Two Lovely Berries by A. M. Blair

Two Lovely Berries by A. M. BlairTwo Lovely Berries by A.M. Blair
on January 1, 1970
Pages: 268
Source: I purchased a copy of this book.
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four-stars

Nora and Aubrey Daley were never going to be the type of twins who lived together from womb to nursing home, despite their inseparable childhood in suburban Philadelphia and their matching Yale degrees. Their lives diverge soon after graduation—too soon, in Nora’s opinion—when Aubrey’s marriage to her college boyfriend changes more than her last name.
As Nora adjusts to a future without Aubrey by her side, new revelations about their past threaten to undo her progress and force her to question her memories. She and Aubrey share virtually all of their genes—but perhaps little else.
Two Lovely Berries is an exploration of the struggle for individuality between identical twins, complicated by family violence, divisive relationships, and personal demons from which even those born into privilege cannot escape.
A. M. Blair is a Pennsylvania-based writer who blogs about literature and the law at The Misfortune of Knowing: http://misfortuneofknowing.wordpress....

 

I first heard about Two Lovely Berries from Katie at Words for Worms. I’m a big fan of AMB’s blog, but had somehow missed that she’d published a novel! I read Katie’s review, then immediately bought the book. And as often happens with book purchases, it then sat on my Nook, waiting and waiting to be read. I finally picked it up during a recent slump where nothing was grabbing me, when I kept starting and setting books aside. This pulled me out of that slump; I ended up reading it in one sitting.

The story centers around two identical twin sisters, Nora and Aubrey, and their suddenly separate lives after college, their struggle to have independent identities yet stay connected. There’s a lot of dysfunction in their family, and they each end up in unhealthy (to put it mildly) relationships. On top of that, it seems to be perpetuated by their parents’ twisted values and priorities. I felt both angry and sympathetic toward these characters, yet in each one I recognized the very real situations of real people.

Once in a while I felt I’d missed something along the way. It was like I had to take little leaps to believe something that was mentioned or said. That was very minor though, and didn’t really bother me too much. These characters were so compelling, I kept telling myself I’d go to sleep after “just a few more pages” (we all know how that usually turns out). Two Lovely Berries is a wonderful character-driven novel, and I just loved A. M. Blair’s writing. She pulled me right into the twins’ story and kept me in their world until the last sentence.

four-stars