Twins Ava and Zelda (“A” through “Z”) Antipova have many reasons to dislike their home. Raised by alcoholic parents, living on a failing vineyard in upstate New York and dealing with their mother’s medical issues is a life sentence. However, after a fight with her wilder sister, Ava heads off to Paris, school and all things French. Meanwhile, Zelda (the “bad” twin) tries to keep the vineyard and their mother going, all the while trying to get back in touch with Ava.
The book chronicles Ava’s homecoming after Zelda has supposedly died in a fire. However, the mystery begins immediately since the barn doors were chained closed and Zelda had a meeting with a known drug dealer the very night that she “died”. The book leads us through Ava and Zelda’s lives up to Ava’s escape to Paris 22 months previously. Zelda leaves clues, leading to Ava’s conviction that she’s alive and hiding out somewhere.
This was a wonderful tale of the effects of family alcoholism, neglected children and Ava’s need to distance herself from her twin. I really enjoyed this novel and highly recommend it. Well done, Dolan-Leach!