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Truth from Fiction

One evening last week, I watched a short BBC2 documentary about a project to encourage teenagers to read.  The book they were invited to read (and some of them did, eventually) was 'One' by Sarah Crossan, a teen fiction story told from the viewpoint of a conjoined twin.  I was intrigued, downloaded it onto my Kindle and started to read whilst watching the programme.  I was soon hooked! 

It's an easy read, from a mechanical point of view, and I found it to be engaging, powerful and moving, even if, ultimately predictable (and the documentary includes a huge spoiler!).

So as a 'day off' treat this morning, I lay in bed and read the reast of the book - in total it took me a couple of hours I think.

Rather than chapters, the book is set out as a series of titled 'reflections', and this one struck me as especially meaningful and powerful (and has an implicit spoiler)


No Run-throughs

In English class we were encouraged to write

drafts and make edits

until our words were as clear

as filtered water.

In math we were warned to

review our workings,

ensure the figure at the end

was correct.

And in music we rehearsed

songs a hundred times,

trying out a glut of harmonies

before Mr Hunt was satisfied.


Yet when it matters

when it's a life-and-death decision,

like whether to slice ourselves

apart or not

we have no way to perfect the path we're taking

and only have

one choice


one chance

to get it right.


Sounds like an astute reflection on the stark reality that life is not 'a dress rehearsal', that 'you only live once' (YOLO) and that you have 'one life, live it' (OLLI).

A novel worth reading, exploring some ideas around identity and prejudice and the challenge of choices between a rock and a hard place.  Worth a read - though you may need a few tissues.

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