May 19, 2012

Review: The Twin's Daughter

By: Lauren Baratz-Logsted
Published: August 2010 by Bloomsbury
Format: Hardback, 390 pages
First Reviewed: February 2011
Buy: Barnes & Noble//Books-A-Million//Amazon//Book Depository
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Does a child not recognize her own mother?

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.

Rating: 4.5/5

Okay, I was looking forward to reading this. It seemed to have everything I wanted in a book with it's being a Gothic mystery. At first, I was liking it, and in the middle, I figured it'd earn four stars, but then I got to the ending...

First off, I love the setting! London during the Gothic Era in an old stone mansion...what more could I want? It was perfect for me. One of my all-time favorite settings!

You know, I haven't really thought about the characters until now. And I don't mean that in a bad way. This is a very "story-driven" novel. The mystery is more of the main character, in my opinion, however, the characters were developed nicely, especially considering this spans over about five years. The main character, Lucy, not only has one of my favorite names, she also had a great voice and a clear personality. The surrounding characters were also nicely developed. There were times when I was a little bit confused with a couple of them, like Kit. I didn't really know how to take to him for a while. Overall, good characterization.

Applause for Baratz-Logsted for her consistency with the language. She did extremely well with it, in my opinion. I'm always worried when I read historical fiction or other novels set in a time period /realm that speaks differently than we do. But she handled this very well that I felt as though I was there in that time and place. The nitpicks I have with the writing come down to the structure, for the most part. With almost every piece of dialogue, she stuck the tag in between the sentence, so a lot of the time it made the dialogue feel choppy since it was interrupted all the time. She also had some sentences that would run-on a bit, and I'd have to re-read. However, she still gets insane brownie points for the dialect in this. I thought it was great.

Sooo much happens in this book. So much. It was a little overwhelming at times. It's not fast-paced, but I will admit that I never got bored. Toward the middle of the book, I didn't know whether I was liking the plot too much. I thought it was drawing on and on, but then I got to the ending, and oh boy was it a twist I never saw coming. I honestly thought I had everything figured out. I even thought, Darn, this is too predictable. But I was wrong. I love being wrong about stuff like this. There really is so much to this book, that it makes you wonder what the main plot is and even sometimes I thought she could have condensed a lot of things, but it does come all together in the end. I don't say this much, but the description hits the nail on the head: "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."

Great work with the language and time and with having so many elements within a book that it still works. I love a book that changes my mind and rating at the end. Really, it's a good read! I should probably also add, though, that this isn't a cheerful story. Yes, there are moments, and an uplifting ending, but there's death and sadness as well. Though, there's something in this book for everyone. It's not your typical, commercial young adult novel. Nice change!

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