Monday, February 08, 2010


Oliver and Ada waiting for Daddy to come home this afternoon. Ada kept whispering, "Dada.. Daddeeeee ..Dada.. Daddeeeee.."

I recently finished reading "One and the Same: My Life as an Identical Twin and What I've Learned About Everyone's Struggle to Be Singular" by Abigail Pogrebin. It was a fascinating book. For some reason I can't think straight enough to really give it a just review at the moment, but the basic premise was that she interviewed loads of twins (some famous and others just ordinary mortals) and wrote about their varying relationships. About the intensity of twinness, particularly that between identical twins. How it can be so strong, in some cases, that twins are unable to find a mate because no one they form relationships can handle the strength of that twin bond and how that relationship always comes first.. for some twins. It goes on and on about sameness and differentness in sets of twins. Some stories about those spooky twins who were separated at birth and still marry women with the same names and name their sons (who are the same age) the same names and work at the same jobs etc. As I said, I really enjoyed this book and it gave me a lot of insight into how my girls might be feeling in the future and how to protect that twin bond without letting them lose their individuality in the process. I was a little shocked when I got to the end of the book and she had an interview with a set of twins that actually survived Joseph Mengele in Auschwitz. Their description of their time there was, as can be imagined, horrifying. The only part of their experience that was not horrific to them was Mengele himself. Apparently this is a consistent report of twins who survived those awful times. They saw "Mengele as their protector as much as their persecutor". He was reportedly very handsome and had his boots polished multiple times a day so that they shone like mirrors. This chapter sent shivers down my spine. These twin women survived their stay in Auschwitz because they had each other. Their bond kept them going and in the end as they were marched through the snow with the other survivors, skeletal, freezing, it was that bond of twinship that would not allow the one sister to leave her twin, though she was sick and begging to lay down in the road. She had her hang onto her neck and she dragged her along, and they survived. Anything to do with the holocaust brings me to tears on most occasion and leaves me unable to fathom the event. Hearing first hand what it was like for twins to be in a death camp hit a little too close to home.

So while I enjoyed the book overall, immensely, I feel my next read needs to be uplifting as I am having a hard time getting those images out of my head. I think I may start the Chronicles of Narnia again.. it has been awhile since I read through them. Does anyone out there have a suggestion for a good book? Something you just couldn't put down? I would love to hear it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like an interesting read, and indeed, very sad at the end.

I could go on and on about good reads:
Anything by Chaim Potok: My Name is Asher Lev is probably my favorite. His topic is usually Hasidic Jews in the first half of last century. So, sometimes he touches on WWII.

Ann Lamott. Funny, very honest, crass and generally easy to pick up. Bird by Bird is great. I also really enjoyed her book about the first year of motherhood - hilarious.

Richard Russo is also very funny, and again, pretty easy to pick up. Michael and I both like his writing.

Hope you're able to get some rest these days; we're excited about your new little one. The girls look great!

Megan (and Michael and Gloria)