Identical twins Talulah and Taliah have never been apart. Viewed as curiosities by children and adults alike, they coexist in an insular world with their own secret language. But being identical doesn’t necessarily mean being equal…
Soon a series of momentous events will send Talulah and Taliah spiralling out of control, setting them on a collision course with a society that views them as two parts of a whole. Will their symbiotic relationship survive?
Perceptive and poignant, Symbiosis explores our enduring fascination with twins and the complexities of twinship.
A valuable addition to the monozygotic canon…
Symbiosis demonstrates Portman’s ability to populate his worlds with peculiar yet plausible characters.
Moving and laconic, with impressive attention to psychological detail…
Talulah and Taliah are identical twins. People find it hard to tell them apart. Their teachers, and even their parents, to a certain extent treat them as if they are the same person.
The twins have their own made up language which to be honest I ended up skipping after a while as the words don’t make any sense to the reader, only to the twins. I have to say I would have preferred a bit less of their own dialogue as I did find it slightly distracting.
Everyone seems to find the twins relationship hard to deal with. The teachers at the school don’t seem to know what to do with them and even the girls parents relationship deteriorates.
The novel certainly brings into question individuality. As the twins start to grow, even though they’re very much in touch with each others and their feelings, they start to drift apart as one twin seems to want to do other things and make new friends.
To start with I have to say I envied the twins closeness and thought it was quite lovely, the further into the story though I have to admit to finding it slightly unhealthy. There certainly didn’t seem to be anything ‘normal’ about their lives and if anything, things just seem to go from bad to worse for them.
There are quite a lot of stories involving twins around at the moment and the author has certainly come up with a very different take on the subject. I think due to the secret language and also the girls diary entires, the story didn’t flow as well as I would have liked it to for me but over all I found it an enjoyable and interesting story.
Many thanks to the author for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Goodreads rating 3/5 stars.
Symbiosis is available to purchase from Amazon.