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Summary

Longlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction, 2007.
Shortlisted for the British Book Awards, Richard and Judy Best Read, 2007.
A Richard and Judy Book Club selection.

In 29 years, Rose Darlen has never spent a moment apart from her twin sister, Ruby. She has never gone for a solitary walk or had a private conversation. Yet, in all that time, she has never once looked into Ruby's eyes. 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 30, 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.

©2006 Lori Lansens (P)2006 Hachette Audio

Critic reviews

"Exquisitely read by Stephanie Zimablist and Lolita Davidovich. I was off-put at the idea of a novel about conjoined twins ¿ but with Rose¿s first words, 'I have never looked into my sister¿s eyes...' I was completely entranced. Connected at the side of their heads, they face the world together, and, while Ruby is beautiful, Rose¿s face is lopsided. Each is a totally distinct character and they have lived all their lives in the small town of Leaford where they are known as 'The Girls'. It is Rose who is driven to tell their story, but Ruby wants her voice to be heard too, and as they continue through the present, they look back, separately and always together. Touching, funny ¿ and incredibly real." (Daily Express)
"This unusual novel is so satisfying...a graceful meditation on partnership identity and enduring love." (The Times)
"Perfectly pitched...an utterly heartwarming tale, without any traces of mawkishness. Anyone with a sister will relate to this." (Marie Claire) "This incredible story seems real because of the outstanding characterizations." (AudioFile)

What listeners say about The Girls

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

The sisters were supposed to be 19 but their behaviour was more like ten year olds which was just annoying

There were many times in this book l had to go back and recheck the sisters ages at the time, Their behaviour and dialogue seemed more fitting for ten year olds and certainly not nineteen year olds!!. There was nothing mentioned about any learning disabilities that they had so lt was hard to understand 19 year olds bickering like children and nipping each others facial moles and cheeks in public to hush each other.
I was also quite concerned with their attitude towards sex, one sister demands that a boy kiss her and doesn’t bother to think about the other twin or take responsibility for what happens. It doesn’t get discussed afterwards just totally dismissed.
All in all a weird book, l think it would have worked better if learning difficulties were introduced as part of their characters early on. It certainly would have made more sense.

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    4 out of 5 stars

Compelling

An original idea and compelling story, moving without being sentimental, and often humorous. The details of the twins' lives were so convincing, I had to keep reminding myself that it was fiction!