"The Girls," is a collection of stories about the lives and times of two conjoined twins. These stories are not in chronological order. They are memories of their relationships, their travels, their birth, and many other significant and not- so-significant moments of their lives. At many points in the story, the book is treated like a diary in which the sisters explain what is going on in their lives at the time the book being written. "The Girls," as they are known in their small Canadian town have been looked after by Aunt Lovey and Uncle Stash for most of their lives. They are soon to be the oldest surviving craniopagus (conjoined at the head) twins, and Rose is planning on writing a book of their memoirs. Ruby, her sister, is writing several chapters herself, as it is her life too. The point of view switches from one twin to the other, and the blanks that each sister leaves out is, in most cases, explained by the other.
Overall, it was an extremely enjoyable book. I chose it because it seemed like an interesting idea- I had never before read anything in the perspective of conjoined twins. While this wasn't what I would call a "pageturner" (it took me about two weeks to read, as I had exams at the same time), it is extremely well-written. Lansens has the unique ability to create two completely different characters and weave their stories so well that it is not difficult to believe that these two individual women have spent every waking moment of their lives connected. During some points in Rose's recollections, she tends to go a bit too deep into detail and description at the cost of plot stability, but I interpreted this more as a reflection of Rose and her writing style. I was also able to relate very well to Rose and somewhat to Ruby, despite the extreme differences in our situations. It was a fascinating experience to be able to "meet" these to characters and get to know them, and then to read about what they thought of each other and what happened in their everyday lives that they chose to relate to the reader (or not). "The Girls," is a very educational book- I learned a lot about life and relationships, not to mention the world and customs of other people. After the collection of stories, the ending is very satifying. I felt that in the ending, Lansens captured a true moment of real lives.