Thursday, March 7, 2013

{Review} Her: A Memoir by Christa Parravani

ISBN #: 978-0805096538
Page Count: 320
Copyright: March 5, 2013
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.

(Taken from Amazon)

Christa Parravani and her identical twin, Cara, were linked by a bond that went beyond siblinghood, beyond sisterhood, beyond friendship. Raised up from poverty by a determined single mother, the gifted and beautiful twins were able to create a private haven of splendor and merriment between themselves and then earn their way to a prestigious college and to careers as artists (a photographer and a writer, respectively) and to young marriages. But, haunted by childhood experiences with father figures and further damaged by being raped as a young adult, Cara veered off the path to robust work and life and in to depression, drugs and a shocking early death.

A few years after Cara was gone, Christa read that when an identical twin dies, regardless of the cause, 50 percent of the time the surviving twin dies within two years; and this shocking statistic rang true to her. "Flip a coin," she thought, "those were my chances of survival." First, Christa fought to stop her sister's downward spiral; suddenly, she was struggling to keep herself alive.

Beautifully written, mesmerizingly rich and true, Christa Parravani's account of being left, one half of a whole, and of her desperate, ultimately triumphant struggle for survival is informative, heart-wrenching and unforgettably beautiful.

Charlene's Review:

Christa and Cara Parravani were born identical twins and shared life with a bond only twins could understand. When Cara is brutally raped, Christa must fight to keep her beloved twin alive as she spirals into a dark depression leading to drugs and self-abuse. Unable to save her sister, Christa finds herself sinking into despair as she struggles to live as a twin-less twin.

Having read my share of memoirs, none have left me feeling as if I glimpsed things I truly shouldn't have, as much as this one did. Written with a depth that only grief can allow, this is a dark, honest account of a survivor's anguish, and a search for identity when all you've known is stripped away. It was hard to read, as I could feel Christa's anguish and hopelessness. This is definitely not a light read, but sheds light on the twin "phenomenon" in a terrifyingly real way. Her is as deeply disturbing as it is hopeful.

*A physical copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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