HER book cover art

Her; Christa Parravani

| published February 23, 2016 |

Book review by Kristy Webster, Thursday Review contributor

Once I started this memoir by Christa Parravani, I couldn’t put it down. Even though the reader knows from the beginning that one twin will be lost, the writing is so embodied, lyrical and potent, you can’t help but feel the same sense of urgency as the twin whose been left to suffer and survive alone, without her other half.

Her is the story of identical twins Christa and Cara. Christa, the aspiring writer and “problem” twin, and Cara, the evocative photographer and anchor to Cara’s wilder and unpredictable ways. The traumatic event that changes everything between the twins forever is one of the most terrifying, heart-stopping scenes I have ever read and I’m no stranger to books that gut you with their raw and dangerous revelations. That Christa is able to inject her sister Cara’s words about this life altering assault while also keeping true to her own shortcomings is testament to her strengths as a writer.

I found the insight into the lives of identical twins—a bond as passionate and adoring as it can be vicious and sabotaging—absolutely fascinating. The chapter where Christa transcribes word for word her conversation with a psychic will give you chills, as will reading how Christa’s behavior turns from steadfast and consistent to a mimicking of her late sister’s behavior as though she were possessed.

This is one of the most compelling literary memoirs I’ve read. I highly recommend it.

Related Thursday Review articles:

The Story of My Teeth; Valeria Luiselli; book review by Kristy Webster; Thursday Review; February 6, 2016.

Wolf in White; John Darnielle; book review by Kristy Webster; Thursday Review; February 5, 2016.