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The Twins by Saskia Sarginson

As identical twins, Isolte and Viola started life as one. They were inseparable as children – they slept together, played together and learned together. Their hippie mother left the city

to raise them as wild children. They didn’t know their father; they didn’t need to. “I’ve started a new dynasty,” their mother said. “You don’t need a past.”

And so, in this idyllic and free environment, they grew up, becoming close to identical twins John and Michael. This pair is even more primal and, through their friendship, the girls learn life’s lessons – death, abandonment, abuse and lies.

When Frank starts visiting their house with his daughter Polly, their mother begins to change. Suddenly the values they’ve have been raised with are being questioned and come under threat. They are forced to take Polly with them on their adventures, and Frank even suggests they stop seeing their best friends.

Feeling that the way they have always lived is being threatened, Isolte, Viola and the boys decide they need to take action. But their plan spins wildly out of control. As adults, Isolte and Viola live vastly different lives. While Isolte establishes herself in the media world, Viola struggles with the raw and painful reality of living with anorexia. The Twins zigzag between the past and present, as each realises that in order to live freely in the present and create a positive future, the past must be confronted and accepted.

This debut novel by Saskia Sarginson reveals a stunning writer with deep insight into people, their thoughts and behaviour. It is a beautifully crafted and compelling story that won’t disappoint.

Marilynn McLachlan

“The Twins” by Saskia Sarginson (Hachette, $36.99)

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