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Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Getting Away With It by Julie Cohen

A gorgeously romantic, funny and heartbreaking read for anyone who's ever run away from home - and found their way back...Liza Haven couldn't wait to escape the small village where she grew up with her perfect identical twin sister, Lee. Her life in LA as a stunt woman is reckless, fast and free - and that's just the way she likes it. But when a near-fatal mistake drives her home, she finds Lee gone and everyone in the village mistaking her for her twin sister. Liza has to deal with her ailing mother, the family ice cream business, and Lee's dangerously attractive boyfriend. Liza's always been the bad twin, but as she struggles to keep up the masquerade and puzzle out where her sister has gone, she realises it's not so simple. She's spent her whole life getting away with it - is it finally time to face up to who she really is and where she really belongs?
I have never read any of Julie Cohen's books before, but this will definitely not be the last I read either! I really enjoyed this book, devouring half of the book on Christmas Day.
As it true in modern day life, many people want to drop everything and disappear from their everyday life. When Lee saw a villagers car left unattended with the keys in the ignition, that is just what she did! When her identical twin sister, Liza, arrived, late for a fundraising party, organised by her sister, a split second decision left everyone thinking she was Lee and it was her time to prove what everyone thought of her, as the bad twin, to do right and be a success.
I warmed to the character of Liza straight away, leaving home as soon as possible and her career as a stunt woman leading her to LA. An argument at home, following her mother's diagnosis of Alzheimer's and refusal of drug treatment led to problems within the family. An accident caused by her believing she knew best left her unable to work. She returned home to attend a party organised by her sister, however her sister was no where to be seen. A mistake by one of her sister's friends led Liza to take on the part of Lee, the organiser. The party was a success but the next morning when her sister contacted her to say she would staying away for a while, Liza had to make a decision of whether to admit who she was or to pretend to be Lee and take on Lee's day to day routines.
The book was an easy read, the characters easy to befriend, and the concept of identical twins, leading separate lives, individual with their own traits, was one which I was interested in. There was reference to the books series Sweet Valley High and it was great to have a blast from the past with Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield, who also had similar lives.
The idea of Liza taking over Lee's day to day life was good, Liza was able to relive old memories, understanding how Lee's life had been since she left home, her mother's illness developing - however Liza went against her mothers wishes about seeing her old friends, something which Liza was able to encourage her mother to have visitors and brighten her day. Liza was able to see the responsibility Lee had in the village, running her mothers business while also overseeing her mother's care.
Lee and Liza's mother was a proud lady, who was headstrong., having started her own business following the slaughter of the families livestock during the foot and mouth epidemic. She is a strong woman who has been hit by a cruel disease which is taking control from her. I enjoyed reading how Julia portrayed her in the book, especially as she was the only one who knew Liza had returned and was pretending to be Lee.
The book is 500 pages long but I did not find it too long, the story continued at a good pace throughout the book and the characters were all people you could imagine living in a country village, the busybody, the local shop, the community who look after each other.
I recommend this book to all who enjoy a good read, something you can loose yourself in for a few hours.
Thank you to Julie Cohen and Headline for sending me the book to review.

1 comment:

  1. Ah, a woman of sublime taste, Sarah! It's a fabby read isn't it? I just love that Ms Cohen!