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Lauren Baratz-Logsted and
The Twin’s Daughter, Petal’s Problems

February 07, 2011 By: larramiefg Category: Book Presentations, Books


Twins, particularly identical ones, are a story unto themselves and for Lauren Baratz-Logsted (The Education of Bet YA, Crazy Beautiful YA, Sisters 8 series Book 5: Marcia’s Madness) they became the inspiration of her most recent YA novel, The Twin’s Daughter. As the author explained:

“I love anything to do with twins and I wanted to write a story about a side of the story I’d never seen: that of someone who’s a child of an identical twin.”

The child/teenager is 13 year old Lucy Sexton, who would rather be educated than waste her time doing needlepoint and other proper, “ladylike” activities of England’s Victorian period. And it’s through Lucy’s sensibly curious, yet ultimately horrified mind that readers watch the story unfold.

Synopsis of The Twin’s Daughter:

Lucy Sexton is stunned when her mother’s identical twin sister shows up at the family’s front door one day. Separated at birth, the two sisters have had dramatically different upbringings — and have never known of the other’s existence. Lucy’s mother soon becomes determined to transform her sister Helen into the kind of lady that all of society will admire. And the change in Aunt Helen is indeed remarkable. But is it just Lucy’s imagination, or does Aunt Helen seem to delight in being mistaken for Lucy’s mother….especially where Lucy’s father is concerned? Then one day Lucy is horrified to stumble upon the scene of a brutal murder in her own house. Who is behind the vicious slaying — and who has been left alive?

The murder victim is one of the twins, however which one is it – Lucy’s mother or her aunt? In a December 2010 Red Room blog post, The Twin’s Daughter as it Was, Lauren writes:

“That question – “‘WHICH ONE?’” – drives the rest of the story.”

Of course the author thought she knew “which one” but points out that a major difficulty in writing a suspense novel is not knowing when the reader will figure things out. If the “Aha” moment comes too early, does it spoil the suspense?

Lauren called in outside readers to determine at what point they guessed “which one” and was the story suspenseful? All agreed it was suspenseful and the timing of their “knowing guess” didn’t deter from their reading. The manuscript was fine as it was, nothing had to be changed until the author began thinking, “What if I switched things around so that the ending was now a surprise even to me?”

And that’s exactly what she did, thereby turning The Twin’s Daughter into one of the most puzzling, second guessing mysteries one could ever hope to read!

As a book for all ages, this is more than a thrilling mystery. Lauren Baratz-Logsted shines in portraying Lucy as an adolescent who possesses strength and independence, while still being naive to the details of the world. Readers will watch her grow, mature, fall in love, and face a hard truth that molds the rest of life. She’s a believable character — a great role model — who bravely faces her bittersweet reality and comes to terms with it.

The Twin’s Daughter, complete with its murder mystery, is filled with lessons learned. The Gothic tale has a charm all its own, one that will linger with wonder at how Lauren fooled us all!

* * * * *

For readers/visitors unfamiliar with the Sisters 8 Series, the presentation/review of Lauren Baratz-Logsted and Marcia’s Madness is the perfect place to fill in the background.

Written by the Logsted family, about a family of eight sisters, Lauren explains what she, Greg, and Jackie wanted to create:

“One thing we have strived to do with The Sisters 8, since all three of us our huge fans of Roald Dahl, we’ve tried to emulate him to the extent that we do the best to make the quirky humor work for readers of all ages in addition to the targeted audience of 6- to 10-year-olds. We hope we have succeeded.”

With the introduction of a new book featuring another sister, every six months or so, The Sisters Eight Book 6: Petal’s Problems was released in October 2010 with this synopsis

Oh, no. Oh, no. Oh, no. Oh, no! May is almost over and that means only one thing: Petal’s month is about to begin. For most people, this would be a good thing. They would look forward to discovering their gift and their power. But not our dear Petal. As far as Petal is concerned, it could stay May forever.

At least the sisters have some excitement in their future: The wedding of Aunt Martha and Uncle George will bring them, the Petes, and the cats to Paris, where fun—and a little bit of danger—will come as surely as the changing of the month.

Rather than spoil the story, let it simply be noted that Petal is one sister reluctant to receive her “power.” Of course she can’t escape it….ah, yet that’s the story which, according to Kirkus Readers, is filled with “thrills, suspense and hijinks [that] should satisfy adventure-seeking young readers.”

The Sisters Eight Book 6: Petal’s Problems — it’s a must to either begin or add to the Sisters 8 Series!

Book Giveaway: The Divining Wand is giving away two copies of Lauren Baratz-Logsted’s The Twin’s Daughter AND the entire Sisters 8 Series, including Petal’s Problems in a random drawing of comments left only on this specific post. PLEASE indicate which book(s) you prefer. As always, comments left on other posts during the week will not be eligible. The deadline is Wednesday, February 9, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. EST with the winners to be announced here in Thursday’s post. If you enter, please return Thursday to see if you’re a winner.

22 Comments to “
Lauren Baratz-Logsted and
The Twin’s Daughter, Petal’s Problems


  1. Tiffany D. says:

    Wow. I would love to read The Twin’s Daughter. It sounds SO good. Even if I am not able to snag a copy here, I will definitely be buying it. My dad is a twin, and even though I am thirty years old, I still have an extremely hard time telling them apart. The only way I could tell was because my uncle had a mustache! But of course he has shaved it so I am once again confused lol. It is always fun to ask my kids “which one is Gramps?” I cannot wait to read this. I can definitely relate to the story line, and I love a good mystery!

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  2. As the mother of identical twin daughters, I am looking forward to reading this book and sharing it with my granddaughter.

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  3. wow!! what a great bunch of books:) thank you so much.

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  4. wow!! what a bunch of great books..thanks!

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  5. I would love to read these books..count me in!

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  6. Thank you for the chance to win :)

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  7. I would absolutely love to read The Twin’s Daughter. I love gothic tales, and this sounds top notch.

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  8. Nothing like a good mystery to keep you up at night. Count me in.

    EJ

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  9. I loved the Twins Daughter and would be thrilled to have my own copy! I rated it one of my “Best of 2010″ reads. It was such a well-done mystery–at the beginning I was guessing “X” happened, about a third of the way through I changed it you “Y,” then “Z,” but the ending was completely not expected at all!

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  10. The Twin’s Daughter sounds great, especially the ending!

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  11. As the mother of a 6-year-old, I’m always looking for great series for her, and I’m very intrigued by The Sisters 8. I’d be very interested in checking it out!

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  12. Colleen Turner says:

    I would love to win The Twin’s Daughter! I read a review of this book on a blog months ago and have had it on my Amazon wishlist ever since! It just sounds wonderful.

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  13. I would love to read and have this book. Sounds like too good to miss this one. :D

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  14. I would love to read The Twin’s Daughter (and that cover is great!)

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  15. The Twin’s Daughter sounds good! I can’t wait to read it!

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  16. I have 8 children (though, only 5 girls) but I WANT the 8 Sisters series!! Thank-you for the opportunity.

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  17. Sounds like something my wife and neice would like. Thanks for the chance to win.

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  18. Sisters 8 series..sorry I forgot to add that

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  19. I would love to read the Sisters 8 series:)

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  20. I am sorry…I didn’t add that I would love to win the sisters 8 series.

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  21. Sisters 8….sorry

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  22. Sue Bissell says:

    I would love to read this book. I hope I win! Thanks!
    Sue Bissell

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