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Someone Else's Twin: The True Story of Babies Switched at Birth
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Someone Else's Twin: The True Story of Babies Switched at Birth

2.61  ·  Rating Details ·  105 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
The combination of a riveting true story and cutting-edge twin research makes this book an irresistible page-turner. Identical twins Begoña and Delia were born thirty-eight years ago in Spain’s Canary Islands. Due to chaotic conditions at the hospital or simple human error, the unthinkable happened: Delia was unintentionally switched with another infant in the baby nursery ...more
Hardcover, 301 pages
Published August 23rd 2011 by Prometheus Books (first published January 1st 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Mary Ellen
Aug 07, 2011 Mary Ellen rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
I was hoping for a human interest slant but Segal's approach is dry and clinical. She provides graphs and statistics on the incidence of twins separated at birth and chance reunions years later. The pages are full of references to MZ twins (identical) and DZ twins (fraternal), custody, visitation, suits filed by families and damages paid by hospitals. A good research work but not the "irresistible page-turner" I wanted to read.
Nov 06, 2011 Kiersten rated it did not like it
Interesting information, and a book I would probably have enjoyed if the topic had been more along my usual line of interest, but Segal's style comes off as stilted, very unnecessarily effusive, occasionally confusing, and extremely dull. She used far too much unnecessary description for a nonfiction work (a "serious book," as she called it), repeated herself more often than was necessary for clarity, and jumped around between narratives a lot. Some of her word choices came off strangely, too, a ...more
Mar 05, 2012 Karen rated it did not like it
Shelves: nonfiction
This took me a long time to get through because there wasn't enough story here, and what there was didn't make me feel much of anything. Nonfiction can be engaging; this wasn't. The text jumps around between recounting the author's trip to Spain to conduct interviews with a set of switched twins and their family members and attorneys, dry retellings of the interviews themselves (conducted with a translator, since the author didn't speak Spanish), and information about other switched twins and tw ...more
Mar 04, 2012 Karen rated it it was ok
Lacking focus and puffed-up with uninteresting details like the timing and location of her interviews, a description of the interpreter's appearance and style, a photo of a shopping mall. The book felt full of filler, and I don't think the author's expertise with twin studies gave her any special insight into the situations she was writing about.
Jul 14, 2011 Gail rated it did not like it
I read 170 pages with one hundred more to go and then stopped. Some parts are interesting but the author is repetitive and there's too much filler. I wouldn't call it riveting as some reviewers have said. I got bored and impatient.
Sep 26, 2011 Tina rated it it was ok
Interesting topic but too hard to read. Might have been easier if she stuck with one case at a time. A bit too clinical for my taste.
Mama Kim
Oct 29, 2011 Mama Kim rated it it was ok
Fascinating subject matter, but quite dry. It read more like the notes the author took for a book than a finished product.
Jan 22, 2014 Megan rated it it was ok
My heart broke for all involved.
Oct 07, 2011 Amber rated it it was ok
The subject on this is so interesting but the author wrote it like a textbook instead of a narrative. I'm all for non-fiction but I was done reading textbooks long ago.
Dec 24, 2011 Gloria rated it liked it
This book has lots of research in it. Yet it is interesting to hear the stories of those who were switched at birth and how this trauma affected their lives.
Jun 02, 2017 Jana rated it it was ok
A lot more scientific and less of an enjoyable story than her other book Extraordinary Twins
Jan 12, 2013 Simone rated it it was ok
Original review at my blog, Writing by Numbers, here:

This is an unremarkable book about a truly remarkable phenomenon: the experiences of families who have had one of their infant twins swapped for an unrelated child in the hospital, and unwittingly raised the children as their own. The first few chapters focus on smaller case studies, most of which are deeply depressing – particularly the one about three French boys who were swapped back at only seven ye
May 26, 2012 Kim rated it liked it
Very interesting, and scary at the same time. The author is a twin herself, and has done research as a psychologist into twin psychology, and what happens when twins are separated, whether intentionally or not. The book is scary because it illustrates what happens if hospitals or tired nurses are not careful about handling the babies and keeping identification with them. The emotional toll on the families is immense, and in the book, several twin pairs who were united have an emotional fall out ...more
Sep 20, 2011 Teresa rated it it was ok
I enjoyed the subject of this book, but it's confusing. It was a nice break from fiction and contained fascinating true stories of twins switched at birth. However, the author is obsessed with "more research is needed" and then takes an entire chapter to tell you what kind of research is needed. Instead of telling us that, go do the research!

I wasn't emotionally engaged with any of the twins that Segal presents in the book. She approaches their stories like a historian, giving only facts.

I als
I started this book with high hopes, having enjoyed this author’s other work. Sadly, this book was about 100 pages too long. While Segal explores a number of cases of twins switched at birth, too much of this book focused one specific case and the legal details of the lawsuit that followed. The book is bogged down in absolutely inane details (the weather, how she got along with her translator, what days and under what circumstances she met all involved parties) of this case. There were huge expl ...more
Jan 05, 2012 Mary rated it liked it
Recommended to Mary by: radio show, "Fresh Air"
Shelves: adoption, twins
The amazing story of a pair of identical twin girls born on the same day as a third, unrelated girl, in the Canary Islands of Spain. The hospital switched them by mistake. One twin was sent home with the unrelated girl, and they were raised as fraternal twins. The other twin was sent home with the unrelated family. And all four parents thought that they were raising their biological child. It was discovered when they were in their twenties and the discovery wreaked havoc on everyone involved, in ...more
Feb 18, 2014 Jhawn rated it really liked it
"Someone Else's Twin" documents several cases where on baby of a twin set was switched with another baby before the children go home from the hospital. The author has done extremely good research on the cases she presents. When we think of the problems caused by the switches, we are prone to thinking of the children's issues. This book will help you to see the problems that are caused to all the people involved, the parents, the grandparents, sisters, brothers, and anyone who has a relationship ...more
Andra Legge
Jul 23, 2015 Andra Legge rated it it was ok
The subject of the book was interesting and the research was well done, however the writing was highly repetitive, overly detailed, and filled with excessive detail (such as travel descriptions between interview areas). In addition, the author repeatedly mentions her own status as a twin (fraternal), and her current and previous research studies. It almost comes off as an attempt to validate herself, and assure the reader of her qualifications in writing about these subjects. The book was dry, j ...more
Jun 18, 2012 Hilary rated it it was ok
The topic is interesting, especially in its potential to reveal differences in genetic and environmental influences on our behavior and personality. However, the book was poorly executed. The content is unorganized and repetitive and most major points get lost. Segal struggles to find a balance between the academic and human interest sides of this story and ends up pleasing neither of those audiences.
Jul 31, 2013 Mary rated it liked it
Interesting look at the unfortunate switch in several families' newborns, and the turmoil and legal judgments after the switches were discovered. There were cases mentioned from the U.S., Canada, Switzerland, and Spain. I remember when the two U.S. cases were on the nightly news.

A few parts were a bit scholarly/researchy(?), but overall, it was an easy, and interesting read.
Jan 13, 2012 Michael rated it liked it
Better titled "Someone Else's Twin: The story of the [author's] scientific study of stories of babies switched at birth". Somewhat reminiscent of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks but 1) not as in depth; and 2) more dry.
Dec 01, 2011 Heidi rated it liked it
It wasn't quite what I was expecting. I thought it would be a more in-depth account of the story of the specific twins the book was about and their families, but much of it was research and stories from other switched at birth families. Probably less than half of the book was about the specific families mentioned on the cover. Still, it was really interesting.
Aug 14, 2012 Heathermarvell rated it really liked it
I am surprised the average rating is so low. Although the book rambles, and contains a lot of personal opinion, at least the opinion is cast as such and there is a lot of scholarly discussion of things relating to twins, nature versus nurture, etc.
Mar 26, 2012 Amy rated it did not like it
This is the first book I started but didn't finish in 2012. I loved the book jacket, but the contents didn't live up my expectations. It was dry and mostly filled with data, where as I kind of expected it to be more of a story (albeit true), and relatable.
Aug 25, 2013 Lisa rated it liked it
I bought this book knowing it was written as a scientific study but still came away from it wishing there was more of the human side, the emotions and what the families went through. Be that as it may, it was intriguing - interesting information about a fascinating topic.
Katie W
Jul 16, 2014 Katie W rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
Too much boring detail about the Canary Islands twins. Little insight about how environment effects us. Could have also been improved by providing more information about the influence of genetics from twin studies.
Susan Banner
Mar 05, 2012 Susan Banner rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2012
Interesting read.
Courtney Milford
Oct 02, 2011 Courtney Milford rated it it was ok
Shelves: true-story
An interesting premise to begin with - researching twins who have been raised separately - but it gets boring before the book is over.
Aug 14, 2012 EMP rated it did not like it
For the love of God, someone get this woman a good editor. True life switched at birth stories! How did someone manage to make this topic boring???
Aug 16, 2011 Stephanie rated it liked it
This was fascinating. I can't believe how many times this happened. No matter what age they discover they were given the wrong baby it makes everyone miserable.
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