All identical twins are tempted to pretend to be each other, particularly when they are young. Helen and Ellie decide to do just this one day. Helen doesn’t think Ellie will manage to imitate her very well, after all she is the leader, the bright one, the popular one, and Ellie just trails around after her. But Ellie surprises her. Then surprises her even more when she refuses to swap back…
Suddenly her sister has everything, her toys, her clothes, her friends, her glowing record at school and the favour of her mother. Now she is the one being taken out of normal lessons for special help, and her frustration at the unfairness of it all is attributed to the cord getting wrapped around her neck during birth just like her sisters tantrums had been. Meanwhile Ellie is blossoming.
The story is told in first person by Helen as it happens and simultaneously from the modern day Helen’s in third person. The Helen of today is a drug addict going by the name of Smudge, and Ellie, now a popular TV personality is in a coma after a car crash.
This is a short book, but it’s packed full of tension and pulls you in right from the start. I read this in pretty much one sitting. It is brilliantly written and raises questions about the role of nuture in childcare, portrays the effects of gas lighting, sibling rivalry and mental illness without ever once being preachy or hysterical, or more importantly diverting from the story.
This is a true psychological thriller and a stand out debut. It could easily be this years ‘Gone Girl’. Read it now! Everyone will be talking about it in the next few months! I hope we get to see a lot more from Ann Morgan’s pen.