Irish Twins by Susan Hill
Long Barn Books (ebook), 2014
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
Born within the same twelve months, Mary and Fern Piper are ‘Irish twins’ as their mother proudly declares. But when their father leaves home and they move to a new village, the girls encounter another pair of almost-twins – the Beak brothers. When Jim Beak marries her sister, Fern thinks it’s only a matter of time before she in turn marries his brother – but suddenly the sister’s symmetry of lives is broken beyond repair.
Mary and Fern Piper shared a bedroom in the new place, which their mother called a cottage though it did not look like one.
WHAT I THOUGHT
Irish Twins is a strange, unsettling story. I thought Mary and Fern’s relationship was a bit creepy and obsessive. Mary is the most stable of the sisters. Fern clearly has issues and her feelings for her sister are intense and uncomfortable – she seems unable to cope with the idea that her sister is a person in her own right and has her own life and own choices. Fern was irritating at times but I found her incredibly sad as well.