Identical Strangers

Posted on: 23 August, 07

Identical Strangers by Elyse Schein and Paula Bernstein

This book was sent to me as part of the Early Reviewers Program at Library Thing.

Because of the shared DNA, identical twins have been invaluable to scientific studies.   Finding a set of identical twins separated at birth is the scientific equivalent of hitting the daily double.  It provides a unique opportunity in drawing the line between nature and nurture.  An ethical scientist will look for instances where twins have been separated by circumstances.  The thought of a scientist purposefully creating those circumstances sounds like fiction.

Identical Strangers is a memoir of Elyse’s search for the truth about her birth and adoption.  She learns that she has an identical twin sister, but that is the lease shocking news she uncovers.  The story that unfolds proves that sometimes fact is stranger than fiction.

The tale is gripping.  It could be powerful in the hands of a more gifted writer.  Interspersed throughout the book is scientific  research on twins.  I  found this to be  both interesting and helpful in understand the full impact of the story.  The quantity and level were quite appropriate.  It would have been more interesting if more emotion was present in the writing.  The story of Elyse and Paula’s birth and adoption is gut wrenching, but the authors did little to make the reader feel the powerful emotions.

Despite the weak writing, it is a story worth reading.  The truth is so unbelievable that I had to research it on the internet for verification.


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