Category: Reviews & Praise
"We talked about the challenges of raising children, the strangeness of people living out loud on Facebook, the joys of dessert at lunchtime."
Link: Warm and Utterly Jewish
"...examines the complex relationship between the practical and the passionate self, the realist and the dreamer, and the importance of those moments in life that make you feel 'airborne.'"
‘The good news is, you’re all in the show.’ These words, uttered by famed theatrical director Hal Prince, changed Abigail Pogrebin’s life. At the tender age of 16, along with a then 21-year old Jason Alexander, she was cast in the Stephen Sondheim production, Merrily We Roll Along—notable as the only flop in the legendary composer’s otherwise beloved repertoire, which includes the award-winning musicals Into the Woods, Follies, Sweeney Todd, and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. The theories as to why this particular project didn’t roll merrily along are addressed in Pogrebin’s introspective Kindle Single, but more than that, it examines the complex relationship between the practical and the passionate self, the realist and the dreamer, and the importance of those moments in life that make you feel “airborne.” Forgive me for the pun, but this Single is a true ‘Showstopper.’
"I devoured it in two days..."
This week I finally got around to reading Abigail Pogrebin’s “One and the Same: My Life as an Identical Twin and What I’ve Learned About Everyone’s Struggle to Be Singular” after having first read about it in an article about a year ago. I devoured it in two days, fascinated at the insights she offered through her own experience, her interviews with other identical twins and her research and talks with experts.
"I observe my twins differently because of Abigail’s book..."
Last month, Polish President Lech Kaczynski was killed in a plane crash, along with his wife and several key leaders of the country. I read the story and thought “how tragic.” And then I moved on. Because that’s what internet news does – there’s so much of it, that we run the risk of becoming desensitized.
Later that same day, though, someone posted a message on my Mothers of Multiples forum stating that the President was survived by his identical twin, Jaroslaw Kaczynski. And that struck a chord in me. Because I had recently finished reading a book about twins called One and The Same: My Life as an Identical Twin And What I’ve Learned About Everyone’s Struggle to be Singular written by Abigail Pogrebin and in it there was a chapter about twins and death and how, especially for identical twins, the loss of a twin is akin to losing a spouse. And my heart broke for Jaroslaw.
“The thrust of my book,” Abigail Pogrebin emailed, “is about identity – how to forge individuality when raising two simultaneously – but my book takes a deep look at twins from every angle: what it’s really like to be one, raise one, even tragically lose one. I also explore IVF, why twins have different health trajectories, and the inevitable “twin shock” of raising two at a time. I interview many twins – including football stars Tiki and Ronde Barber and remarkable twin survivors of the chilling Dr. Mengele experiments in World War II –but the spine of the book is my own story, which, I think you’ll find is a somewhat surprising, very candid window into twinship.”
Uh huh, I thought, skeptically. Because I’m all about forging individuality and I was a little suspect of reading anything supporting “twinship.” Because c’mon: it’s just two people who happened to form in the womb at the same time.
BUT HERE’S THE THING.
I read the book. And for all my affinity toward independence and individuality, I found One And The Same to be a very compelling and eye-opening read. I laughed. I cried. And I was stood still:
I have been so focused on fostering independence and differentiation that I had, until I read this book, failed to fully embrace the awe and wonder and respect for the “twin thing.” It was heartfelt insights from her book that I was open to letting Raffy leave Mateo’s room.
There is a chapter where Abigail interviews a surviving-vanishing-twin, a physician-turned-photographer who discusses his passion for photographing twins…naked. Like, adult twins. I know. But the message he conveys is how twins in his shoots end up in positions of comfort all on their own, often in positions they were in in the womb, doing things they did in there: poking at each other, sucking one another’s thumbs, holding a foot.
The morning after reading that particular chapter, I watched my twins interact with one another, except this time, rather than standing at the ready to separate them, I just watched. Yes, in all the space available to Mateo and Harper, at some point they will end up trying to occupy the same square inch, pushing on each other, leading with their heads, neither falling away, neither complaining, seemingly just part of they’re mutual existence. Sometimes it ends up a fight, but often times not. I watched them in awe because I remembered that this is exactly what they would do in the womb. We saw it on sonograms, I felt it for several months, and they still do it today.
I observe my twins differently because of Abigail’s book.
Thank you, Abby, for being persistent. And for giving me a new perspective on the gift and uniqueness of twins.
"There are many things to which I related..."
-Dr. Susan A. Treloar - University of Queensland, Australia
Engaging…I would recommend this book to twins in particular, but also to people who are interested in twins, including their family members and friends….It will be an enjoyable read for many…We will all take away, ponder different messages and reflect, in which case Abigail has achieved her aim. It is a very brave book in laying bare her own feelings and her own twinship. I would certainly recommend it.
"One and the Same is a fresh alternative to traditional how-to guidebooks for parents expecting two or more."
I hope you’ll all go to Christina Tinglof’s essential site for parents of twins: talk-about-twins.com. It was wonderful before she added a section about my book, but now, as you can imagine, I love it even more.
"...a MUST read not only for multiples themselves, but also for the parents who love them."
I’ve read a lot of books about multiples, and this one I could not put down. It is one thing to raise multiples and address the unique challenges, joys and pleasures of doing same, but quite another to be a multiple. In her research, Pogrebin has not only drawn on her experiences and journey with her monozygotic sister, but interviewed a plethora of well-known experts in the field of multiples (many of them being multiples themselves) as well as speaking with many sets of multiples across the U.S. In addition she attended the International Society of Twins Studies Conference in Belgium to gather more data and attended the annual Conference of Twins held in Twinsburg, Ohio. As most of us in-the-know are aware, this Conference is a melting pot for multiples from all over the world.
What follows is a riveting, entertaining, informative, insightful and educational journey which is a MUST read not only for multiples themselves, but also for the parents who love them. Pogrebin presents the many nuances of being a multiple, some complicated, some simple, how multiples are “entangled” and how both parties will usually attempt to seek individuality within their multipleship and when (e.g. marriage). And some can’t see themselves apart, even for a moment. In addition, she explores the unique circumstances around when one dies and what that event can mean for the survivor.
I could not put this book down, really. For anyone involved with multiples in any form, this book is definitely the crème de la crème!
"I was immediately drawn in..."
As the mom of 6-year-old triplets, consisting of a set of identical twin girls and a boy, my husband and I have always looked at their relationship with a sort of wonder. What would it be like to have someone always with you? How is it that they can sooth each other with the touch of a hand? I have sisters, but what must it be like to have not only a brother the same age but a sister who is your identical? We look in wonder as one of my daughters asks the other to turn around so she can see “what our hair looks like” rather than using a mirror. Aside from awe inspiring, it has always made us curious.
Abigail Pogrebin gave me a wonderful glimpse into the world of identical twins in her book, “One and the Same”. I was immediately drawn in, and immersed myself in her interviews which covered a wide variety of identical twin pairs. Each interview gave a further glimpse into a different aspect of what it is like to live life as an identical. Some of the interviews tugged at my heart strings, like the one that interviewed a set of triplets, consisting of identical girls and a fraternal. The fraternal sister always felt a bit set apart, which made me think of what it must be like for my son. Other interviews made my heart ache as the pairs described a gradual growing apart as they grew older (which as a mom of 6-year-olds is hard to imagine), or as the topics of terminal disease as it is related to identical twins was discussed. Mostly the interviews moved me further to a sense of awe as the pairs described ‘love affairs’ with each other. It’s the only way to sufficiently describe it. The need many twins have to touch each other, the way they finish each other’s thoughts, the self-described closeness is like none other. This book contained a perfect balance of interview, personal stories, and science that made it very hard to put down!
‘One and the Same’ sheds a fascinating light on to the world of identical twins. The quest they face to remain connected to each other while forging independence. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has or knows identical twins as well as anyone who is curious about this amazing bond.
Check out triplethelove.blogspot.com
"It was exactly the kind of resource I needed...."
One and the Same tells the story of Abigail’s life with identical twin sister, Robin, and how their twinship changed as they grew older. But it’s not just a story about the Pogrebin twins. Stories from many sets of identical twins and other experts (doctors, researchers, authors- some of them twins themselves) are woven in throughout each chapter, allowing the reader a most complete depiction of what twins experience throughout their lives. From these stories, I learned how amazingly safe and secure one can feel with a twin by his/her side, as well as how difficult it can be to constantly feel the need to match and represent the one who shares your same image. But what blew me away were the stories that shared such honest emotions regarding how it felt when the twins separated and began to individuate on their own.
While the story is focused on twinship between identicals, I couldn’t help but notice similarities between the personal stories shared and the interactions I observe daily between my twins…I can see how they cherish their special relationship, but also how they are beginning to individuate already. And while I’ve been able to see for a while that it is difficult for one when the other wants some time away from her, I can now begin to understand why it is difficult for her and what she might be feeling.
[One and the Same] was exactly the kind of resource I needed to begin to understand how my twins may see themselves, as well as what I can do as a parent to help them develop as individuals.
(Author note: I’m grateful to reanbean.com for such a kind review and I recommend her blog enormously for all fellow parents-of-multiples.)
"Must-read for all Mothers of Multiples "
In Abigail’s book, she shares her experiences growing up as a twin and learning how to be an individual. I think One and the Same is a must-read for all MoMs. Abigail’s insight on the relationship between twins is valuable for parents who are in the midst of raising twins. I have not finished the book yet (I’m working on it, you know the whole full-time job two babies thing), but I have enjoyed what I have read and can barely put it down. I hope my girls can have the close relationship that Abigail and Robin have. I have also taken to heart her advice on spending separate time with each child….
Make sure you check out saylucky.blogspot.com!