“Haylee always blamed our mother for everything that happened to us and everything terrible that we had done to each other- or I should say, everything terrible that she had done to me.”
What would be more horrible than everything having to be the same? People need to have their own identity, their own proclivities, and to be born looking physically the same makes it all the more important to distinguish one’s personality. But Haylee and Kaylee have been kept from everything that could influence them into forming separate identities, and yet they do anyway. Despite the ‘mirroring’ Haylee and Kaylee’s mother forces on them, they manage to break out of the creepy twinship. It’s hard to write as V.C. Andrews did, her Gothic style was uniquely hers but this isn’t completely without it’s merit. Maybe if I were in junior high I would enjoy it more. ‘Mother’ is a nightmare, and the scariest part is how easy it would be for a parent to really mess children up. Haylee is a nasty piece and Kaylee seems to be the classic character that wants to see the good in her. But seeing light where there is nothing but darkness goes beyond naivete. From the beginning “the cruelty in her eyes stunned me so much I was speechless” the reader is aware that this mirroring has soured Haylee- but who can blame her really, how do you live with such a mother and not become mad, or evil? Who wants to live in sync with another human being so much that you disappear? We’re not supposed to like the ‘impish’ actions of Haylee, but at least it broke up the monotony. “Daddy” is useless, who would tolerate such a woman? Just passively watching as their mother screws the girls up?
Haylee conjures up some trouble (which seems to be her specialty in life, her difference) and Kaylee keeps her dangerous secrets, hoping to persuade her sister to see sense, to know what she is doing is perilous but it just might be Kaylee who is in for a surprise. The novel takes a turn and leaves the reader wondering if Kaylee will escape the horrific mess her ‘beloved’ twin got her in. As this is volume #1, you’ll have to wait for book #2. I had a hard time with this story, but I can see the pull it could have for a younger reader. I remember stories like Flowers in the Attic, so my expectations for anything by V.C. Andrews are higher. At times I wish the girls characters were more developed, at times it came off a bit too black and white. I like my baddies to have more charm, I like the ‘good’ girls to not be so naive and squeeky- but then again if you take sweet ‘Mother’ into account, I suppose it’s a miracle they have developed any character at all.
The ending was a pretty good twist, and Haylee just got interesting as a rotten person. We shall see where it goes.
Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books