A woman assumes her twin’s identity and goes on a murderous rampage in this debut novel.
Alvina Knightly is broke, friendless, and unhappy. Her identical twin sister, however, has it all: a gorgeous husband, an adorable baby boy, and a beautiful villa in Sicily. When Beth invites her to visit on the same day that Alvina is fired and kicked out of her apartment, Alvina has almost no choice but to go. Soon she’s in Sicily, inwardly seething that Beth is living a glamorous life while hers is depressing. Alvina quickly discovers that Beth didn’t invite her just so they could catch up; she wants Alvina to switch places with her for a few hours, but she won’t explain why. Alvina goes along with the plan, but when Beth comes home that night they get into an argument. Beth ends up hitting her head and falling into the pool, where Alvina lets her drown. Finally, Alvina has what she’s always wanted: a chance to live Beth’s life. But soon, people begin to catch on that Alvina isn’t really her twin. Desperate to keep the life she thinks she deserves, Alvina kills anyone who threatens to reveal her identity. There’s something to be said for unlikable heroines, but Alvina is so unlikable that she’s nearly unreadable. Esposito’s tone is tricky to pin down: is Alvina’s gory rampage supposed to be funny, horrific, or both? Some may find a thrill in reading about a woman who truly does whatever she wants with no regard for others, but Alvina's callous thoughts and constant complaints about her twin sister are likely to put off most readers.
A bloody, gruesome slog.