Identical twins are very often just that – identical. In appearance, behaviour, outlook; even down to the choice of the type of partners they decide to spend their lives with.
Sometimes, though, what lies beneath the surface similarity is very, very different. That’s the hook in L V Matthews’s gripping story about twin sisters, utterly broken and divided by an unspeakable incident from childhood. Margot and Cora were already beginning to diverge in character and outlook anyway: this catastrophe blew them completely apart.
Now, years on, they plough very different furrows. Margot is a timid nanny, working for an upper-crust Kensington family, addicted to anxiety-suppressing pills and ever-fearful of being sacked. But Cora? She could hardly have turned out any more different from her timorous twin.
Cora is a dancer – a high-end, professional dancer with vaulting ambition and buckets of confidence. She is also unreliable, feckless, and completely unafraid to use sex to get what she wants – leading roles, usually – which is unsurprising, because she’s pretty promiscuous anyway.
But the real difference between Margot and Cora, the truly important one, is that Cora remembers, and Margot doesn’t. Cora remembers what happened all those years ago, while Margot, mind fogged by the ‘special pills’ she secretly imports from America, has only the vaguest memory of the terrible event that changed their lives.
What will happen if those memories break through – which they increasingly threaten to do? Which sister will win what will turn out to be a straight race for survival between them both?
Gripping, full of intrigue, and utterly absorbing from the first page.