Rose and Ruby's story is one that keeps you enthralled until the last page. Their birth and subsequent abandonment takes place during a tornado, where their stepmother begins her life-long job of protecting them from the press and crowds. They grow up quietly in a small town, living on a farm where Ruby has a knack for finding artifacts from the ancient native tribes that used to live in the area. Their adult life is full of twists and turns, from learning to learn to live on their own, to encountering romantic love for the first time.
I found myself while I was reading the book imagining myself attached by my head to my younger sister, and how it would be having to share my entire life and give up half of my free time so my sister can do the things she wants to do. It was intriguing throughout the book to watch Rose and Ruby, who are entirely different people (Rose enjoys reading and writing, while Ruby enjoys watching TV and spending time with kids) go about their daily lives. Rose and Ruby would frequently get into fights and spats, like any sisters. (But for them it's probably worse, because they can't go to separate rooms to cool down...) For instance, Rose can never consume alcohol, because it would make Ruby sick. And their jobs. They both carry out separate jobs at a library (of course ;) with Rose shelving books and Ruby reading out loud to children.
While some of the situations in the book were a little out of the ordinary (the tornado, the unexpected pregnancy of one of the girls, a trip to Eastern Europe) I didn't think this detracted from the story. After all, life is pretty out of the ordinary, right?
The book also brought up some interesting thoughts related to everyday society. When Rose and Ruby were born, Ruby was the smaller, and they both were basically surviving on Rose's larger and more healthy heart. The question came up; should they try to remove Ruby (who would die) so Rose could live off of her own heart? This was before the doctors found out that Rose and Ruby shared a vein that would kill both of them if severed. Because both of the girls survived, Rose throughout her life would carry Ruby while walking.
From beginning to end, this was an amazing story that challenged and changed me