Reviewed for Great Minds Think Aloud
SelfSame by Melissa Conway
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
“Selfsame” is an intriguing and convoluted novel with a unique premise: one spirit, separated into two bodies, nearly three centuries apart. While the 18th century girl, Enid, sleeps, her 21st century counterpart, Sorcha, is awake living her own life. Then Sorcha sleeps 12 hours so that Enid can wake. Each knows of the other, and has since earliest childhood; each has a grandmother who watches over the situation closely; each understands that she carries the spirit only half the time.
I’m very impressed with this novel, first because of the unique approach, and secondly, because the author has such a firm foundation in American colonial history, in character, and in plotting. There’s twice as many character sets to juggle here, because of Enid and Sorcha’s two separate lives, chronologically so far apart. What seems like it would be a major juggling job is written and interwoven very smoothly and completely, making the story a joy (and an education) for the reader.
Another poignant aspect is Enid’s recognition (through living Sorcha’s life) of “the butterfly effect,” so that both young ladies understand how important it is not to try to change either the future or the past, but that instead they each must just live life as best they can.
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