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TonyTalbot

TonyTalbot

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Nicholas Nickleby
Charles Dickens, Mark Ford

4/5: "One"

One - Sarah Crossan

A story
written in blank verse
about conjoined
        twins
deserves
something different
from its review.

Grace
        and
Tippi
exist
as
        one
from the waist down.

Except they don't just exist
they
        live

They've never been anywhere but home schooled
until
the money starts to
run out
and a specialised school takes them on

All they want is a slice of
normality
a chance to experience something ordinary.
to climb a tree
smoke a cigarette
and get drunk (at least Tippi does; Grace turns her nose up
in disgust)
Maybe kiss
a
boy
just
           once.

The blank prose gives us
snapshots
of their lives in chapters that
flicker by,
but like a flipbook,
that gives the illusion of movement,
the whole is more than the sum of its
parts.

When things take a darker and more
terminal turn
we're sucked along with the girls as they make the biggest decision of their lives.

And they make it
        together
as they've taken everything
        together
This is their
life.