Kasa Cotugno's Reviews > The Twin

The Twin by Gerbrand Bakker
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's review
Jul 12, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: awards-winners
Read from July 12 to 16, 2010

Like many other literary prize winners, The Twin focus on internal changes and awakenings rather than plot. This elegant novel translated from original Dutch was the winner of the Dublin Literary Award, among other prizes. It traces the self realization of Helmer who 37 years after the death of Henk, the more popular twin, the "live" half of the personality the two shared, is mucking the barn, milking the cows, tending the sheep and caring for his dying father, the life that Henk was supposed to inherit. Helmer was the student, a future that was cut off by Henk's death. Once set in motion, changes occur realatively quickly for Helmer, resulting in surprising realizations and a very atypical resolution. It is filled with beautiful images of life in a Dutch countryside, and quite heavily saturated with symbolism.

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