Take a peek at the startling new series from our favorite author of all things dark and forbidden: V.C. Andrews! The classic author who brought us Flowers in the Attic shocks us once more in this first installment in The Mirror Sisters series… We can’t put it down!
Alike in every way…with one dark exception.
As identical twins, their mother insists that everything about them be identical: their clothes, their toys, their friends…the number of letters in their names, Haylee Blossom Fitzgerald and Kaylee Blossom Fitzgerald. If one gets a hug, the other must, too. If one gets punished, the other must be, too.
Homeschooled at an early age, when the girls attend a real high school they find little ways to highlight the differences between them. But when Haylee runs headfirst into the dating scene, both sisters are thrust into a world their mother never prepared them for—causing one twin to pursue the ultimate independence. The one difference between the two girls may spell the difference between life…and a fate worse than death.
The Mirror Sisters
I claimed I remembered Mother changing my diaper whenever she had to change Haylee’s and her doing the same for Haylee whenever she had to change mine. Maybe it was something Daddy had told us, but the images were very vivid. It still seemed to be true as we grew out of diapers. Neither of us could wear anything fresh and clean if the other didn’t. If Haylee ripped something of hers and Mother was going to throw it out, she’d throw out mine along with it. Haylee often got her clothes and shoes dirtier than I got mine, but mine were always washed along with hers anyway.
How many times did Haylee have to eat when I was hungry, and how many times did I have to eat when she was hungry? It got so we would check with each other in little ways before crying out, reaching out, or even walking in one direction or another. If Haylee wasn’t ready to go or to do something, I didn’t, and the same was true for her. We both knew instinctively that it was the only way we could protect ourselves from doing things we didn’t want to do.
Mother didn’t realize that we were doing this deliberately or why. Instead, she would always point out our mutual requests and actions to Daddy to prove her theory that we were unusually alike.
“Don’t you see? Can’t you see how remarkable they are?” she would ask, frustrated at how calmly he took it all in. He’d shrug or just say, “Yes, remarkable,” but I could see he wasn’t as convinced about it as she was. Maybe he saw how she was often causing us to do things simultaneously, but he hesitated to question her about it, even though I could see him scrunch his face in disapproval. Sometimes he tried to be humorous about it and say something like “Hey, Keri, guess what? They only need one shadow.” He’d laugh after he had said something like that, but she never laughed at his jokes about us and soon he stopped trying.
He never really stopped complaining, though. I remember Daddy claiming that I was able to stand and walk long before Haylee could but that Mother wouldn’t let me. He said he suspected she would push me down to crawl until Haylee took her first steps. Then, and only then, would she announce our progress to him.
Once, when they were arguing about us, I overheard him tell her that he had seen her breastfeeding many times, one of us at each breast and stopping if one was satisfied, no matter how the other cried.
“It has nothing to do with hunger. You don’t know anything when it comes to that sort of thing, Mason. You’re just like any other man.”
But from the way he kept questioning her about things she had done with us, I could tell he was growing more skeptical. None of that mattered to Mother, though. She would act as if she didn’t hear what he was saying. Once he dramatically turned to the wall and complained, but she ignored him and didn’t laugh at all. For Daddy, it was like being on a boat that was sailing toward a storm in the distance but being unable to change direction.
There were just too many things Mother would do with us that annoyed him. Eventually, he complained more vigorously about things that he thought were more serious. If Haylee or I had a cold, she always gave cough medicine to both of us. Daddy objected loudly to that, but Mother assured him that whichever of us seemed fine would soon catch the same cold. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” Mother declared.
Often, Haylee would begin to cough when I did, but I couldn’t help suspecting that she was just imitating me to make Mother happy and earn those love-me-more points.
“Don’t you see what a wonder they are?” Mother would say to Daddy when he didn’t react enough to please her after she had told him about something we had done together. Nothing seemed to frustrate her more.
“They’re a wonder to me no matter what,” he would say, but she would shake her head as if he was too thick to understand.
Sometimes he would try to seem more excited just to please her. Then he would reach to hug us. I saw how he always looked to Mother first so she would see that he was going to lift us both, hold us for the same amount of time, and not favor one of us over the other with his kisses and hugs. That pleased her. She would smile and nod as if he had passed some sort of test. Keeping the peace was obviously the most important thing to him, even more important than standing up for Haylee or me if either of us did something different, something original.