THE SECRET TWIN by Denise Gosliner Orenstein


Age Range: 13 - 15
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In this dreamlike narrative, two love-starved young people connect in the brief time they share. Prissy and underfed, 13-year-old Noah has been raised by his grandmother, Mademoiselle. A former showgirl obsessed with her body and with formulaic courtesies, Mademoiselle has taught Noah to avoid food, human contact and affection. Now, with Mademoiselle gone for a facelift, Noah is in the care of a creature he can barely comprehend: Nurse Grace, who is large, loud and loving. Grace, desperate for connection since the death of her own baby brother, wants to nurture Noah, to fatten him up, to offer him companionship. Noah, on the other hand, wants only to retreat. He obsesses over his conjoined twin brother who died at birth, and thinks of himself as only half a boy. Grace and Noah both narrate the tale in alternating (and often conflicting) chapters, offering painful insight into these two wounded characters. Only as they come to terms with their unfaced grief can they recognize their shared heart. A lyrical, melancholy look at healing and human connections. (Fiction. 13-15)

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 0-06-078564-0
Page count: 400pp
Publisher: HarperTempest
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2006