All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Review: The Girl In The Mirror by Rose Carlyle

on August 28, 2020

The Girl In The Mirror
Rose Carlyle
Allen & Unwin
2020, 368p
Copy courtesy of the publisher

Blurb {from the publisher/Goodreads.com}:

Identical twins only look the same …

Beautiful twin sisters Iris and Summer are startlingly alike, but beyond what the eye can see lies a darkness that sets them apart. Cynical and insecure, Iris has long been envious of open-hearted Summer’s seemingly never-ending good fortune, including her perfect husband, Adam.

Called to Thailand to help sail the family yacht to the Seychelles, Iris nurtures her own secret hopes for what might happen on the journey. But when she unexpectedly finds herself alone in the middle of the Indian Ocean, everything changes.

Now is her chance to take what she’s always wanted – the idyllic life she’s always coveted. But just how far will she go to get the life she’s dreamed about? And how will she make sure no one discovers the truth?

Written with the chilling suspense of The Girl on the Train and Before I Go to Sleep, The Girl in the Mirror is an addictive thriller about greed, lust, secrets and deadly lies.

Okay so this was a ride.

Summer and Iris are identical twins but even though they are perfectly identical, they are still somehow not the same. Summer has a certain something, a quality that Iris cannot replicate, no matter how hard she tries. For a long time, despite their closeness, there’s also a strange kind of rivalry or competition. Especially after the conditions of their father’s will were revealed. Summer has the most perfect life – she had a career as a nurse and at a young age, married handsome and wealthy Adam and is mother to his young son. They live in a beautiful house and it seems they are the perfect couple in every way. By contrast, Iris is alone, back in Australia after a failed stint in New Zealand. She’s barely arrived when a phone call from Summer summons her to Thailand to skipper the family yacht out of Thai waters to the Seychelles. Iris is happy to be needed by Summer, it gives her a purpose. However the voyage takes an ugly turn when Iris wakes one morning alone when she shouldn’t be. And in that, there’s opportunity in the grief.

It’s hard to review this without giving too much of the plot away – there are quite a few twists and the character’s motivations for doing what they do, are powerful. It’s the sort of book where there’s a lot of depth in the character relationships because a large part of the book is spent on a boat in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Iris and Summer have a very complex relationship that’s not easy to sum up in a few sentences and it’s the sort of relationship that might make sense only to other identical twins. Add in further complexities and it becomes a melting pot of greed, desire, envy, determination, jealousy, resentment and about a million other things. There’s a lot at play in this particular family and it takes a big dangling carrot to understand why some of the people act in the way that they do. Money is a powerful motivator and there’s nothing that some wouldn’t do to secure more of it than anyone could ever dream of.

As well as the layers of the sibling relationship Iris also gives the reader a strong insight into the relationship that her father had with his offspring. He’s dead when the book begins but his presence hangs over them like a thundercloud. He raised them in ways that instilled strength and independence in them but in probably the wrong ways and Iris in particular, seems to be forever searching for his approval, even though he’s no longer around. He owned a yacht named Bathsheba which Summer and Adam now own, even though Iris was more the sailor than Summer ever was. It’s that boat they need Iris to crew from Thailand to the Seychelles and apparently, this is a journey that the author has undertaken in real life and it shows. There’s quite a lot about sailing in here, the various methods and ins and outs, especially during a large expanse of ocean. It felt really knowledgeable and like you’d have confidence in Iris as a sailor, even if you had confidence in her in few other ways!

I think this would make an excellent movie, there’s so much about it that lends itself to the big screen. The setting is fabulous for being able to tell a story and there’s just a lot that could be shown with flashbacks and subtle expressions, etc. There are so many times where you think you have this book figured out and where the characters are going but there are plenty of surprises. The final scene is epic and the sort that I think would be great for book clubs, groups of friends etc because it would keep you talking for weeks afterwards.

I really enjoyed this. I started it late in the day, not expecting to finish it but I got so sucked into the story that I had to just keep going until I was done.

8/10

Book #170 of 2020


4 responses to “Review: The Girl In The Mirror by Rose Carlyle

  1. Cheryl Crowe says:

    Just started reading the 📖 – and will not be going to 🛏 until I’ve finished. 👩‍🦳🤓😘

  2. Michele Fisher says:

    Can we talk about the end? I have questions!

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