The Girls
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The Girls

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3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  13,273 ratings  ·  1,791 reviews
In Lori Lansens' astonishing second novel, readers come to know and love two of the most remarkable characters in Canadian fiction: Rose and Ruby, 29-year-old conjoined twins.
Hardcover, 343 pages
Published May 2nd 2006 by Little, Brown and Company (first published January 1st 2005)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Tory
“I have never looked into my sisters eyes. I have never bathed alone. I have never stood in the grass at night and raised my arms to the beguiling moon. I’ve never used an airplane bathroom. Or worn a hat. Or been kissed like that. I’ve never driven a car. Or slept through the night. Never a private talk. Or a solo walk. I’ve never climbed a tree. Or faded into a crowd. So many things I’ve never done, but oh, how I’ve been loved. And, if such things were to be, I’d live a thousand lives as me, t...more
Laura
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tortla
Aug 04, 2008 Tortla rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people
Recommended to Tortla by: John Green via his weird obsession with conjoined-twin-books
The cover reminded me vaguely of the cover of The God of Small Things (they're both pretty/artsy flowers-on-the-water things) but there's really very little that's similar about the two books, except that they're good. And they have twins in them.

The Girls is amazing. The edition I bought has a little reader's guide questions-section at the end, which I started to read because I kind of didn't want the book to end (seriously, it was really good) and one of the questions was something to the eff...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Me for TeensReadToo.com

In what has to be the best blend of heartbreaking sadness and unbelievable joy, author Lori Lansens has managed to write a novel about two girls that you will not soon forget -- if ever. After I finished THE GIRLS, I felt many emotions, but the strongest was that I had just read the story of two of my best and dearest friends. And even though I know that this story is fiction, I can't help but think that somewhere, two girls share a life that is a lot like that...more
Julie
Beautifully written story of two sisters who are conjoined. They live in a small town, where everyone knows them as "The Girls". As with any other sisters, they are very different people but unlike every other set of sisters, they are often viewed as "one".

The author has done an amazing job of creating two completely seperate voices and manages to weave a haunting story based on two characters' perspectives who are literally at the same place, at the same time--always.

Rose, Ruby and their fami...more
Jennifer
Mar 18, 2009 Jennifer rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jennifer by: Erica Hernandez (her review )
Shelves: my_favorites
I love when I finish a book and it stays with me for days afterward as I continue to wonder about the characters and what may still be happening even though the story in the book has ended. This is going to be one of those books. I can't think of one negative thing to say about any aspect of this book. I loved the characters, ALL of them. I loved that the author told the story as if Rose and Ruby were writing an autobiography (I had to remind myself it was fiction numerous times).Simply an amazi...more
Elizabeth
Mar 10, 2009 Elizabeth added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Elizabeth by: Mary McTernan
Shelves: chocolate-club
I read this concurrently with Jane Hamilton's A Map of the World and, although they are completely different books, found the settings so powerfully similar that I kept getting the books confused. The same kids detassling corn in the summer holidays, the same orange-red carpet in the same early 19th century decrepit farmhouse, the same neighbors with tragically dead kids--it wasn't a bad thing, it was just *weird*, as though I were reading two different news stories from the same local newspaper...more
Daisy
What a moving book. Completely worthwhile, with characters you really love (Uncle Stash and Aunt Lovey) and wisdom and humor. Surprising and unlike anything I've read before. (And there's even a little Eastern European section that I didn't expect--hooray.)

What is it about sadness that can be so fulfilling? (p.30)

Funny how you can measure time by pets that were not even your own. (p. 40)

It was Aunt Lovey's belief that all ordinary people led extraordinary lives, but just didn't notice. (p. 102)

I
...more
M
I won't be finishing this, life is too short. A character (and someone on greads) said it best - it doesn't matter if the book is well written, it will sell because it's about conjoined twins. Yep.
This story is unique in its premise - a back and forth of two conjoined twins who have learned that they are dying - but the execution was a real disappointment. The actual complicated layers of such a situation (never being alone, never being able to fully choose for you, never being perceived as your...more
Greta is Erikasbuddy
I never expected to like this book as much as I did. I thought that I'd probably get frustrated and maybe stop at 100 pages in.

MAN!! Was I wrong!!

This book was fantastic!! Read like gossip and as though it was true.

"The Girls" is written as an autobiography but it's totally fiction. A story of conjoined twins who try to live their lives in the most ordinary way as possible.

Can you imagine being attached to your sister when she gets in trouble?
When you're mad at her?
When you are trying to plan a...more
Elizabeth Fagin
I found this book while browsing through my public libraries download section. I was looking for a book to try out on my new Nook (LOVE my Nook). I didn't really need a book i wanted to read - it was just a learning exercise. But this one look somewhat interesting so I gave it a try. I can only say WOW! I love love love this book. I still have about 10 pages left to read - and I am taking it really slow because I do not want it to end.

All of the characters are terrifically drawn. Lansens' descr...more
Tanya
This is an intriguing look at what life would be like for two people with distinct personalities living inseparable lives.

My favorite quote from the book is regarding Aunt Lovey. “It was Aunt Lovey’s belief that all ordinary people led extraordinary lives, but just didn’t notice.” Think of how profound that is! I think applies particularly well to the story of these girls. Although they had a very unusual medical condition (joined at the head from birth), Ruby and Rose led ordinary lives. They...more
Jessica
One of the least engaging books I have read in a very long time. I found the main characters of Rosie and Ruby to be exceptionally boring and slightly annoying. It literally felt as though I was reading someone's mundane diary, dreary boring details that may make up a good diary for the writer however do nothing for an outside reader.
Kate
Ruby and Rose are identical twin girls born conjoined at the head. Their birth mother flees from them after they are born, and they are taken in by the attending nurse, Lovey and her husband, Stash, a native Slovak. The girls grow up in a small Canadian border town, and as they learn that they are dying, they decide to write their autobiography. The story spans their growing up and their life together, as well as Lovey and Stash's lives together.

I really, really enjoyed this book, it was probab...more
K
Oct 10, 2009 K rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: "Middlesex" fans; book clubs
Recommended to K by: TABBIEs book club
Who would have thought of writing a novel about Siamese twins?

Lori Lansens takes the unlikely premise of twin girls joined at the head and manages to create a well-written novel so believable that I never once questioned its verisimilitude (which is saying a lot for a detail-oriented cynic like me). Rose and Ruby are the world's oldest living craniopagus twins, joined at the skull. Their lives are inevitably intertwined -- they can't even go to the bathroom alone -- and yet, they are fiercely se...more
Punk
Fiction. The tale of two sisters, siamese twins, joined at the head. Presented as a first person narrative, Rose and Ruby Darlen take turns writing their autobiography. The book is mostly written by Rose, who fancies herself a writer and takes it all very seriously, determined to tell her life story in chronological order. Ruby, on the other hand, doesn't see the point of an autobiography at all -- because technically it isn't an autobiography if there's two of you -- but she doesn't want her op...more
Erika
I absolutely loved this book. This is the story of Rose and Ruby, conjoined twins who are born to a teenage mom and subsequently adopted in a small, rural Ontario town. This was a random pick at a local Value Village when I needed a fifth book to get one free. I have not read Lansens' other books, but will be on the lookout for them. Rose and Ruby are clear and concise narrators, Rose lingering in the past, filling in missing pieces of the girls lives, while practical Ruby tells us the present a...more
Michelle Feist
I had heard interesting things about this book, and it's author, through the yearly "book talk" that local bookstore owner Laurie Greenwood gave at our yearly Teachers' Convention. I had added it to my "to read" list and then forgotten about it, but fortunately I came across it at a garage sale this summer for only $3 so I picked it up. One would think that a story about conjoined twins growing up in southern Ontario would be rather dull or weird or both, but this was a fascinating book! It is t...more
Sidney
Such an amazing work of fiction written as if an autobiography from each of two craniopogus (joined at the head) conjoined twins. Funny, insightful, touching. I couldn't put it down and didn't want it to end.
RNOCEAN
Some books translate so smoothly to audio that they seem meant to be read aloud, and this fictional autobiography of 29-year-old conjoined twins Rose and Ruby Darlen is one such tale. Though joined at the head, "The Girls" have separate bodies and distinct personalities, which come to life through Zimbalist's and Davidovich's narration. Zimbalist takes on the husky voice of Rose, a writer who's intent on penning her life story-in other words, this audio. She has coerced Ruby, voiced to bubbly pe...more
Suzanne
Parts of this book were difficult to get through for me. The middle two thirds, specifically. Though I feel it got back on track and finished strongly.

When I read the description of the book for the first time, as I do often, I felt instantly that this would be the most perfect book I'd ever read. I have had an intense and somewhat inexplicable preoccupation with anything and everything to do with identical twins/multiples of all kinds for years - going back to a documentary which I saw in my ea...more
Maria Paiz
The Girls is a novel about a pair of craniopagus twins (conjoined at the head), as told by both of them in their very distinct voices. Rose and Ruby Darlen were born conjoined on the same day that a tornado hit the Canadian town of Leaford, so their whirlwind birth had twice the punch on their small community. Their birth mother disappeared from their lives and they were lovingly raised by the nurse who helped deliver them, and her husband. Due to the complex way their vascular systems were inte...more
 Mushy
This is a story about Rose and Ruby Darlen, joined at the side of their heads. I had to read this book.

Off I transported to my childhood in the 50's, when the CIRCUS came to visit our little town in the middle of the Pacific....to the tent with the soiled penants drooping in our humidity, the tattered sign "Freak Show" COME one and all to see the MONKEY LADY (microcephalic pathetic girl whose eyes met my overblown look of wonder); the SNAKE LADY (a sad face with severe plaque psoriasis); the FA...more
Mark Victor Young
A brilliant portrait of two conjoined twins penning "their" autobiography, with two such distinct yet tentative voices. The story of Rose and Ruby and their life with adoptive parents Stash and Lovey Darlen is a tale of ordinary small town life but also of this extraordinary pair of people who share a connection bordering on the mystical. Joined at the head, they share a critical vein common to both their brains which connects them in every way.

Maybe their ability to read each other's mind and...more
Orsolya
What are your thoughts when you hear the label “conjoined twins”? Do you think of the famous “Siamese Twins”? Perhaps you think of a circus side show (shame on you!). Maybe you instantly picture a medical doctor working to separate and better the lives of the ‘inflicted’. Lori Lansens doesn’t picture any of those things and instead envisions two young ladies with a rich and unique life in her novel, “The Girls”.

“The Girls” isn’t your typical narrative with a clear-cut beginning, middle, and end...more
Bonnie Brody
I started this book with some trepidation, wondering how the author could do justice to the topic of conjoined craniopagus twins without seeming maudlin or trite. I was won over during the first chapter. This is a poignant and lovely book about Rose and Ruby, twins conjoined since birth. The chapters are written in the first person, as an autobiography, either by Rose or by Ruby. Each has a different personality which stands out in their writing and experiences.

The book begins "I have never look...more
Donna Callea
I loved this novel, written as the autobiography of Rose Darlen, a 29-year-old Canadian woman who was born in a small Ontario town (just across the border from Detroit) during a tornado, inoperably joined to the head of her twin, Ruby. Ruby writes some chapters, too. The girls' situation, as their adoptive mother Aunt Lovey terms it, is, indeed, rare and amazing and certainly very challenging. But not tragic. Not really. Rose and Ruby live lives that are, in many ways, full -- full of love and e...more
Timothy Springer
There are several chapters in "The Girls" that have become some of my favorite pieces of literature: the shockingly honest recount of Ruby writing about her sister wanting to give up her whole life altogether, then passing it off as a mere joke; Rose Darlen talking about who she imagined herself to be once Nick finally caved in and gave her a kiss.

This novel is not a feel-good piece but a depressing recount of two lives having lived conjoined together. We all wish we could look back on our own e...more
Joyce
If posssible, I would have rated this book 3.5 stars. The Girls by Lori Lansens tell the story of conjoined twins, Rose and Ruby, who were joined at the side of the head. The novel is set in Canada near the city of Toronto. They were abandoned at birth by their mother, but the delivery nurse, Lovey Darlens, who is called Aunt Lovey throughout the novel, takes them to raise as her own along with her husband Stash (who is called Uncle Stash). The novel is written in the style of an autobiography t...more
Maryellen
Rose and Ruby Darlen are conjoined twins. They are the most rare of conjoined twins~~craniopagus~~meaning that they are connected at the head. They share a "web of 100 veins as well as [their] skull bones". Born in 1974 in Toronto, Canada, to a terrified teenager who refused to give her real name, the girls are abandoned and ultimately adopted by the nurse who helped to deliver them and her husband, Lovey and Stash Darlen.

Rose carries the burden of Ruby's weight. Rose grew to a height of 5'5" a...more
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the girls 12 31 Jun 18, 2014 04:56PM  
Te Girls by Lori Lansens 4 93 Apr 28, 2009 04:04AM  
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Lori Lansens was born and raised in Chatham, Ontario, a small Canadian town with a remarkable history and a collection of eccentric characters, which became the setting for her first two bestselling novels. Living with her family in southern California now, she could not resist the pull of her fictitious 'Baldoon County' when she set out to write The Wife's Tale. She took the journey, along with...more
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“Write,' she said, 'as if you'll never be read. That way you'll be sure to tell the truth.” 55 likes
“I feel, holding books, accommodating their weight and breathing their dust, an abiding love. I trust them, in a way that I can't trust my computer, though I couldn't do without it. Books are matter. My books matter. What would I have done through these years without the library and all its lovely books?” 30 likes
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