Hey Harry, Hey Matilda

4 CDs. 5 hrs. Books on Tape. Jan. 2017. ISBN 9781524750497. $40. F
Originating from an Instagram post with extensive visual aspects, photographer Hulin's debut novel translates surprisingly well to audio. Matilda and Harry are twins and appear to communicate exclusively through email. The use of two narrators, award-winning Ari Fliakos and actress Kristen Sieh (Orange Is the New Black), captures the back-and-forth and immediacy of a digital exchange. This epistolary tale examines the complexity of young adults Matilda and Harry's twinship and their relationship to the larger world. It's wry, funny, poignant, confessional, and, ultimately, disturbing. There is an undercurrent of secrets in this family, as first photographer/writer Matilda, then writer/professor Harry tell lies that could sabotage their lives. It then turns unsettling as the story implies there may have been more between Harry and Matilda than sibling affection. Yet Harry and Matilda support each other no matter what, as they struggle to mature as adults and artists.
VERDICT Fliakos/Sieh enable listeners to feel they know these siblings. Nick Hornby fans will enjoy this engaging but somewhat distressing debut. ["A fun, quirky read that is perfect for those who enjoy a good dose of laughter with their familial fiction": LJ 12/16 review of the Doubleday hc.]

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