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twin time: or, how death befell me by…
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twin time: or, how death befell me

by Veronica Gonzalez

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Gonzalez's novel begins in realist mode, telling the story of a young girl fleeing a forced marriage and abusive mother with the help of a man she meets at a bakery. The couple travel from Mexico City to Los Angeles, where she gives birth to twins, only to abandon one of the twins when the chance arises to go to London with another man.

The second part of the book skips ahead thirty years. Mona, the twin left behind, has grown up, her father (the baker) has died, and she decides to set out to look for her long lost brother. From here the narrative begins to read like a fairy tale, with Mona traveling through a Dante-esque forest behind her home, encountering all kinds of strange people, all of whom are clearly projections of her own anxieties about not knowing her mother.

I liked the premise, and even the structure of the novel, but the prose wasn't strong enough to pull it off. There's a curious, withdrawn quality to it, so that it feels like sleepwalking more than reading. I also thought the ending was disappointing, though I won't give it away here. ( )
  jalbacutler | Jan 10, 2017 |
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