Elizabeth Joy Arnold is a member of Shelfari.com which is how I came to know about her book and its release date earlier this month.
The premise of the book sounded good to me -- identical twin girls growing up in a small town in Rhode Island abandoned by their mother, and before they are ready to live on their own, their father dies in a boating accident. While they do manage to keep on living in their home, they grow increasingly apart as Kerry, the more quiet introspective twin, becomes closer and more attached to next door neighbor Justin; and Eve, the more flamboyant and outgoing twin, becomes involved in a seedier lifestyle.
The story is told from the present when Eve is very ill, and Kerry goes to stay with her for what appears to be her last days in this life. The past has caused a rift between the sisters, and there is noticeable strain between them when Kerry first arrives in Eve's home.
We are given glimpses of the past through Kerry's memory of the events that led up to the breach between the sisters, and here is where Arnold's gift as a story teller shines.
This is Arnold's debut novel, but I would not have known that if the book cover hadn't told me. She writes her story with the right touch of mystery and revelation to keep the reader turning the pages quickly in an effort to find out what could possibly have happened to distance Kerry and Eve from each other when essentially all they had left as teenagers was their sibling bond.
I highly recommend Pieces Of My Sister's Life to anyone who enjoys novels about families and all the variety of emotions inherent in those relationships. I also recommend this book for its excellent writing. Elizabeth Joy Arnold is a talented author, and I feel sure we'll be hearing more from her in the future.