Monday, January 11, 2016

Book of the Week: Untwine

by Edwidge Danticat

Published by Scholastic, 2015
320 pages
ISBN: 978-0-545-42303-8

Age 13 and older

After her identical twin Isabelle is killed in a car accident, Giselle’s grief is compounded by her own injuries. Gisele wakes up in the hospital in small fits and starts. At first, there is the realization that Isabelle is dead; then comes the understanding that the staff and her aunt think that she is Isabelle and Giselle is the one who died. The mistake is rectified, but the loss remains, deep and ravaging, as Giselle moves through the first days and weeks after the accident. She and Isabelle were different, and sometimes fought, but even as they sought to be independent of each other, their closeness was a foundation. The loss changes the way Giselle sees her future, her friends, and her family, and underscores both the ways she and her sister strived to be individuals and also how deeply they were connected. Edwidge Danticat’s beautifully written look at the early days, weeks and months of grieving is grounded in a Haitian American family that was already in transition, not only because the two sisters were starting to think about life beyond high school but also because their parents were separating prior to the accident. Deeply moving, ultimately cathartic, it is a story that speaks, most profoundly, of love. ©2015 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

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