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A Dark Dividing

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  875 ratings  ·  126 reviews
Journalist Harry Fitzglen is less than thrilled to write up the opening of some glittering new art gallery. But the boredom falls away when he meets Simone Anderson, whose oddly compelling photographs are on display. Harry loves a girl with a past, and Simone's is a doozy: What exactly happened to her long-disappeared twin sister? And what is her connection to another pair ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published June 16th 2011 by Felony & Mayhem (first published January 1st 2004)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,375)
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Melki
Let's flashback some twenty odd years. Conjoined twins are born. They are a pair of darling baby girls. The doctors say they could easily be separated with little risk to either child. Their mother wants the surgery. But their ambitious father sees political advantage in keeping the girls "as God made them".

But what do these girls have to do with a pair of conjoined twins born at the turn of the century? The answer lies in a a creepy old institution called Mortmain House. It was once a workhouse
...more
Alison
Some of the scariest writing I've ever read. I'd never heard of Sarah Rayne prior to this, but now I'm going to be looking out for her, and for the press that publishes her in the U.S., Felony & Mayhem. No spoilers here, just know that if you can imagine yourself inside a story the way I can, then inhabiting the very dark house that is Mortmain in Wales, where much of the action takes place, will be a scary, or even terrifying, experience. Rayne crafts this story carefully, visually, as thou ...more
Victoria
I read this book in one sitting. Intricately, deftly plotted, it was IMPOSSIBLE to put down! And such a Gothic, spooky atmosphere, too! Parts of it genuinely gave me the creeps. I just adored it! There were so many layers to the plot and it all just fit together so perfectly! And I loved the novel-within-the-novel, as well as Charlotte's diary. And I liked the twin aspect as well! I am very anxious to read this talented author's other books, but as they are rather emotionally draining, I think I ...more
Patricia
A Dark Dividing is a novel that tells the story of two families, each with a set of twins. Both sets of twins were born conjoined. This is a rare but very sad occurrence. In both instances, the mothers loved their children no matter what the problems the births presented but the fathers of the twins each had a different outlook on the birth of the twins and neither father really loved the children.

Harry Fitzgerald is a journalist that is assigned the task of reporting on a new art gallery. Harr
...more
Linda
In the early weeks of the 1900’s Charlotte Quinton gave birth to twin girls. Viola and Sorrel were lovely babies but Edward the husband was less than thrilled. The little ones were conjoined you see. To a man’s ego, this was a terrible blow. To a mother there is only love. One hundred years later Melissa and Joe Anderson’s twin girls, Simone and Sonia are born - also conjoined.

Once I began this book, I was deeply taken by the stories of these two families.The writing flips from past to present
...more
Rebecca
I really enjoyed this book a lot. There is definitely a very creepy feel to the link between the characters, especially the two pairs of conjoined twins, born almost a century apart. Also, the gothic old workhouse, Mortmain (meaning dead hands), is by far one of the scariest old haunted places I've come across. The story shifts between the past and the present and there are alot of twists and suprises. A very satisfying read indeed.
Max California
Conjoined twins, crazed body-snatching lady, a freakshow? I really do love this author! A Dark Dividing is twisted, creepy and there were times I had to put the book down and just vegetate on what I'd just read. So messed up, so my favourite kind of book!
Shelli
I had never heard of this book, just came across it here on GR looking for something a little creepy and scary for October, that wasn't horror. Well what a great find! This was perfect and actually did scare me a few times. Horrible and sinister things happening in dreary and dangerous places in turn of the century wales as well as modern day London.....with conjoined twins!!! What's not to love? I really became involved with the characters from both the the past and present day stories. Usually ...more
Jennifer
This was a great, pretty quick, exciting book. The story does goes back and forth between several related stories and several time periods. Some reviews that I read stated that this was confusing, but I didn't have any trouble keeping the timeframes separate.

Harry is a journalist in a job he hates, for a paper he does not respect. He is assigned to cover an art gallery opening - something he cannot believe he must do (but, due to an unfortunate divorce, money is actually an important requiremen
...more
Christy
Oct 10, 2010 Christy rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Christy by: A Striped Armchair Library Loot
Journalist Harry Fitzglen has been assigned a story that is, on the surface, a review of a new art gallery. However, his real purpose is to find out more about the featured photographer artist, Simone Anderson. When Simone was born as one half of a conjoined twin, there was a lot of media fuss stirred up on account of the twins’ politician father. But as Harry’s editor notes, the story gets a bit murky from there – a few too many people dead or disappeared.

A series of diary entries by a woman na
...more
H. Anne Stoj
I don't tend to read mysteries as a genre. If there's a mystery in a novel, then there is and I enjoy it, but aside from Doyle, that list is probably rather small. Oddly, though, the mysteries I do end up picking up are decidedly British. I've no idea why that is, but it's not particularly surprising to me as well. Anyhow, on to the novel.

I enjoyed A Dark Dividing. It certainly hooked me and I wanted to know what came next. The who-done-it, I suppose. It was the turn of the century parts that I
...more
Particle_Person
I enjoyed this book. Sarah Rayne has taken a bit of a throw-in-the-kitchen-sink approach to writing a gothic novel — she's got a haunted house, an insane nun, a ghost, a reporter, a lot of sex, a late Victorian feminist and her Dickensian author lover, child prostitution, creepy nursery rhymes and probably some things I'm forgetting. Yes, this is the sort of book where people get thrown down wells. With all that going on, it's almost surprising that it all fits together so well. Rayne is a very ...more
Claire
I have enjoyed books by Sarah Rayne in the past but was very disappointed by this one.

It could have been a great story but there was just too much going on and not enough ghosts. It was like she wanted to combine 4 stories into one and it wasn't done very well.

There were diary extracts from a character in the past which were written in the way a diary might have been but it just came across as bad English and grammar and didn't work.

I tried to finish it but it was just so tediously boring I coul
...more
Paperback Book Club
This is a dark story, with many horrors, and without much opportunity for happy endings or redemption in many cases. That said, it is also a fascinating mystery and exploration of human relationships and the damage that they can so often cause.

A Dark Dividing follows the stories of two sets of conjoined twins, born nearly a century apart, who lead parallel lives in many ways that are not fully obvious until the story’s end. Not surprisingly, separation in many forms haunts those stories. Viola a
...more
Kaethe
One of the most complexly structured books I've ever read. A journalist in the present is asked to review a gallery opening in Bloomsbury: there's a bit of a mystery associated with one of the partners. So he starts digging, and he finds a complex and complicated tale stretching to both ends of the twentieth century, involving orphans, workhouses, conjoined twins, dreadful deeds, murderous efforts, and that's just the early bits. Highly recommended to fans of Barbara Vine for the psychological a ...more
Kathy
Not sure about the high reviews on this book. Two stars instead of one because I finished it. Clumsily written book about 2 sets of conjoined twins. The book premise was intriguing but it never got going and then it ended. About half way through it is easy to figure things out. I have to point out that the author actually wrote "(I don't know how that happened)". Considering it was a major plot point, I found that one of the strangest things I have ever read. The character didn't know how it hap ...more
Karen
I just happened on this book in the library and am so glad I did! It's a mystery about two sets of Siamese twins born eighty years apart. Central to the story is an old abandoned poorfarm in rural England. The book is not exactly a ghost story but does have a little bit of a paranormal element. I like how the author so cleverly ties the fates of both sets of twins together. I plan to read more books by this author.
Jo
I've been reading crime fiction for many years now, yet I've never come across Sarah Rayne before. Why is that? I requested A Dark Dividing through readitswapit last week and began reading it as soon as it arrived. I was hooked. The characters are superbly drawn and fascinating. Journalist Harry Fitzglen is the perfect hero and finds out many fascinating facts about Simone Anderson's background and the Bloomsbury house in which she now works.

The novel focuses on two sets of conjoined twins born
...more
Catherine
A really fun and spooky winter-time read. The non-linear plot tends to send you back and forth down winding paths as if in a dream. The plot is complicated but expertly intertwined, mimicking the surreal predicament of several of the main characters. Recommended! Thanks to Betty for recommending it to me.
Donna Taylor
Sarah Rayne is one of the most unique mystery writers in today's book market. She writes novels that have a sub-plot from another generation that she skillfully weaves into the present day plot. I would recommend her books to anyone looking to read an intelligent mystery, finally written by skillful author finally making her way to the U.S.
Betty Dickie
200 pages in and having trouble putting it down. Really good read, creepy, lots of twists and turns, and great characters. There are several stories and time frames entwined here and Rayne ties them all together neatly. Definitely recommended.
Teresa
Mar 22, 2008 Teresa rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Teresa by: denise
A fabulous, engrossing read. I take my hat off to the author on the ease with which she intertwines 4 different time frames/stories and manages not to confuse the reader in the process! Looking forward to reading more by this author.
Selene
This was a really good book that wove a story that was quite complicated, but intriguing. Two sets of conjoined twins were cleverly joined (pun) and the story's end was very satisfying. A really good read!
Billyf27
This book ket me turning pages until I reached the end. It is another Sarah Rayne book I loved. I am buying all of them and know they will all be great.
Merelyn
This story starts off very usual everyday stuff, then changes into the very unusual! Baby girls born as con-joined twins in the late '60s. The background makes up the story so can not reveal story. Just a very readable story about the affairs of the twins. Can they be operated on to make life better, or will one die? What could a mother do? Father wants to keep them con-joined for the publicity. Then we switch to present time. Where have the twins been? What connection do they have with con-join ...more
Robert burke
First time I read this author. Dark and disturbing thriller. Excellent writing.
Holly
Before actually deciding to read A Dark Dividing, I had picked it up several times, read the first few pages, and then put it down. If you're in the same boat I'm going to tell you that I think it's worth it to read this book. Unfortunately the book opens from the POV of one of the least-engaging characters, but there are so many POVs here from so many eras that you're bound to like one of them.

I loved the suspense and horror in this book. I don't come into neo-gothic novels expecting to be scar
...more
Tracey Allen at Carpe Librum
Another of my favourite authors, Sarah Rayne has a unique style of writing that is evident in every book I've read so far (four in total). I'm drawn to the way in which she always includes an old, menacing, scary building to feature in the centre of each of her novels. The building is always creepy and contains a lot of history, pain and secrets from the past. Terrific concept that always draws me in.

Secondly, her writing style always flicks between the past and the present, and often 3 differen
...more
Michelle
This gothic-style tale revolves around conjoined twins. Harry, a journalist who is in reduced circumstances, has been asked to cover an art opening. His editor is more interested in one of the owners rather than the art show itself. Simone was a conjoined twin, and the editor is anxious for Harry to dig in and find details surrounding her backstory. Purporting to research the gallery building's history which fit in with the Bloomsbury group, Harry finds that its prior owner wrote a now obscure b ...more
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72374
Aka Frances Gordon, Bridget Wood

After a convent education, which included writing plays for the Lower Third to perform, Sarah Rayne embarked on a variety of jobs, but - probably inevitably - returned again and again to writing. Her first novel appeared in 1982, and since then her books have also been published in America, Holland and Germany.

The daughter of an Irish comedy actor, she was for many
...more
More about Sarah Rayne...
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