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The Twin's Daughter Hardcover – August 31, 2010
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From School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up–Lucy Sexton lives a charmed, but relatively boring, life in Victorian London. Her writer father provides her with books to read and money to spend while her mother, a true lady, dotes on her only daughter with love and affection. Then a knock comes at the door that changes her life forever. Standing on the other side is a woman who is the spitting image of her mother. Helen Smythe is her name, and she is the long-lost twin of Lucy's mother, Aliese. After being separated at birth, the sisters grew up in totally different situations. Aliese was raised by a family with wealth and promise while Helen lived in an orphanage and was forced to work. After the initial shock wears off, Aliese welcomes Helen into her family. After months of coaching, training, eating, and tailoring, Helen truly becomes Aliese's double. All seems well until one cold winter day when Lucy comes home to find Helen and her mother in a bloody room–one dead and one alive. Lucy is sure it is her mother who has been spared, but as years pass, her certainty wanes. This suspense-filled story starts out as a basic mystery but quickly turns into a fast-paced thriller filled with murder and intrigue. Readers will also enjoy a love story as Lucy falls for Kit, her new neighbor. This riveting story will keep readers guessing until the very end.–Traci Glass, Eugene Public Library, OR. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Thirteen-year-old Lucy Sexton is the beloved only child of a wealthy London family circa WWI. When her mother’s identical twin sister appears on their doorstep, the family is shocked but immediately accepts Aunt Helen as one of their own. Separated at birth from her more fortunate sister, Helen blossoms as she receives new clothes, tutelage, and etiquette lessons until it’s hard to tell her apart from Lucy’s mother. Tragedy strikes when Lucy comes home one day to find her mother and aunt tied to chairs and covered in blood, one dead and the other traumatized. Who’s behind the killing, and who is the survivor? Baratz-Logsted’s gothic murder mystery is rife with twists and moves swiftly and elegantly. Lucy is a spunky young woman who frequently challenges societal expectations yet remains in character as a member of upper-class English society. Despite a predictable romance with the boy next door, the many surprises that comprise the ending will intrigue and delight readers, as will the satisfying epilogue, which follows Lucy into adulthood as she raises her own daughter. Grades 7-11. --Debbie Carton
Top customer reviews
Lucy does have a love interest throughout the novel, and although very chaste and appropriate to the period in which the novel is set, contains unrealistic elements that don't play out as well as they could have.
I don't want to get into any spoilers here, so will refrain from telling more about the plot. The book is slow going. Not all young adults, or readers of young adult novels will appreciate an adequate presentation of a young woman being raised in upper class Victorian society. Some may find it highly sexist, which was the norm at that time.
I think the author could have done more with the plot, but I do think she did well in showing us the events through Lucy's eyes.
"The Twin's Daughter" is filled with twists and turns throughout, with the biggest plot twist, and betrayal at the very end. Keeping the reader on their toes the entire time, this book had me second-guessing myself as to which twin eventually died in the end, and I'm sure many other people who have read this book.
What I particularly like about "The Twin's Daughter", is the gradual change in the language as the story progresses. Starting off with the tongue of a young girl, Lucy is curious about the world around her. The structure and language then become the words of a woman who becomes very weary of the people around her, especially of the woman who called herself Lucy's mother.
The first part of the book builds up the background and setting and develops the characters and their relationships. Periodically, I wondered if one of the identical twins was Helen or Aliese, especially as they sometimes wore one another's clothes.
Lucy becomes friends with Kit who lives next door. She shares her thoughts and feeling with him after the murder of one of the twins. Every time I thought I'd figured out who was murdered and "who done it," another twist occurred. I really was convinced I had figured out the answers to the mystery more than one time and I was always wrong.
This book kept me engrossed and I found it difficult to put down. If you like mysteries, especially gothic mysteries, I highly recommend it.