Thin Girls

Harper. Jun. 2020. 368p. ISBN 9780062986689. $27.99. F
DEBUT Lily and Rose share a special bond reserved for twins, acutely feeling and sensing each other’s pain. Beginning in their teens, both women struggle to fit in while contending with family issues and opposite eating disorders. Lily overeats to try to fill a void and mask her pain, and she eventually becomes more than three times her anorexic sister’s size. Rose attempts to gain a sense of control over her life by monitoring what she eats (or doesn’t eat). Each twin needs the other’s help, and each tries to save the other from self-destruction while really needing to save herself. Told from Rose’s point of view of past and present events, this debut novel is an often dark and difficult read. Clarke adeptly makes readers feel the sisters’ pain using blunt and vivid descriptions of eating disorders and strained (and sometimes abusive) relationships while suggesting that hope and unconditional love might allow them to recover, both physically and emotionally.
VERDICT Recommended for readers who like well-drawn, character-driven stories but can also handle detailed descriptions of eating disorder behavior. [See Prepub Alert, 12/2/19.]

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