The Twin's Daughter

( 20 )

Overview

Lucy is stunned when her mother's identical twin sister shows up at the front door. Separated at birth, the twins have led dramatically different lives and Lucy's mother, Aliese, will do anything to make it up to Helen. But Lucy soon suspects that Helen enjoys being mistaken for her mother a bit too much. Then, on New Year's Day, Lucy finds her mother and aunt tied to chairs in the parlor. One has been brutally murdered—but which twin has died?

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The Twin's Daughter

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Overview

Lucy is stunned when her mother's identical twin sister shows up at the front door. Separated at birth, the twins have led dramatically different lives and Lucy's mother, Aliese, will do anything to make it up to Helen. But Lucy soon suspects that Helen enjoys being mistaken for her mother a bit too much. Then, on New Year's Day, Lucy finds her mother and aunt tied to chairs in the parlor. One has been brutally murdered—but which twin has died?

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Deborah L. Dubois
"Does a child not recognize her mother?" Thirteen-year-old Lucy's life changes when the knock comes at the door. The woman looks exactly like her mother, Aliese, but is really her mother's twin that no one knew existed. Aunt Helen was raised in a workhouse, and Aliese was raised by a wealthy London couple after the two were separated at birth. Lucy's parents take Helen in and transform her into a lady that society will accept, until it is almost impossible to tell which is Helen and which is Aliese. Lucy comes home one day to find one twin slain and the other bound to a chair. Even she is not sure if her mother or her aunt is left alive. As Lucy matures, she still has doubts she cannot share with anyone—even Kit, the boy she loves. This novel, told from Lucy's point of view, keeps the reader guessing as to who the villain is and who is a sympathetic character. The gothic elements—the secret tunnel, the stranger who insinuates herself into the family, jealousy, murder, and the vague feeling that something is always wrong—will appeal, but the writing does not flow as it should, with new situations appearing too abruptly. It is sometimes difficult to keep track of the time frame of the story. Lucy does grow into a strong woman, and the end has a surprising twist. Purchase this title for your collection if gothics are in demand. Reviewer: Deborah L. Dubois
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—Lucy Sexton lives a charmed, but relatively boring, life in Victorian London. Her writer father provides her with books to read and money to spend while her mother, a true lady, dotes on her only daughter with love and affection. Then a knock comes at the door that changes her life forever. Standing on the other side is a woman who is the spitting image of her mother. Helen Smythe is her name, and she is the long-lost twin of Lucy's mother, Aliese. After being separated at birth, the sisters grew up in totally different situations. Aliese was raised by a family with wealth and promise while Helen lived in an orphanage and was forced to work. After the initial shock wears off, Aliese welcomes Helen into her family. After months of coaching, training, eating, and tailoring, Helen truly becomes Aliese's double. All seems well until one cold winter day when Lucy comes home to find Helen and her mother in a bloody room—one dead and one alive. Lucy is sure it is her mother who has been spared, but as years pass, her certainty wanes. This suspense-filled story starts out as a basic mystery but quickly turns into a fast-paced thriller filled with murder and intrigue. Readers will also enjoy a love story as Lucy falls for Kit, her new neighbor. This riveting story will keep readers guessing until the very end.—Traci Glass, Eugene Public Library, OR
Kirkus Reviews

A Victorian-era girl struggles with confusion when her mother's identical twin suddenly appears and joins her family. She struggles with horror when one of the twins becomes the victim of a grisly murder. But which twin has survived: her wealthy, gracious mother or her impoverished, tough aunt? Lucy begins the story at 13 and ends it a married woman. She's the only daughter of a wealthy London family, portrayed too like a modern middle-class American family despite Baratz-Logsted's attempts to fit the dialogue and behavior into the appropriate era. Characters are nicely diverse until some abruptly change personalities; although these changes may arguably result not only from the murder but also from the misperceptions of an unreliable narrator, readers may well feel that the author does not play fair in her presentation of the mystery. Nevertheless, the story offers many absorbing elements of young love, suspense and surprise that undeniably appeal to fans of the gothic romance. Flawed but ultimately successful. (Historical mystery. 14 & up)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781599906614
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 1/14/2014
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 661,289
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

LAUREN BARATZ-LOGSTED is the author of more than a dozen books for adults and young readers, including Little Women & Me, The Twin's Daughter, Crazy Beautiful, and the Sisters 8 series, which she cowrites with her husband and daughter.

www.laurenbaratzlogsted.com

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 20 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(9)

4 Star

(5)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(2)

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Sort by: Showing all of 20 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 27, 2010

    Mystery, suspense, and romance

    THE TWIN'S DAUGHTER, by Lauren Baratz-Logsted, absolutely blew me away. At the beginning of the book, I was not sure if I would be too invested in this young girl and her hoity-toity lifestyle, but when Aunt Helen appeared, I was captivated. I do not think I have ever read a book that tossed me for a loop so many times than this one. I fell in step along with Lucy not being able to trust anyone who she thought was close to her. As a fourteen year old, she was fascinated with her long-lost aunt who was doing anything and everything to fit into the mold of her well-off twin. I was suspicious of her intentions to be too much like Aliese but when a terrible tragedy struck, I immediately sided with Lucy in her deductions of what happened. As the story continued, my suspicions were once again raised as her family structure was slowly crumbling. Lucy was a great character to experience. She was tenacious, and reminded me of Elizabeth Bennett (from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice). She was well off, but she stayed honest to herself and always asked questions and spoke her mind freely. I adored the friendship between Lucy and Kit. I always knew of his intentions for her, but Lucy's ever-active brain unknowingly brushed him aside. Overall, this was a fantastic book. There was romance, intrigue, mystery, and high volumes of suspense that will keep you reading until the final page.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 23, 2011

    Great amazimg book

    I read this book on my nook and LOVED it!!!!!!!!!!!! I would not change a thing. I would recomend this book to someone who is maybe 11 to 14 or 15 years old, is not grossed out by discriptions of bloody murder, and loves a great and wonderful book.Worth the price.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 27, 2011

    BEST

    one of the best books i have ever read

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2013

    Horrible

    Not even worth a star book is to long ordinary plot horrible characterz.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 8, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Who is the victim? When her mother's identical twin shows up ou

    Who is the victim?

    When her mother's identical twin shows up out of nowhere, Lucy Sexton's world is turned upside down. Her aunt takes the place of a sibling she never had as she begins to teach her the ins and outs of society. But just as life begins to feel normal again, tragedy strikes leaving Lucy feeling alone. But who is the victim?

    The premise of Lauren Baratz-Logsted's The Twin's Daughter had me very intrigued from the first time I read about it. It's a story that you hear on the news: "Twins reunited after 35 years; story at 11." With all of the technology we have, it's become very easy to find out information on people all around the world. But this story is set in the 1800s. With no internet or telephones, how did Helen ever find Aliese? This is what quickly drew me into the story, the mystery of it all.

    Although I haven't been fourteen in roughly ten years, Lucy's character was very relatable. I loved how Baratz-Logsted showed Lucy's character maturing and becoming a woman. Even her relationships with other characters slowly became deeper and more mature as the novel progressed.

    If there was any part I did not like, it was that it took me a while to figure out when and where the story was taking place. Many other books I read (at least, those that are set somewhere other than Anytown USA in the present) tell you in the beginning the year and location. London is mentioned in the novel a few times, however I couldn't figure out the time period at all. It may have been something I missed, but I eventually figured it out by looking up when the mention Gilbert and Sullivan opera was active.

    This book definitely had me guessing all the way until the end. And it wasn't just guessing about the main mystery. There were many different things for the reader to try and figure out. How did the tunnel come to be? Would Kit return? Who was the red-headed man? Even if a reader did not get lost in Lucy's life, all of the mystery and intrigue that Baratz-Logsted wound through the story would keep them reading until the end.

    I give The Twin's Daughter five stars because as soon as I finished it, I was ready to read it all over again. I would recommend this to those that love a good mystery, 19th century London, or historic crime novels. Actually, I'd recommend it to any readers, as it seems there is something in it for everyone.

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  • Posted October 28, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    The Twin's Daughter was a suspenseful read, with the perfect amo

    The Twin's Daughter was a suspenseful read, with the perfect amount romance and history thrown in. When I first leanred about the book, I knew I would enjoy it. Who doesn't want to read about twin's separated at birth, especially when class, money, and murder are involved.

    I loved reading the book from Lucy's perspective. She's young, privileged, and sheltered. So, it's fascinating to see what she picks up on, and what she overlooks because of her age. For example, she's unable to understand some of the more scandalous occurrences in the house. I also found the class/etiquette differences between Aliese and Helen to be interesting. Aliese doesn't want Helen to be seen by her upper class neighbors until she's been educated. Helen, on the other hand, is comfortable sharing with Lucy the facts of reproduction and puberty. While Lucy's mother didn't give her any indication about what would happen, Helen explained it to her without shame. Of course, I need to mention Kit. He's the son of Lucy's neighbors, and he's got a bit of an adventurous streak. Watching Lucy grow to love him was a nice touch to the story. The mystery also threw me for a loop, too. Honestly, I felt sure that I knew who the murderer was, and boy was I wrong! I doubt anyone will be able to guess which character is the culprite, and their intentions behind the crime.

    While I enjoyed all of the time learning about the characters, the action doesn't start until about halfway through the book. I know that some leaders may grow impatient, so I wanted to mention it. It never dragged for me, but my reading pace definitely picked up once I hit the middle of the story.

    Overall, Baratz-Logsted did an excellent job in creating her mystery. The romance, suspense, and description of the gap between the wealthy and the poor meshed together extremely well. I can't wait for more from her, and there are a couple of her previous works (The Education of Bet, and Crazy Beautiful) are going on my "to read" list.

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  • Posted December 6, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I started The Twin's Dau

    I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I started The Twin's Daughter. Was it a mystery? A family story? What?

    What it ended up being was a very long book. One worth reading, I think, but it was long. Maybe it seemed longer because I was sitting in a room without air conditioning while I was reading it, but I thought I would make that observation.

    The Twin's Daughter has plenty of interesting characters. I'm huge on characters - a great character can make up for a lacking plot, but an amazing plot can't make up for a horrible character. And The Twin's Daughter was going to need the amazing characters to go along with the amazing plot. We have Lucy, who annoyed me for a little bit at the beginning, but then reminded me more of me as the book went on. Kit, her handsome next door neighbor - if you read it, you'll understand what I mean when I say "camels." (Seriously; you should read it JUST for the camel jokes in the last eighth of the book.)

    I loved Aunt Helen, though her character underwent a sudden transformation that didn't seem natural. On the other hand, so did Lucy's mother, and I loved her at the beginning, too. That was part of the story, though - people aren't all what they seem.

    And DAMN! This plot! I can honestly say the the reason I kept reading in an un-air conditioned room in 100 degree heat was because I had no idea what was going on, in the best possible way. I had my suspicions of what was going on, and Lucy had hers, and we kept chugging through to wait and see if we were right. And we were right! And then we were wrong! And then we realized nothing is ever as it appears! (Though I was proud of myself; I did call a couple of the final points, though not the overall final one.)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2012

    Make a sequal!

    She should make a sequal!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2012

    ...

    Well this was a mistake...

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2012

    .

    A great mystery always keeping you geussing and it is realy hard for me to find out the plot before i'm halfway through the book and i was always second geussing myself so it was a fabulous read and i enjoyed it

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  • Posted April 17, 2011

    hmmmm

    awesome!!!!!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2011

    awsome!

    Really great book. It's a must get book! (. *' ).

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  • Posted September 24, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A classic, murderous tale that left me feeling flabbergasted..

    The Twin's Daughter was a classic, murderous tale that left me feeling flabbergasted. The dark undertone was enticing and mysterious. Lauren contributed a sophisticated, Victorian style that sucked me in. Lucy, an intuitive little girl grabbed my attention from the beginning. Her bright energy and observant personality was infectious. The maturity she presented at thirteen was well-developed and admirable. The story opened up with Aunt Helen arriving unexpectedly at the Sexton's residence. Aliese, Lucy's mother was floored with the discovery of having a twin sister. Helen's aura was hard to read, yet created some type of suspense.

    Coming from a different, orphanage upbringing, Helen established goals in reaching proper education and etiquette. Eventually, Helen started growing on me, even if her demeanor was shady. Another aspect I enjoyed, was the blooming relationship between Lucy and their neighbor Kit. Kit was such a sweet-natured boy that seemed to always have her best interest at heart. The most shocking part of this book was the ending. Lauren literally threw me for a loop, I didn't see coming. The moment I thought I had everything all figured out, bam! Everything changed. It is by far one of the most unique conclusions I've ever read in YA. Finally, every element from the characters to the precise, detailed writing worked. I love books that make you think outside the box and Lauren surely did that. The ultimate betrayal and jealousy found in this story will definitely make you question people's agendas.

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  • Posted August 27, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    The Twin's Daughter

    I need to start out by saying that I liked this book but I want to also warn readers that it was not a quick read. I wouldn't say I struggled to get through it but at the same time it took me longer than most to complete. I wasn't truly prepared for the overall story line in this book. I don't know that the summary/description on the back of the book does it justice but I was floored when finally getting a little ways into it.

    Lauren Baratz-Logsted will not be an author I accuse of having predictable plot points. I was just trying to keep up with her and I'll admit that I think I failed in that department, I was totally out of my league half the time. I might still be trying to figure out what happened to be honest. It was what I would call a wild ride but it was a bit frustrating at times because to me I was constantly confused for some reason or another. I never could get a handle on what was going to happen or who was going to do what. People were undergoing very large changes and I was just trying to keep up half the time. I'll be very curious to see what everyone else thinks of Lucy, Helen, Kit and the rest of the gang, for now I'm going to keep trying to piece everything together and see if I can start to make sense of it all.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2013

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