With and Without Her: A Memoir of Being and Losing a Twin

by Dorothy Foltz-Gray

Verdict: An in-depth and necessary read for anyone who is a twin, has lost a twin or simply wants to know the intimate, emotional and physical dynamics that exist between two closely bonded people.

IR Rating

 
 

5.0

IR Rating

In this poignant and uncensored memoir on life, love, family and the ultimate tragedy, Dorothy Foltz-Gray bares her soul to us in the rich pages of WITH AND WITHOUT HER: A MEMOIR OF BEING AND LOSING A TWIN.

In 1949, Deane and Dorothy are born 8 minutes apart, sharing a small space and a comforting moist surrounding, They emerge a month early, Dorothy taking the lead.  Having romped in the safety of their mother’s womb, they face a harsh world and learn that although they are identical twins, life would always have a way of reminding them that they are also separate beings.

Dorothy, as the narrator, takes us on a joyful yet heartbreaking journey as we learn about her family, her older brother Jeff and her young life with her sister Deane. Her time transitions are flawless and visual to the reader. Deane and Dorothy are so identical that they fool many and even themselves. They dress alike, think alike, sleep together and share their own private world. As twins, they realize that nothing has really happened unless they have told each other. But it has taken Dorothy years to reach the moment in her life when she can finally share the tragic story of Deane’s death, and know, that although she is a twin and carries Deane within her, she is still an individual, and must move forward without regret or guilt.

Dorothy knows when she has to answer the question” What happened to you sister?” that the truth will probably send the listener running. But the story is told. Deane, a psychologist, is brutally murdered by a psychotic patient who enters her counseling center. It is a scene of terror and mayhem that we envision, thinking, this can only happen to someone else.  But Deane, with her PhD thesis finished and a lifetime career awaiting her is mowed down senselessly along with two other employees. We then suffer along with Dorothy and her family as they begin a weeklong vigil at the bedside of Deane. Her death brings unanswered questions, unspeakable grief and a shift in a family dynamic that forever alters each and every member.

WITH AND WITHOUT HER is an in-depth and necessary read for anyone who is a twin, has lost a twin or simply wants to know the intimate, emotional and physical dynamics that exist between two closely bonded people. Dorothy Foltz-Gray has left her heart exposed and we can only congratulate her on her courage and grace and eloquent use of language.

Reviewed by Peggy LaVake for IndieReader.

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