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Alva & Irva

by Edward Carey

Alva and Irva are identical twins - but one is shy and the other very outgoing. They become obsessed with making models out of plasticine, their home city perfectly copied. They seem destined to spend their lives unknown, until an earthquake ravages the city and they become heroes. Strange and somewhat eerie, this book is definitely a challenge, but worth it. It delves into the psyche of twins, but with tenderness and understanding.

Extract

We spent much time in the attic looking out of the window (despite Mother's protestations) onto Veber Street, wondering about all the life there. And one day I decided, and Irva cautiously agreed, to make a model of the street, not just a quick model that would take a few hours to build, but a complex work that would take weeks and perhaps even months to finish: a highly detailed miniturisatio of exactly what was seen from our window. It was constructed entirely from red blocks of plasticine which we purchased with Grandfather from the Mison's toy shop. How we struggled to see them properly for the first time. How plasticine helped to understand.

Parallels

The Brothers by Milton Hatoum
Ticket Home by James Michael Pratt
 

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