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The Girls | [Lori Lansens]

The Girls

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.
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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.

©2006 Lori Lansens; (P)2006 Time Warner AudioBooks. All Rights Reserved.

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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (165 )
5 star
 (61)
4 star
 (65)
3 star
 (26)
2 star
 (6)
1 star
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Overall
3.5 (22 )
5 star
 (8)
4 star
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3 star
 (6)
2 star
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1 star
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Story
3.8 (20 )
5 star
 (8)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
 (2)
Performance
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  •  
    Barbara Marietta, GA, United States 06-24-06
    Barbara Marietta, GA, United States 06-24-06 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Overall
    "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.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katy J. Berner Amherst, NY United States 01-20-07
    Katy J. Berner Amherst, NY United States 01-20-07 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
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    8
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    "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.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. Ford Vancouver WA USA 03-11-07
    D. Ford Vancouver WA USA 03-11-07 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "The Girls"

    An amazing story. I loved the characters. Tragic, funny and hopeful. Compationate but honest. Beautiful and insightful. Will definately look for more of her books.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L. Jordan NY 05-23-06
    L. Jordan NY 05-23-06 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
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    6
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    "A great book"

    I was a little hesitant to buy this title - the subject matter seemed a little weird. But this was a great book, about the lives of two women. The author is a great writer, and the story really heartwarming. Highly recommend!

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K Mineral Point, PA, United States 10-24-11
    K Mineral Point, PA, United States 10-24-11

    Karenannie

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Endearing, with theme: live life to the full."

    In spite of some brief grapic descriptions and brief bits of profanity, the story was well told by Stephanie Zimblast and Lolita Davidovich, playing the parts of Rose and Ruby, the conjoined twins. Lori Lansens uses colorful illustrations and descriptions to bring their story to life. These girls use, what might be to some a disability, to its best advantage and live life to the full. With such a closeness no other humans could imagine, there is also the theme of oneness between their adoptive parents Lovie and Stan.
    The girls, are a marvel of co-operation but yet each with their own independent, personalities and goals. If you always have wondered what the life of conjoined twins might be like, listen to this book. They experience, growing up, loss, joy everything you or I experience in life. Enjoy!.
    I having a twin was especially touched by this novel.
    Karen

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kristine Penfield, NY, USA 05-31-10
    Kristine Penfield, NY, USA 05-31-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "Highly imaginative and lyrical "memoir""

    "The Girls" by Lori Lansens is a highly imaginative and lyrical "memoir" about two women who are sisters, friends and twins. Rose and Ruby are companions for life, joined at the head. Get beyond the creep factor and allow the girls to share their tale as the narration alternates between them. Written in two distinct voices, this work of fiction is most captivating when we see the twins interacting with others in their small Canadian town. Rose and Ruby pepper their journey with drama and comedy while disclosing some surprises along the way.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jan Delaware, OH, USA 06-03-06
    Jan Delaware, OH, USA 06-03-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting and Honest"

    This book was so interesting due to the nature of the sisters plight. The read was able to relate the "norm" connection between sisters as well as the special circumstances the sisters had to face together. Great book!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melissa Shacklefords, VA, USA 08-05-08
    Melissa Shacklefords, VA, USA 08-05-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "A beautiful story of two lives connected."

    This book is a very well written tail of two sisters who live with extrodinary circumstances. I was hooked during the first chapter and enjoyed every word. Lori Lansens somehow transforms your initial reaction to the concept of being a conjoined twin. By the end of the book, you view their circumstance as a gift. Even my husband, who rolled his eyes when I told him what we were listening to during our long car trip, really got into their story. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys a great story about life.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    08-07-09
    08-07-09 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    169
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    7
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    "Beautiful story"

    This book was amazing! It was wonderfully enhanced by the two excellent narrators. I discovered, towards the end of my listen, that it was the abridged version and I feel cheated because that means I did not get all the details from this beautiful story. I'm going back for more. The audio version is beautifully narrated and worth a listen even though I have never before recommended or knowingly purchased an abridged book. My fault for missing the abridged label, but a happy mistake because otherwise I would have passed on this wonderful audio.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Holly Vancouver, WA, USA 12-13-08
    Holly Vancouver, WA, USA 12-13-08 Member Since 2006
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    3
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    "Enjoyable"

    I enjoyed listening to this book. The story was very interesting and unusual. The story is about conjoined twins who are joined at the head and the relatively normallife they lead. I wondered where the author got the insights into the world of a conjoined twin as it seemed very believable. The narration was good in that I don't remember thinking much about it - I like it when that doesn't interfere with enjoying the book. I would recommend this book. I give it 4 stars as I found it compelling and enjoyable, but I save 5 stars for the really outstanding!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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