by Lauren Baratz-Logsted
Lucy Sexton is stunned when a disheveled woman appears at the door one day…a woman who bears an uncanny resemblance to Lucy's own beautiful mother. It turns out the two women are identical twins, separated at birth, and raised in dramatically different circumstances. Lucy's mother quickly resolves to give her less fortunate sister the kind of life she has never known. And the transformation in Aunt Helen is indeed remarkable. But when Helen begins to imitate her sister in every way, even Lucy isn't sure at times which twin is which. Can Helen really be trusted, or does her sweet face mask a chilling agenda?
Filled with shocking twists and turns, The Twin's Daughter is an engrossing gothic novel of betrayal, jealousy, and treacherous secrets that will keep you guessing to the very end.
Expectations: Gorgeous cover! There is something slightly ominous about the silhouettes of the twins staring at each other. The promise of a Gothic novel with twists and turns gave me high expectations that this would be a fascinating tale.
There was such a delicious ominous atmosphere to the writing in this novel. The sense that something was wrong, or about to go wrong, and with every turn of the page I was constantly trying to decipher what really was happening with the characters. Lucy Sexton, the narrator, is thirteen when the story begins, and since the reader needs to see everything through her naive eyes, the author has the trick of letting the reader come to conclusions that Lucy does not. And that sets up certain expectations that the author can then turn on it's head when there are new developments to the story. I thought I had some things figured out, but there are some major twists and turns here! Without giving too much away - if you read this novel, what you think is happening is probably not what is really happening. Loved being kept on my toes!
Lucy grows older as the novel goes on, and I think the author did a great job capturing the youth and then maturity of Lucy in the writing. There is a poignancy to many of the characters that gives them so much dimension so that I sympathized with all of them, even if I didn't really like them. Not that my opinions of some characters stayed the same throughout the book. All in all, this was a great story, with a masterful manipulation by the author in playing with reader's expectations.