Denise Gosliner Orenstein The Secret Twin

ISBN 13: 9780060785659

The Secret Twin

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9780060785659: The Secret Twin

Noah has a secret unlike any other. . . .

He is the rarest of humans.

Noah was born conjoined, sharing a heart with his twin brother, but only he has survived. Thirteen years later, when his grandmother undergoes painful surgery, Noah finds himself in the care of Nurse Grace, who has a secret of her own. And when another stranger, a mysterious sniper, begins to terrorize their city, Noah and Grace must confront the extraordinary circumstances of their present lives and the possibilities of the unknown beyond.

In spare, lyrical prose, Denise Gosliner Orenstein knits a powerful, unusual tale of two voices and a joint journey of separation, self-discovery, and forgiveness.

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About the Author:

Denise Gosliner Orenstein is the author of three novels and currently holds the position of Director, American University MFA Program in Creative Writing in Washington, D.C. She is also a writing mentor for the PEN American Center Prison Writing Project and a participant in the PEN/Faulkner Writers in Schools Program. She lives with her two daughters in Washington, D.C.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 7 Up—For most of his 13 years, Noah has lived with the guilt of being the sole survivor of the surgery separating him and his conjoined-at-the-heart twin brother. Helping to fuel his shameful secret is Mademoiselle, his self-absorbed, eccentric grandmother, a retired vaudevillian actress. Noah's guardian since the death of his parents when he was four, she expects absolute perfection in dress and manners. When large, loving Nurse Grace enters his life as caregiver during and after Mademoiselle's face-lift, she finds a pale, anorexic, solitary young boy, starving both physically and emotionally. In alternating chapters, Grace and Noah discuss one another and reveal, to readers though not to each other, the secret losses they have in common. Mademoiselle's dominance is a hovering presence, her death only revealed in the last few pages when Noah finally admits the truth to himself. Adding to the haunting bizarreness of the boy's inner thoughts is the reality of a sniper who is terrorizing the neighborhood and leaving tarot cards at each murder scene. Noah believes this may be his twin, whom he fears is secretly alive and seeking revenge for being sacrificed so that his stronger brother could survive. The psychological layers of the characters as well as the entwining "twins-of-the-heart" theme create endless discussion possibilities, although the story's complexity may prove too much for average or reluctant readers.—D. Maria LaRocco, Cuyahoga Public Library, Strongsville, OH
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