Review: Identical twins veer apart in moving ‘Thin Girls’

June 8, 2020 GMT
This image released by Harper shows "Thin Girls" by Diana Clarke. (Harper via AP)
This image released by Harper shows "Thin Girls" by Diana Clarke. (Harper via AP)

“Thin Girls,” by Diana Clarke (HarperCollins)

Dark, poignant and gripping, Diana Clarke’s “Thin Girls” is sure to be unlike anything else you’ve read.

Identical twins Rose and Lily Winters are deeply connected, but in high school their relationship begins to grow complicated. Rose’s desperation to be cool leads her down a dangerous path of extreme dieting. Meanwhile, as if to compensate for Rose’s weight loss, Lily begins eating and eating and eating.

Both girls struggle with body and mental health issues well into adulthood. When we meet them, Rose is living in an anorexia rehabilitation facility and Lily has found herself in an abusive relationship, addicted to a new and dangerous fad diet, and in complete denial that anything in her life needs to change.


Alternating between flashbacks and the present day, “Thin Girls” is a captivating story of the Winters twins’ road to recovery as they work to help each other through issues of body image, love, identity and sexuality.

Clarke succeeds at creating a story that feels wholly unique while at the same time wholly relatable for young women who endure so many of the challenges Rose and Lily face.

With the book’s shadowy tone, Clarke has fashioned a world that feels almost dystopian, yet its power lies in the fact that Rose and Lily’s experiences are all too common and all too real.