Recommended for ages 12 and up.
The Twin's Daughter is a delicious gothic tale of murder, mystery, love, and more in Victorian London. Lucy Sexton's comfortable, upper-class life is turned upside down when the doorbell rings, and the woman at the door has the identical face as her mother. It turns out they are twins separated at birth, and brought up in dramatically different circumstances--one, as a privileged, beloved adopted daughter of well-to-do-parents, and the other, in a London workhouse. Lucy's mother takes in Aunt Helen, the sister she never knew existed, and she and her husband are determined to transform her into an educated, society lady.
But what seems to be an innocuous Pygmalion-type story--there is even a ball where Helen could have danced all night--is transformed into a dark mystery when murder occurs at the Sexton house. When a horrified Lucy discovers the two sisters tied up and bloodied in the back parlor, one is dead, and the other still alive.
"But which one is it?" My mind suddenly, silently screamed. "WHICH ONE?"And therein lies the mystery, my friends. Is it her mother who has survived this awful scene, or her aunt? Who is behind the grisly murder? and what is the motive?
Without spoiling the story, let me just say that the plot includes many twists and turns that will surprise the reader and make the novel difficult to put down, as well as a shocking ending. The book also features a romantic sub-plot involving our heroine Lucy and her neighbor, Kit. It turns out their houses are connected by a mysterious underground passage (never fully explained), where they meet for stolen kisses, at least until Kit leaves for the army. When Kit returns, will they be able to have a happy life together and will the mystery be solved?
This is the first novel I have read by Lauren Baratz-Logsted, whose other works include "chick-lit" for adults, books for children, including The Sisters Eight series, and other teen books, with both contemporary and historical settings. I would definitely read other books by this author now that I have been introduced to her very entertaining style.
Release date: September 2010