Publishing year: 2013
The way this new book is narrated is quite different.
The narration is non-linear, and the narrators alternate abruptly and there are cuts in the middle of chapters to change points in time. However, it is not difficult to follow.
The book is about two twin sisters, Isolte and Viola Love, and the action alternates between the present time, which is 1984, and when they were twelve-year-old in 1972. At present Isolte, who is the more determined and outspoken twin, is in a relationship with a photographer, Ben, but we see she is not happy as Ben devotes too much time and attention to his work. I think Isolte is a journalist or works for a magazine writing the fashion section. Viola is not well. She has an eating disorder and is in hospital, and we know that this is not the only time she has been this sick.
In the memories from both twins we learn that their mother was a hippy, and they first lived in a commune, but then their mother got tired of the rules in the commune and moved to a cottage in the forest. Things were good for a while as Rose, the twins’ mother, felt free, growing her own vegetables, milking her goat, and enjoying life. Yet, we know that things went from bad to worse when Rose started drinking, and then Rose committed suicide, drowning in the sea. We also know that at that time Issy and Viola met two twin brothers of the same age as them, Michael and John, and Viola and John were together. In her memories Issy reckons that it was when they moved with their aunt Hetty when Viola’s problems started, and we learn about the time when Viola shaved her long hair and stopped eating.
I think that Viola’s problems root from their past. I think there is a lot we need to discover. Why did her mother start drinking? Why did she commit suicide leaving her two young daughters? And what happened between John and Viola? In her letter to John, who she didn’t send, Viola mentions that something happened. Also, in the first chapter there is a reference to Viola and Issy being questioned by the police. When was that? Were they questioned because of their mother’s suicide or was it something else?