White Bodies is Jane Robins's first fiction work.
Callie and Tilda are twin sisters, but very different in their personality and lives. Callie is an outgoing actress, married to Felix. Tilda is reserved and single. When Tilda begins to notice changes in Callie's behaviour, appearance and demeanor - not working, not eating, with bruises on her body, she is sure it is Felix's doing as he has a temper. In an attempt to understand what might be happening to her sister, Tilda goes online and joins a support group for abuse victims and their friends and families. She makes the acquaintance of a woman who agrees to take things a step further....think Strangers on a Train.
I loved Robins's premise - there are so many possibilities. Especially with twins. But the focus of White Bodies is more on relationships - that between the sisters takes center stage.
In an interview, Robins uses the words intense, eccentric and twisty to describe White Bodies. Its the eccentric that stands out for me. I found the behaviour of both sisters decidedly odd and frankly quite off putting early on. Callie eats her sister's hair and drinks her urine. Yes, she eats things belonging to others to feel close to them. Uh huh. Gagworthy for me. Tilda is not the only one with mental issues. We do get some background into the sisters' past with background chapters. But for me, there were no likable characters in White Bodies.
Yes, there's a nice twisty bit at the end, but overall White Bodies was a miss for me. I'm in the minority on this one - I point you towards favorable opinions on Goodreads.
I chose to listen to White Bodies. The reader was Camilla Arfwedson. Her performance was excellent, as always. Her voice is clear, well enunciated and pleasant to listen to. She interprets Robins' work well. Listen to an excerpt of White Bodies.