Friday, January 15, 2010

One and the Same

I just finished reading Abigail Pogrebin's new book, One and the Same: My Life as an Identical Twin and What I've Learned About Everyone's Struggle to Be Singular. I never knew that there was so much that I didn't know about twins. And now I know.

I certainly don't consider myself an expert when it comes to twins, but I usually feel as though I know what I'm doing when it comes to raising them. Having two sets of twins has given me the requisite experience necessary to field the many questions I receive as a mother of multiples. Navigating the challenges of rearing twins has become my life in recent years but there is just so much that I had never considered. Until now.

Specifically, I had given little thought to the unique struggle that identical twins face as they journey through life with a carbon copy of themselves. Written by an identical twin, One and the Same was a fascinating read for me, because Abigail Pogrebin understands what it's like to grow up with a double. As she explains in her book, identical twins compare themselves with each other, depend on each other, and share a remarkable bond that is unlike any other.

Because both of my sets of twins are identical, I felt I needed to pay close attention to everything that I read. I want to avoid the mistakes of comparing my twins or failing to recognize their individuality. I want to honor their special bond and encourage them while still seeing them as separate. I read with great interest as the author described her childhood and what it felt like to have friends mistake her for her sister. My twins are often mistaken for each other but I had never really stopped to think about how that must feel.

This book is a must-read whether you are a twin, you are a parent of twins, you know twins, or you are just interested in learning more about twins. Although the author discusses identical twins in great detail, much of what she writes applies to fraternal twins as well. She also covers topics such as fertility treatments, birthing twins, death of one twin, and other things that you've probably never thought of before.

I was impressed with the incredible amount of information and research in One and the Same. What also impressed me was the author's perspective and candor when writing about her own experiences. Her book is an intriguing glimpse into life as part of a set. You can find even more information at her website and she even answers questions on her blog. I highly encourage my fellow twin moms to read this book cover to cover and then share it with another mother of multiples. (Hopefully our twins will thank us one day!)

This is not a compensated review. I received a copy of this book in exchange for offering my honest opinion.


  1. i have recently run into abigail and am very excited to read her book. though none are identical, we have 2yo triplets, and my wife and i are trying to toe that same line your referenced--encouraging a strong bond, yet fostering individuality. thank you so much for this review. if anyone's qualified to do it, you'd be that person, my friend!

  2. Heather - this is wonderful. Thanks for reviewing the book as I still - my twins turn 23 Sunday - look for information on twins, for myself as much as for them.

  3. I had heard of this book prior and never followed up on it.
    Now I have requested from the library.
    Thanks...I have fraternal 7 year old girls.

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  5. Just 'found' your blog. I'll be praying for your husband!!

  6. Thanks for reviewing this Heather. I had never heard about this book and got a copy today. I've only read a few pages but am instantly fascinated to read about life as a twin from 'the inside'. My identical twin girls are only a year old but it was heartwarming to read about the connectedness the author describes. I'm enjoying following your blog...and can SO relate to all the poop in your life :)

  7. I am reading this right now, I can't put it down!