She and I

Eileen Lottman, Author William Morrow & Company $19.95 (296p) ISBN 978-0-688-10175-6
Sandy Lazarus, the narrator of Lottman's ( The Brahmins ) third book, is a Siamese twin. Joined at the hip to her surly, much-disliked sister Sheila (nicknamed ``She''), Sandy hones a sharp tongue and a sardonic sense of humor while struggling to forge both a measure of independence and a genuine emotional connection with her closest kin--a struggle that turns dark and finally violent as the twins grow older. She and I begins promisingly: in opening chapters, Lottman makes of Sandy and her sister a pointed, sometimes wrenching metaphor for the often maddening indissolubility of family ties. And she displays a wonderfully warped wit in depicting their daily lives as both flamboyantly bizarre and mundanely inconvenient (``She just pushed off on the skates and of course I had to go along,'' Sandy tells us). But unfortunately, when Lottman's characters discover their sexuality, the author gets sidetracked by it--and while there is an undeniable fascination in just how Siamese twins might manage sex, Lottman is not nearly so eloquent in describing emotional intimacy. The book itself mirrors Sandy's progression from charmed childhood to difficult adolescence and disappointing adulthood. For both rprotagonist and novel, a charming childhood leads to a difficult adoles cence and a less-than-ideal adulthood. Literary Guild selection. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/04/1991
Release date: 03/01/1991
Hardcover - 978-0-517-10882-6
Paperback - 300 pages - 978-0-595-36391-9
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