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What We’re Reading: “Her” by Christa Parravani

Tue, Mar 26, 2013

Books, Pop Culture

Even if Christa Parravani wasn’t a friend of ours, we would be insisting that you check out her brand new memoir Her. It’s the heartbreaking, beautiful, compelling, and ultimately uplifting story of what happens when someone loses their identical twin.

After Christa’s sister Cara was brutally raped at age 24 and a few years later died of a drug overdose, Christa had to figure out how and why to live — how to become her sister, and then how not to become her. She read that the chances of someone dying within a year of their twin’s death are 50-50. Those were her chances, and this is the story of how she figured that out, even though every time she looked in the mirror, she saw her sister. Her sister who was so entwined in her life that she invited herself along on Christa’s honeymoon — because marrying a twin meant marrying both of them, and because twinhood was a bond stronger than marriage or parenthood or death.

She writes in Her:

During the closest years of our lives, Cara liked to fasten bobby pins into my hair and admire the updos she invented. We administered weekly sisterly beautification, little animals that we were. We applied honey face masks, avocado hair glazes, and salt scrubs. We performed on each other the tedious process of individual split end removal with a pair of haircutting shears. She called me her “raven sister with the sexy beehive.” I called her “my messy, unmatching flower goddess.” Of course, there were other names, the cruel and loving ones we give our siblings. Cara took her nicknames for me with her when she died: pumpkinseed, digger, shave, and newt.

I am the sole historian left to record our lives. It’s difficult to know if my memories are true without her. We mixed our memories up. Our lives were a jumble. I can remember being where I never was, in places I never saw: my sister’s marital chamber on her wedding night, the filthy hotel rooms of her drug buys, sitting at her writing desk as she tapped away at her keyboard.

We could say so much more about this gorgeous book, but really we just want you to read it for yourself.

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