First and foremost, this book is dark like a storm at sea and you, the reader, are on a boat in its midst steering toward what you hope is the horizon. The writing is honest and tender and unsettling in its unyielding exploration of how twin sisters Lily and Rose – and women in general – exist in their bodies and in their sexualities. There is so much wanting, needing, and wanting confused with needing; the yearning is unrelenting, overwhelming. Lily and Rose careen through this character study, both battling the scars of their environments in increasingly toxic and/or self-destructive ways, until we reach an all-to-realistic ending that has the glimmer of salvation, much like an island appearing on the horizon’s rim. TW: disordered eating, abuse<3Miranda
Rose and Lily Winters are twins, as close as the bond implies; they feel each other’s emotions, taste what the other takes in. Like most young women, they’ve struggled with their bodies since childhood, and high school finds them turning to food—or away from it—to battle the waves of insecurity and the yearning for popularity. But their connection can be as destructive as it is supportive, a yin to a yang. When Rose stops eating, Lily starts—consuming everything Rose won’t or can’t.
Within a few years, Rose is about to mark her one-year anniversary in a rehabilitation facility for anorexics. Lily, her sole visitor, is the only thing tethering her to a normal life. But Lily’s own struggles, while less apparent than her sister’s, are equally profound. A kindergarten teacher, she dates abusive men, including a student’s married father, in search of the close yet complicated companionship she lost when Rose entered rehab. When Lily joins an extreme cult-diet group—led by a social media faux-feminist—and begins to lose weight at an alarming rate, Rose determines to become well enough to leave the facility to save her. And perhaps save herself.