Title: White Bodies
Author: Jane Robins
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Canada
Release Date: September 30, 2017
Felix and Tilda seem like the perfect couple: young and in love, a financier and a beautiful up-and-coming starlet. But behind their flawless façade, not everything is as it seems.
Callie, Tilda’s unassuming twin, has watched her sister visibly shrink under Felix’s domineering love. She has looked on silently as Tilda stopped working, nearly stopped eating, and turned into a neat freak, with mugs wrapped in Saran Wrap and suspicious syringes hidden in the bathroom trash. She knows about Felix’s uncontrollable rages, and has seen the bruises on the white skin of her sister’s arms.
Worried about the psychological hold that Felix seems to have over Tilda, Callie joins an internet support group for victims of abuse and their friends. However, things spiral out of control and she starts to doubt her own judgment when one of her new acquaintances is killed by an abusive man. And then suddenly Felix dies—or was he murdered?
The concept of this book is so intriguing, but it had many weird aspects that were hard to get past.
First of all, this story talks about an important issue. Domestic violence. Particularly, abusive partners who are very controlling. There are some serious situations in the novel that show just how dangerous these relationships can be. It’s scary to imagine a loved one in this kind of relationship, while being helpless to get them to see the truth.
Callie is weirdly obsessed with her sister. She’s worried about her sister’s relationship which is valid, but the way she stalks her is strange. Callie waits outside her sister’s home to follow her and she sneaks into her house to find out stuff about her relationship. That was so extreme.
I found Callie super creepy. When she was younger, she would eat things belonging to her sister to feel closer to her. She would eat her sister’s hair, paper from her journal, and even her baby teeth. Yes her baby teeth. I was so grossed out that it made me really dislike Callie. I couldn’t get past her weird obsession with Tilda.
Some parts of the story reminded me of The Girl on the Train, in the way that the plot unfolded. Callie is an unreliable narrator, so it’s hard to know what to believe. But Callie was so creepy that I didn’t even want to get involved in her story. And she made some strange and dangerous decisions.
Normally I don’t mind an unreliable narrator because they can add to the mystery, but I couldn’t get past Callie’s strange tendencies in this story.