It’s that time again! I’m thrilled to be hosting Jenny Milchman, who inspired me to begin the #30Authors event in 2014 and has helped make it the success that it is today. Please join us as 30 authors review 30 books in 30 days! Be sure to enter the giveaway to win more than 15 books and a prize package from BookJigs!
About the Event
#30Authors is an annual event connecting readers, authors, and bloggers. Throughout the month of September, 30 authors review their favorite books on 30 blogs in 30 days. The event has been met with incredible support from and success within the literary community. In the six months following the event’s inaugural launch, the concept was published as an anthology by Velvet Morning Press (Legacy: An Anthology). Started by The Book Wheel, #30Authors remains active throughout the year and you can join in the fun by following along on Twitter at @30Authors, using the hashtag, #30Authors, or purchasing the anthology. To learn more about the event and to see the full schedule, please click here.[email protected] kicks off #30Authors with a review of The Ice Twins. Read it & win a massive #giveaway Click To Tweet
“Come, reader, let me whisper in your ear,” author S.K. Tremayne might say at the start of this gothic tale of old. The Ice Twins is one of this summer’s thrillers, and its author is something of a mystery as well—gender cleverly concealed by the bio at the end, the inscrutable initials a pseudonym for someone we are told is a bestseller overseas. But getting bogged down in those details would only take away from the ones that make up this chilling and strangely intimate novel.
The intimacy is due to the voice of protagonist Sarah Moorcroft, a mother who has recently lost her daughter in a tragic accident when the little girl fell from a balcony. But it’s no ordinary child who died. Instead, Lydia Moorcroft is one of a pair of monozygotic twins—and they are even more identical than that term suggests. Monozygotic twins might be mirror images of each other, their features reversed so that if you know which direction you are facing, slight differences emerge. But Lydia and Kirstie are exact replicas, so matched that even the strands of their flossy blond hair twine the same way. Which means that when the surviving twin claims to be her sister, there is no one who can prove otherwise.
In the wake of their tragedy, Sarah and her husband, Angus, decide to leave London and move to a tiny isle in remote, rural Scotland. They will be the only inhabitants of the island’s sole home, a falling down relic that belonged to the departed lighthouse keeper. Eilean Torran becomes a character in the story—its deadly mudflats, lack of cell signal, and storm-driven shores. And as their surviving daughter’s mental wellbeing unravels, Sarah and Angus find that the isolation is wreaking havoc on their ability to comfort their child, as well as on their marriage. Secrets and betrayals emerge while both turn the tables again and again on each other, revealing the truth in dribs and drabs about what really happened on that dreadful day.
Novels with unreliable narrators are something of a trend these days—at least three have the word girl in the title—and The Ice Twins makes good use of this conceit. Readers may debate whether the last minute point-of-view switch in the final chapter plays entirely fair, but the novel succeeds despite some flaws due to three distinct things.
First, the details Tremayne weaves in about twin-life are fascinating. Not all twins are the same—not even all so-called idents, the most identical of whom might suck each other’s thumbs in infancy. For US readers, the quality of life in a bleak Scottish village will fascinate—you’ll even learn some Gaellic. And finally, there’s Sarah herself. Whether you can trust her or not, there’s something irresistible about a bereft and broken person, who’s willing to examine her flaws, leaning in close and saying, “Please. Let me tell you what happened.”
My guess is that you’ll listen.
About Jenny Milchman
Jenny Milchman is a suspense writer from New York State, who lived for thirteen months on the road with her family on what Shelf Awareness called “the world’s longest book tour.”
After a thirteen year journey/trek/slog toward publication, Jenny’s debut novel, COVER OF SNOW, won the Mary Higgins Clark award and was nominated for the Barry and Macavity. It was praised by the New York Times, AP, and many other publications, and also chosen as an Indie Next and Target Pick. Jenny’s second novel, RUIN FALLS, was chosen as an Indie Next Pick and a Top Ten of 2014 by Suspense Magazine, while landing on multiple Best Of bookseller lists. Jenny’s third novel, AS NIGHT FALLS, an Indie Next Pick, received a starred review from Shelf Awareness and was selected as one of PureWow’s Summer Top 30.
Jenny speaks nationwide about the publishing industry and the importance of sticking to a dream. She is Vice President of Author Programming for International Thriller Writers, and the founder of Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day, which was celebrated in all fifty states and six foreign countries. She teaches writing and publishing for New York Writers Workshop.
About The Ice Twins by S.K. Tremayne
Synopsis from Goodreads: A year after one of their identical twin daughters, Lydia, dies in an accident, Angus and Sarah Moorcraft move to the tiny Scottish island Angus inherited from his grandmother, hoping to put together the pieces of their shattered lives.
But when their surviving daughter, Kirstie, claims they have mistaken her identity—that she, in fact, is Lydia—their world comes crashing down once again.
As winter encroaches, Angus is forced to travel away from the island for work, Sarah is feeling isolated, and Kirstie (or is it Lydia?) is growing more disturbed. When a violent storm leaves Sarah and her daughter stranded, Sarah finds herself tortured by the past—what really happened on that fateful day one of her daughters died?