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Friday, December 8, 2017

The Missing Twin by Alex Day - Book Review, Guest Post & Giveaway

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Review by Suze

Edie loves her twin sister Laura very much. She feels like she's the inferior twin of the two though. They're both gorgeous, but Laura is a little bit better at everything they do. When Edie goes on an adventure she doesn't take her sister with her. She finds a job at a resort on the Adriatic coast and she enjoys working there. She's even fallen in love. When Laura arrives for a visit Edie is reluctant to introduce her sister, afraid that Laura will be liked more. Still, she is thrilled to see her sister and they do what they do best, they party. However, when Edie wakes up the next morning Laura isn't there and Edie can't find her. Where did her sister go?

Fatima lives in a war zone. After a major loss she decides it's better to protect her twin daughters and the only way to do that is leaving the country. The journey will be long and risky, filled with uncertainty and danger. Will Fatima and her girls be able to find safety and will they survive the hard road ahead of them? Fatima doesn't have a choice, she has to keep going. Unfortunately this awful experience isn't something she could have ever prepared for. Will she and her daughters be able to find that safety she so longs to have?

The Missing Twin is a fantastic book about two very different young women. Fatima has a family and lives in a country that's being destroyed by war. She has many responsibilities and has to be resourceful to survive. Edie likes to have a good time, she easily judges people, appearance is incredibly important to her and she's the center of her own world. However, Edie's search for her sister changes her. It makes her more aware of who she is and how she behaves and she grows as a person. At first she's a selfish insecure girl with a gorgeous appearance, but slowly she turns into a brave woman who can be proud of herself because she finds the beauty within, which is something I really loved. Edie and Fatima's paths are about to cross and I couldn't wait to find out how that would happen. I couldn't turn the pages quickly enough to know more about each of their stories. I love a good page-turner and The Missing Twin definitely falls into that category.

Alex Day has a beautiful descriptive writing style. I love how she makes her settings come to life in a vivid and dynamic way. She writes about both the good and the bad parts of life in a raw and honest way, something that made me fall in love with her story straight away. The Missing Twin is gripping, compelling and heartbreaking. It's a story filled with anxiety and despair, but there's always that little ray of hope to give it a little bit of lightness. I love the way Alex Day balances grief, unexpected situations and the idea the future will be better. She kept me on the edge of my seat from beginning to end. I absolutely loved this terrific suspenseful story and highly recommend it.

Advice

If you love a gripping emotional story with interesting main characters you should definitely read The Missing Twin. Keep in mind that there are some shocking scenes in this book.

About Alex Day


Alex Day is a mother of three and teacher, with the writing as the bit on the side. The events in The Missing Twin were inspired by the true stories told to her by refugee children in her classroom; stories of terrible loss, epic journeys and the struggle to begin again. Identical twins, always a fascinating topic, provided the counter-balance to this tale told by two very different, but ultimately connected, protagonists.

My commercial fiction titles are published under the name Rose Alexander:
@RoseA_writer
www.rosealexander.co.uk

Links

Website: https://www.alexdaywriter.co.uk/
Blog: https://www.alexdaywriter.co.uk/blog
Twitter: https://twitter.com/alexdaywriter

Guest post
By Alex Day

My inspiration for The Missing Twin 

I’ve always been fascinated by twins and when someone I know announced she was pregnant with identical twin girls, it got me thinking about the subject anew. There’s something so inherently mystical about the idea of two human beings originating from one beginning. I did some digging around online and it didn’t take long to hit upon the idea for the killer twist at the end of The Missing Twin.

For Fatima’s story, I drew on my experience of teaching the children of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees in London schools. Many of them have horrendous and desperately sad stories to tell, but what is amazing is their tremendous resilience and their ability to keep going. Having said that, the Syrian children seem so deeply traumatised that I think it’s going to take a very long time for them to recover. Most tragic of all is the fact that a whole generation is missing out on education. I gave up my career in the media and retrained as a teacher a few years ago and I feel so passionately about the potential of education to transform lives. And actually, whatever you read and hear in the media about young people today, my experience is that all but the tiniest minority desperately want to gain the skills and qualifications that will enable them to succeed in life. Robbed of that opportunity, what will these Syrian children become? And how will they rebuild their country when the time comes?

What I enjoyed most about writing The Missing Twin

I loved thinking myself into Edie and Fatima’s worlds; their trials and tribulations, their tenacity and triumphs. Edie, bless her, is somewhat misunderstood. She has all sorts of foibles and failings but beneath them all, she cares so deeply for others. This becomes obvious as she tries to search for her sister but finds her way blocked at every turn, with everyone telling her there’s nothing to be done about a grown adult who decides to disappear. I can’t say too much for fear of spoilers but suffice to say, when her path crosses with Fatima’s, she rises to a new level of determination and heroism.

Every reader without fail seems to have fallen in love with Fatima. It would be hard to imagine not being able to sympathise with a young mother doing everything within her power to save her children from death – or a fate worse than. For me, what gives Fatima’s story its power is that every single word is true. Not that Fatima is real – of course she isn’t, I invented her. But everything that happens to her is happening to women in her situation on a daily basis. Everything she survives, many other women have had to survive, too. It’s hard to imagine that, as we live our comfortable lives and prepare for Christmas in the safety and security of our own homes.

One element of both Fatima and Edie’s story that is really important to me is the looming spectre of male sexual violence and domination that they both experience. I wrote this long before the current torrent of accusations and confessions, but all women know how this works and few have not experienced it, even if only in the smallest degree. When I look around my classroom at all the amazing, talented, super-bright, compassionate and ambitious girls I teach, I hope the world they go out into will have learnt some lessons from all of this.

How I do my research

I would love to be the kind of writer who could take off for a couple of months to a refugee camp or an Albanian mountain village (another current writing project) to do some empirical, on the ground research. But like many writers, I have to work fulltime to pay the bills and I can only write in any free hours, minutes or seconds I get, so that is not possible. Plus, I also have three children of my own to look after. So I rely on the newspapers, radio and internet to research my ideas. I simply cannot imagine what writers did before the world wide web – everything from checking what day of the week it was on 2nd June 1933 to finding out what type of boats migrants typically use to get from Turkey to Greece is so easily accessible online. (Friday and inflatable ribs, since you ask!)

Why I think psychological thrillers are so popular

In short, I think psychological thrillers are popular because they tick all the boxes. They’re usually exceptionally readable, they keep you guessing about what’s going to happen and where the twist is going to come, they feature highly relatable characters and, most important of all, they’re enjoyable. Some people read as an intellectual exercise but most of us, let’s face it, read to relax and switch off from our busy lives, so something interesting yet puzzling is perfect.

Giveaway

One very lucky reader of With Love for Books will receive a paperback copy of The Missing Twin and a mystery gift that’s related to an important part of the story. One runner up will receive a mystery gift that’s related to an important part of the story.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.

22 comments:

  1. The Missing Twin sounds like a gripping, psychological thriller that will keep you guessing until the very last page.

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  2. The Missing Twin intrigues me, the fact that I am a twin myself does make this book very interesting.

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  3. This sounds like an intriguing mystery. And I enjoyed the guest post. Thank you:)

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  4. It does sound like the novel does have some interesting psychology!

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  5. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas

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  6. It sounds like a really awesome page-turner!

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  7. always love a good mystery! this looks fantastic!

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  8. Great cover and it sounds like a great mystery. Looking forward to it.

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  9. Alex, I just LOVE psychological thrillers!!

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  10. I share your surname :) Sounds like a really plot.I tend to have a problem with thinking just one more page and then I'm up way past bedtime but that's the sign of an excellent book.

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  11. I love thrillers and when they mess with my mind - I'm in love.

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  12. This looks like an interesting book, I love thrillers!

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  13. This is one of my favorite genres :) I would love to read this book about twins. I've read a few books about sisters but twins and multiples fascinate me!

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  14. Intrigued by the story. I'm curious how the author managed to write a story of two people in one book.

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  15. This sounds interesting. I tend to enjoy plots with a dual narrative or dual storyline and I think it's important to describe what refugees go through too.

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  16. Enjoyed the post. The inspiration for the story is fascinating.

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  17. Merry Christmas, fingers crossed

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  18. Thanks so much to everyone for your comments and entries! I with all of you the best of luck with winning - but if you are unlucky, remember The Missing Twin is currently only 99p to buy as ebook... Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all! And thanks forever to Suze and Anniek for hosting this fabulous giveaway.
    Alex Day xxx

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