Ellie and Helen swap places. Helen was the leader and Ellie was the follower. But Ellie refuses to swap back. Let with a host of behavioural problems, delinquency and chronic instability, Helen drops into madness, while Ellie lives a life of fame.
The twists and turns in this novel, both in time and perspective, made my head spin. Helen holds onto herself with difficulty, and you can really feel that happening. It’s nicely balanced between inaudible ramblings inside her mind, and outer thoughts that she can’t keep in. Not to mention how she interacts with other people.
Mental illness often runs in families, and this novel reflects that. It’s an interesting expose of how different people cope with being dubbed crazy, or just feeling crazy, or acting crazy because it suits them.
I couldn’t believe the twins’ mother! What a disgusting woman. Not to mention the rest of the family. No one says sorry about anything. Only Nick tries, and even then he is acting for his own purposes. Only the twins are really true to themselves, and even then things are skewed.
I felt completely confused by the ending. Why wasn’t she taking medication? How could things ever remain stable for her? Even with her studio. I can’t say too much here, but I’d love to hear other people’s thoughts. What did you feel about it? Were you satisfied? I was satisfied, yet confused all at the same time.
I got really trapped inside this novel and couldn’t put it down. I’m going to give it 4 stars, although perhaps it should be a generous 3.