The Girls

  • by Lori Lansens
  • Narrated by Stephanie Zimbalist, Lolita Davidovich
  • 6 hrs and 4 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Meet Rose and Ruby: sisters, best friends, confidantes, and conjoined twins. Since their birth, Rose and Ruby Darlen have been known simply as "the girls". They make friends, fall in love, have jobs, love their parents, and follow their dreams. But the Darlens are special. Now nearing their 30th birthday, they are history's oldest craniopagus twins, joined at the head by a pot the size of a bread plate. When Rose, the bookish sister, sets out to write her autobiography, it inevitably becomes the story of her short but extraordinary life with Ruby, the beautiful one. From their awkward first steps, Ruby's arm curled around Rose's neck, her foreshortened legs wrapped around Rose's hips, to the friendships they gradually build for themselves in the small town of Leaford, this is the profoundly affecting chronicle of an incomparable life journey.
As Rose and Ruby's story builds to an unforgettable conclusion, Lansens aims at the heart of human experience, the hardship of loss and struggles for independence, and the fundamental joy of simply living a life. This is a breathtaking novel, one that no reader will soon forget, a heartrending story of love between sisters.

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What the Critics Say

"A ballad, a melancholy song....The Girls glides by like a watercolor dream, finding its poetry in dailiness and the universalities of human desire and connection." (The New York Times Book Review)
"Lansens captures a contradictory longing for independence and togetherness." (Publishers Weekly)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Terrific material, great presentation:

This charming novel is written in the form of a memoir, mostly kept by the dominant sister of a pair of conjoined twins. The other sister has her say as well, but is a reluctant diarist. The author has given great thought and developed true insight into the lives of two distinct women who have lived every single moment together, and yet come away with very different perceptions. Their lives in small town Canada, their family, loves, losses, joy and despair are brought to this audiobook with rare sensitivity and rich humor.

Readers Lolita Davidovitch and Stephanie Zimbalist did an amazing job portraying The Girls, giving each a solid personality and a completely authentic demeanor. Ms. Davidovitch could have fallen back on her Canadian roots to make their rural Ontario accents a bit more believeable, but that isn't important to most listeners.

The incidental music in this recording is less-annoying than most incidental music, most of the time, and sometimes is actually appropriate. In any case, it's never overbearing or unpleasant.

Ordinarily, I shy away from sentimental stuff and "women's" fiction, but this was an enjoyable experience and I was very happy to have found this book on Audible (I was looking at buying a print copy). It is one of those books which lends itself beautifully to the audio format. Highly recommended.
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- Barbara

Beautiful Novel

I truly loved this novel. The two "voices" of the twins were so unique and individual that you almost forget that they are conjoined. The story at first seems like a dumb premise, but it is beautifully done and I'd compare this reading experience to The Secret Life of Bees, one of my favorite narrative novels of all time. The author writes a very unique and poingnant story that has many universal and heartfelt themes. Have tissues, you'll need them.
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- Katy J. Berner

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-01-2006
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio