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Keenomanjaro

The Silent Twins

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This is the strange and compelling story of the Gibbons sisters; identical twins growing up in the Welsh outpost of Haverfordwest in the late 70's - early 80's. From an early age, the girls refused to communicate with any adults outside of their family circle and as time goes by, they retreat further and further into a solitude shared only with each other.

 

Wallace spent a lot of time pouring through the millions of words written by the twins in their diaries and is able to give a great insight into the psychological problems that the girls and countless teachers, doctors and specialists are unable to get to grips with.

 

As the story unfolds, we learn of the girls attempts to achieve literary success from their bedroom, their obsession with the boys from the nearby military base and their eventual decent into a life of crime that sees them end up in Broadmoor.

 

With so much of the book taken from the girls own words, the reader is left to ponder the strange conflict between the bubbly characters of the girls on the page compared to the taciturn, emotionless children their outward behaviour suggests.

 

This was a fascinating and heartbreaking account of the wasted youths of two clearly talented individuals. The eldest twin, June Gibbons, has actually had a book published (Pepsi-Cola addict); a testament to what might have been achieved.

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