I am delighted to be reviewing Julie Cohen’s latest novel, ‘Louis & Louise’ for my stop on the blog tour today. Many thanks to Tracy Fenton for the blog tour invite, and thanks to Orion for the ARC. Here is my review:
If you could look at one life in two different ways, what would you see?
Louis and Louise are separated by a single moment in time, a strike of chance that decided their future. The day they were born is when their story began.
In one, Louis David Alder is born a male.
In the other, Louise Dawn Alder is born a female.
Louis and Louise are the same in many ways – they have the same best friends, the same parents, the same dream of being a writer and leaving their hometown in Maine as soon as they can. But because of their gender, everything looks different. Certain things will happen in their lives to shape them, hurt them, build them back up again. But what will bring them back home?
What does TWG think?
I’ll be honest, i wasn’t sure what to expect with this novel and, as weird as this sounds, i hadn’t really sat and thought about gender in a complex manner before. I mean, i know what gender is, obviously, but i hadn’t paid too much attention to the differences in society. I’m not saying i havent’t done that because of ignorance on my part, it’s simply because i haven’t had the need to. Until now.
‘Louis & Louise’ highlights the differences in how society sees gender, as well as how the two genders are potrayed socially in groups. Not only that, this book highlights how Louis and Louise’s individual actions affect those around them from a physical and emotional point of view. Julie Cohen has constructed her novel in an incredibly clever way which makes her readers think without even being aware. This story is about the same life being told twice – how does Louis’ life differ from Louise’s? Most importantly, WHY should it differ? Surely both genders should be able to do the same things with prejudice, like playing football, watching romantic comedies, to name a couple of examples.Why should people assume that just because someone is a girl, that they shouldn’t play football and should only wear pink? And why should males be told that they need to be ‘macho’ and not show emotion, purely because of their gender?
‘Louis & Louise’ is such a one of a kind, powerful read which has been written with intense emotion and dry humour. Like i’ve already said, I really didn’t know what to expect but i am bowled over by just how magical and thought provoking this novel was to read. I may not have had any expectations beforehand but, thanks to Julie Cohen’s iconic novel, this novel is definitely going to stay with me for a long time to come.
Insightful, eye-opening, emotional and beautifully written, ‘Louis & Louise’ has put itself on the map in a variety of ways. I really did enjoy this!!