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by Diana Evans

Book by Evans, Diana
Download 26A epub
ISBN: 0701177969
ISBN13: 978-0701177966
Category: Literature
Subcategory: Contemporary
Author: Diana Evans
Language: English
Publisher: Vintage Uk (February 28, 2005)
Pages: 276 pages
ePUB size: 1786 kb
FB2 size: 1275 kb
Rating: 4.3
Votes: 786
Other Formats: mobi azw lrf txt

In her first published novel, Diana Evans masterfully weaves together the twin realities of growing up in a fractured, multicultural, essentially modern family and the magical world shared only by two sisters whose bond serves as a model of familial togetherness and companionship so intense it makes one person of two.

Born to an English banker and his Nigerian-born wife in the London suburb of Neasden, twin protagonists Georgia and Bessi Hunter claim as their shared birthright a multiplicity of locales -- the deceptively pedestrian environs of their middle-class English home, the unfamiliar Nigerian homeland of their mother, and the many realms they explore together in dreams and visions. None of these places is without considerable danger, and the twins face great horrors in each. Their growing-up throughout the course of the novel is a struggle against abuse, alienation, and uncertainty.

Evans relates her balanced and forceful plot with a strong lyric voice informed by her experience with poetry. Though she occasionally gives way to melodrama, readers are unlikely to resent her for it, given her rich appreciation for her characters' inner lives and her peculiar sense of linguistic and narrative invention.
Diana Evans' debut novel, 26A, boasts more than just this author's proficient use of the English language. Evans' language and characterization of the two young protagonists, Georgia and Bessi, reaches out to the reader and finds his sentimentality, his complex understanding of himself and his relationships, and his nostalgia. Evans employs the real and mystical realms as she probes ontological understandings of the reason through the often separate parts of the twins: their Nigerian halves from their mother Ida and their English halves from their father Aubrey. The mystic realm enters through their Ida: her baths and secret conversations with Nne-Nne, her father's stories of Nigerians labeling twins as evil, and her aid in Bel's interpretations of prophetic dreams. The real realm enters through Aubrey: his nightly glass of scotch, his overbearing mother, and his need to control his household. The twins' relationship and spiritual bond also reflects on the mystic realm. The girls are affected physically when one thing happens to one of them the other feels it. They have a deeper understanding of one another's feelings.
A story about twins sisters. It was interesting but also a little boring. It was deep at times and it jumped around alot.
I found this book rather randomly, as I was browsing bookshelves in no particular order, and I reading it made me very grateful that I still find the time to visit brick & mortar bookstores!

Even though this is the story of two biracial girls living in London, even though their Nigerian roots are strong, Evans never makes the novel about race. Rather, being biracial, having a Nigerian mother who believes in spirits, these are important, influential parts of who they are. Its not portray as an obstacle or a difficulty, which I appreciated. But even better than this story of a family of women with exceptional connections and insight into the human spirit and across continents and physical boundaries, the language is this novel is what makes it stand out. The language of this novel is what makes it move. I think I will be dreaming of the last few chapters, "the last bit," as Evans might say, for days.

The characters were real and interesting, the story was moving, and the writing just took my breath away. Evans has a real gift for poetic prose and imagery. The clash of cultures especially vivid, and the pain and confusion of depression -- I just can't even imagine how Evans was able to portray it so vividly. I can't wait for more.
Started off great, but became weak as the novel went on. Touching.
A little too out there for me to follow.
I love this book!
26A by Diana Evans introduces readers to the lives of identical twin sisters. Bessi and Georgie are intricately connected from even before the womb, as the author so uniquely illustrates. The story is set in England, in a suburb of London called Neasden, their address being 26 Waifer Avenue (the "A" signifying the attic where the twins reside). Bessi and Georgie are bi-racial and live with their mother, Ida, who fled from Lagos, Nigeria to avoid an arranged marriage; their father, Aubrey, who is English and a successful businessman who met their mother while in Nigeria on an extended business trip; their older sister, Isabel (Bel) and their younger sister, Kemy. All of the sisters are extremely close and very protective of each other. However, their older and younger sisters make special effort to protect the bond of the twins. Their space is respected and no one enters their world without permission. The sisters are an extreme comfort and support to each other as they deal with their parents impending "divorce" and cope with their father's frequent bouts of anger, as they often refer to him as Dr. Jekyll or Mr Hyde, depending on his behavior that day.

What resonated most about 26A was the way in which the author described the relationship between Bessi and Georgie. Evans literally blew me away with how she described a relationship that I, as an identical twin, could never begin to put into words myself - and probably never would, because some of the things shared seemed as natural as breathing. For example, Bessi and Georgie "share" dreams. Georgie visits a character in her dreams named Gladstone that she talks to Bessi about all the time, as if he is a real part of their family. Another example is how they feel each other's discomfort or pain. Evans described a scene so vividly in which one of the twins was being harmed and the other felt her pain.

Bessi and Georgie do not make any moves without consulting the other - their twin's consideration is always put first and it has to be because they were partners before their lives began! From being business partners in their flapjack-making endeavor, The Famous Flapjack Twins, to lifetime partners. Their dependency on one another is likened to the way your left foot is dependent on your right. One cannot go further until the other one goes first and if one breaks, well, the other one will carry all the weight until her partner recovers.

This is a love story of sorts which describes the bond between two soul mates that would do anything to protect the private world in which they live. They protect this world by keeping it peaceful, safe, happy, and young. First and foremost, I highly recommend this book to anyone who is a twin or a sibling of twins, for you will gain much more appreciation for your/their relationship, or anyone that is fascinated with the unique relationship of twins or of sisters coming of age. The cultural references were also enlightening and very interesting to read about as well. Overall, you will not be disappointed!

Reviewed by: Lena Willis
APOOO BookClub