Meet Stephen and Lawrence Kennedy. Twins. Born and brought up in the army barracks with their dad Sargent Terry Kennedy and god-fearing mother, Leila Kennedy. Although they are twins, they couldn’t be more different. Lawrence is intellectually disabled while Stephen is not. Stephen tries to battle with his thoughts about resenting some of Lawrence’s behaviour while at the same time loving his brother very much. On the whole though, these two boys enjoy their lives in the barracks with their friends, particularly Katie Monahan and Johnny Birch.
However, their worlds are turned upside down when their parents die in a car crash and both Stephen and Lawrence are sent to live with people they barely know — Helen and Nathan Williams. The journey for the twins continues as they each deal with their grief and other tragedies, sibling rivalry and how they move through adolescence and finally into adulthood.
I really enjoyed this book and the pace at which it covered more than a decade in the lives of Stephen and Lawrence. The unimaginable tragedy of losing one’s parents as a child and having to live with complete strangers was heart-wrenching. And then, to still have burdens placed on them is just another layer to this. But despite the tragedies and the past, the book looks at how they deal with it in their own way and manage to live in the present and dream for the future. It looks at life, love, friendships and relationships and how one deals with adversity. More so, it shows that despite the challenges life throws at you, it makes you a stronger person. The characters of Stephen and Lawrence are both very realistic and likeable. Nable hasn’t exaggerated the intellectual disability and the frustrations that Stephen goes through are very understandable.
To sum it up, life can suck. But it’s a ride nevertheless. And as long as you pick yourself up, you can move on.
It is a bitter-sweet book to the very end and definitely keeps you hooked.
Until next time,