the two lives of Louis and Louise is a beautiful, moving novel by Julie Cohan which was first Published in 2019. To say I loved this book is almost an understatment.
This book is all about one life, lived twice. The book follows Louis Alder and Louise Alder, the same person in two different realities. These realities only separated by their gender.
“Both Louis and Louise grow up in the small paper mill town of Casablanca, Maine, with the same friends and family—but because of their gender, everything looks different.”
After a dramatic even happens to Lou (Louis and Louise) on the night of their high school graduation, they leave their hometown of Casablanca for good. When they return 12 years later, both to very different towns ad problems they discover id their destinies were ever the same.
The book explores gender in a way that I haven’t seen before, what would be different if you were born he opposite gender yet shared the same life. It makes you think about gender stereotypes and whether something happened to Louis or Louise due to their gender. The book never explicitly discusses this but you can’t help but to think about it due to the books unique concept.
I found this book to keep me continually wanting to read on and to be honest re-sparked my love for reading all over again. I never stopped reading but this book made me want to pick it up any chance I had.
I think that Julie Cohan did an amazing job writing this book, (not that any of her other books are any different, I just haven’t read them YET), its moving and engaging. For a book with two timelines and two viewpoints that are very similar at times, I never found the book to be a confusing read once. Each chapter is titles for the character, sometimes Louise or Louis, sometimes Louise and Louis.
We also meet Lou’s best friends as kids, Allie and Benny. Twins who often propel the events of the story. We see how the friendships change depending on what life we are looking at and how event that are similar can end so differently. I liked this aspect of the book and the introduction of twins with different genders to see the difference that Lou would interact with them depending whether they are Louis or Louise.
Overall, I loved this book, I can’t fault a single part of it. others reading this book may feel different but I felt it was beautiful, moving and subtly written by Cohen that seamlessly explored Lou’s life. There are dramatic events that take place but the book never necessarily focuses on them and more about the outcomes and results of them.
Would highly recommend!!!
Many thanks, Caitlin x
(Please feel free to comment or like and please share whether you have read this book or any other by Julie Cohan.