 2014 | mischief and miscellany

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