I Miss You, I Miss You!

Peter Pohl, Author, Kinna Gieth, Author, Kinna Gieth, Joint Author R & S Books $17 (256p) ISBN 978-91-29-63935-3
Perhaps this novel, a collaboration between a Swedish novelist and a teenage girl whose twin died, lost something in its transatlantic crossing. Fourteen-year-old Tina documents her bereavement after the death of her identical twin sister, Cilla, in a traffic accident. From the outset, Tina warns readers that the events are difficult to relate; she then distances herself from the audience by shifting from first-person to third-person narration. But this gulf doesn't close until near the book's conclusion. The first portion relates the twins' history--their personality differences, their relationships with friends at school--and reads like a rather dense biography. The prose comes through as formal and stiff (e.g., ""In the summer, a mild interest in sailing comes to life. The family packs itself into Roseng rden's sailboat and takes off for a few weeks"") and may be due to the cultural or linguistic translation or both (the twins were born in France and transplanted to Sweden; their story is translated into English). The events related early in the novel do take on significance, but much later on, when a wiser, more pensive Tina dissects memories of the past year to extract meaning from her sister's life and early end. The authors provide substantial insight into grief and the healing process as Tina suffers bouts of depression and anxiety. After reluctantly agreeing to undergo therapy, the surviving twin arrives at a turning point when she becomes less self-absorbed and aware that others, too, grieve the loss of Cilla. Unfortunately, the detached tone of the narrative and lengthy build-up may dissuade readers from seeing it through to the uplifting finish. Ages 12-up. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/01/1999
Release date: 03/01/1999
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