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Identical Strangers: A Memoir of Twins…
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Identical Strangers: A Memoir of Twins Separated and Reunited (original: 2007; edição: 2007)

de Elyse Schein

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4755440,268 (3.51)42
This is the true story of Elyse Schein and Paula Bernstein, who shared a personal history for more than three decades--and didn't know it. In her mid-30s, Schein finally decided to call an adoption agency to learn about her biological mother. Not expecting much, she instead got the surprise of her life. Her identical twin sister, Bernstein, lived just minutes away.… (mais)
Membro:kendra0974
Título:Identical Strangers: A Memoir of Twins Separated and Reunited
Autores:Elyse Schein
Informação:Random House (2007), Hardcover, 288 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca
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Identical Strangers: A Memoir of Twins Separated and Reunited de Elyse Schein (2007)

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Mostrando 1-5 de 54 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
I just saw Three Identical Strangers. Consider my mind blown. Holy crap. This experiment is insane. I'm definitely going to check out this book.
  rjcrunden | Feb 2, 2021 |
De Amerikaanse Elyse Schein is opgegroeid in een adoptiegezin. Ze woont in Parijs als ze op haar vijfendertigste besluit op zoek te gaan naar haar biologische moeder. Deze zoektocht leidt tot een schokkende ontdekking die haar leven op zijn kop zet: Elyse heeft een identieke tweelingzus. Als zij na enige aarzeling contact met haar zoekt, wordt ze geconfronteerd met schokkende feiten: de zussen zijn na hun geboorte met opzet gescheiden voor een geheim wetenschappelijk expiriment.

Ik was niet alleen is een aangrijpend, krachtig en emotioneel boek over twee vrouwen die een tweelingzus vinden van wie ze het bestaan niet kenden, en hoe dat hun leven, hun identiteit en hun familiegevoel op zijn kop zet.
  Lin456 | Oct 21, 2020 |
Last summer, I went to see Three Identical Strangers, a documentary about identical triplets who were separated at birth and adopted into three different families. There’s a little summary of this story in one of the ESL readers at school, a fun story about college-age boys discovering identical triplets, but the full story is a lot darker. The babies weren’t split up by accident, instead they were part of a secret sociological study on genetically identical babies raised in different homes. The data is sealed until 2066, and none of the researchers are talking, but it’s kind of implied that the triplets had a predisposition to depression, and the researchers wanted to see how different parenting styles in different socio-economical classes would affect that.

There were some other multiples who’d been separated through the same shady adoption agency/secret study and later found each other, including twins Paula and Elyse. (There are probably also other twins who’ve never found each other.) Paula and Elyse wrote a memoir about their experiences, Identical Strangers.

I knew the book would have a reasonably happy ending, since the sisters had enough to share to fill a book, and they obviously liked each other enough to complete a creative project together.

But the twin study is even darker in this novel. I mean, the part about people growing up without knowing their twin, or even that they had a twin, is already pretty dark. Elyse and Paula discover that their birth mother was mentally ill, and was even institutionalized while pregnant. In the documentary, it’s implied that the birth parents may gave been mentally unstable, but in this memoir, it’s clear. The birth mothers were all mentally ill, and it seems like the twin research was really on how much parenting and life experiences can affect a genetic predisposition for mental illness. How much can nurture compensate for nature? Are we doomed to our genetics?

When legitimate researchers study inherited trauma, it must be difficult to prove what comes from genetics (or epigenetics, I think?) and what comes from being raised by traumatized parents. This seems to be the central question of the twin study’s research, although, again, all of the data is sealed for decades, and no one at the adoption agency would tell Elyse and Paula the whole story. The sisters struggle with this question of what they’ve inherited too, and it’s never really resolved.

This doesn’t feel like a memoir, more like a dark scifi setting, with unwitting subjects of sinister mental experiments trying to discover what was done to them. Pregnant women with mental illness were needed for this “study”. I wonder if the adoption agency, that lied to adoptive families and to separated twins, really obtained consent from mentally ill mothers or just pressured women with mental instability into giving up their children.

( )
  TheFictionAddiction | Aug 12, 2020 |
I watched the roller-coaster ride which is 'Three Identical Strangers', the story of triplets separated by the Louise Wise adoption agency, and so had to follow up with the written account of twins who suffered the same fate. Elyse Schein and Paula Bernstein were born in New York, 1968, to a formerly bright and promising young woman with mental health issues. Named Jean and Marian by their mother, they were given up for adoption through the prestigious Louise Wise agency, which was partaking in an 'experiment' to separate and study multiple identical siblings. The girls' adoptive parents were not told that their daughters had twins, so Elyse and Paula only discovered each other years later, when the Louise Wise scandal hit the headlines.

Told by both twins, this is an open and interesting account of what it's like to suddenly find a biological relative, and one who shares 100% of your DNA. They go through the stages of learning how closely their lives have followed each other to wishing, at least in Paula's case, that their lives were still their own. They also go on a quest to find out more about the twin research which separated them, and about their birth mother, which I found most compelling. The meeting with their 'uncle' is like a scene out of a true life TV movie! The many facts about twins - padding, I suspect - are interesting but not really what I wanted to read about (I laughed when the Wakefield twins got a mention, though!)

A shocking story with a happy ending, I think the film about the triplets tells the same tale with more impact. ( )
  AdonisGuilfoyle | Mar 6, 2019 |
I thought this was a pretty lively memoir that included a lot of interesting research. The story of the two sisters is incredible and i thought their voices sounded really honest. It was pretty eye opening in some respects and made me think a lot about nature versus nurture questions. ( )
  alanna1122 | Nov 8, 2018 |
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Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Elyse Scheinautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Bernstein, Paulaautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Cuervo, AlmaNarradorautor principalalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Johnson, EffieNarradorautor principalalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Dong, LaurenDesignerautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Snoijink, BobTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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For Tyler

ELYSE
To Marilyn and Bernard Bernstein,
without whom this story couldn't be told

PAULA
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Imagine that a slightly different version of you walks across a room, looks you in the eye, and says hello in your voice. (Preface)
ELYSE: My mother, my adoptive mother, my real mother died when I was six, but throughout my childhood I believed that she watched over me from above.
PAULA: In one of my earliest memories, I am sitting on the brick stoop in front of my grandma's row house in the East Flatbush section of Brooklyn.
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This is the true story of Elyse Schein and Paula Bernstein, who shared a personal history for more than three decades--and didn't know it. In her mid-30s, Schein finally decided to call an adoption agency to learn about her biological mother. Not expecting much, she instead got the surprise of her life. Her identical twin sister, Bernstein, lived just minutes away.

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