By Joyce Laabs of The Lakeland Times
Based on a bit of fact and much fiction, Irish Twins by Michele VanOrt Cozzens (McKenna Publishing Group), is the fifth book by the author who, with her husband and two daughters, operate Sandy Point Resort and Disc Golf Ranch in Lac du Flambeau in the summer, while wintering in Tucson, Ariz.
Though titled Irish Twins, it is the story of a family as it is witnessed by the Irish twins’ mother, Anne, who was herself an Irish twin.
For those who don’t know what Irish twins are, as I didn’t, they are two children born in the family within a year.
The novel begins on the day of Anne’s death from a stroke while waterskiing on Mitten Lake in northern Michigan at the age of 80.
It is her journey into the afterlife–a place called Ohr–where her own Irish twin, Molly, who met an unexpected death at a young age, greets her and acts as her guide as Anne faces her judgment and witnesses her life and the lives of her surviving husband and five children. However, it is Jenny, her elder Irish twin and Caylie, the younger twin on whom she focuses her attention.
We learn all the family’s secrets through Anne’s journey.
“It is a lovely story, told only as Cozzens could. I have read all her books and her maturity as a an author is outstanding.”
I found the book to be a compelling read. The reader feels as if they have become part of the family, and shares their concerns, decisions, mistakes and triumphs.
It is emotional, and as you review your own life, you find you are able to forgive yourself for the major mistakes and bad decisions (which most of us make).
I like Cozzens’ vision of the afterlife before reaching heaven, particularly following your family’s fortunes.
We learn the most about the Irish twins. Jenny is happily married, has two children–but is having a problem facing middle age. Caylie has three boys, is divorced, and faces loneliness and despair. Of greatest concern to Anne is that their relationship is falling apart.
When I began reading I thought the book might be depressing. I was wrong. It is a lovely story, told only as Cozzens could. I have read all her books and her maturity as a an author is outstanding.
Irish Twins is a beautiful read and you will like the insights about death. I would certainly recommend it–and not just to the Irish–but to everyone.