It is not very often when I discover a modern novel which I find absolutely intriguing.
So, when my best friend, Jenn, recommended The Thirteenth Tale to me, I didn't get my hopes up.
It turns out, I was pleasantly surprised after reading it.
The Thirteenth Tale, written by Diane Setterfield, is one of the most captivating and stimulating novels to be released in the past decade.
This gothic suspense novel revolves around the reclusive and magnificent best-selling British author, Vida Winter, who randomly approaches Margaret Lea, a simple book store clerk, to write her biography. Margaret slowly unfolds Miss Winter's dark secrets from her mysterious and troubled past. The truth about this author's life lurks at every corner and the shockingly strange clues collected on the journey leave the reader hungrily turning the pages for more.
It is a book that delves into the complicated world of identical twins. It looks into the psyche of identical twins and the enviable bond they share which non-twins cannot even fathom.
The novel is also an ode to British literature in general, giving shout-outs to classic literature, such as The Woman in White and Middlemarch.
If you love deliciously haunting novels and British literature, you should definitely read The Thirteenth Tale.
This novel especially increased my fascination with identical twins.
We live in a world where twins are not a big deal. After all, a lot of couples who use fertility pills have multiples.
But we also live in a world where identical twins are a rare phenomenon. They are incredibly uncommon.
I mean, not even Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen are identical twins. They are fraternal.
Most twins in this world are created because two fertilized eggs are implanted on the uterus wall at the same time. Identical twins, however, are created when one egg is fertilized, but then divides.
It is a common theory, even amongst a lot of identical twins themselves, that they are bound to each other because they were supposed to be the same person.
They can finish each other's sentences. They have the same thoughts. Their instincts and mannerisms are very similar.
Oddly enough, sometimes identical twins can display opposite behavior, which, if you put the twins together, would make a well-rounded person. For example, one twin could be extremely outgoing and likable, while the other twin is quiet and a loner. Or, one twin could be really kind and generous, while the other twin is mean-spirited and cold.
While scientists cannot prove this theory, it has been a common theme among identical twins throughout history.
It reminds me of an episode of the Tyra Banks talk show I saw a few months ago, where she interviewed these identical twins who were so obsessed with being identical (same clothes, hair style, etc.) that they even admitted they wanted to be sewn together, like Siamese twins.
That steel bond, that intense craving to be the same person, was so powerful inside of these girls, it startled me.
I can't imagine what it would be like to not feel...whole. Mentally and physically.
Do you have an identical twin? If not, do you wish you had one?