Secrets in the Mirror
by Leslie Kain
Atmosphere Press

"Can't let you go, let you be your own person."

In this novel, Kain relates the story of Tony and Colleen DiMasi. They have twin boys, Devon and Gavin. Tony has a particular preference for his firstborn twin son, Devon. He sees him as unique, strong, and special, while he views Gavin as someone weak. He berates him any chance he gets. Tony also resents his wife, Colleen, for getting her doctorate. However, Colleen tries to keep the peace in the household. One day, during the twins’ sixteenth birthday party, Devon gets drunk and steals Gavin’s friend’s car. Unfortunately, he gets into a car accident and is severely injured. During his stay at the hospital, he is diagnosed with a narcissistic personality disorder. The more Tony refuses to see the truth about his son, the more Devon spirals out of control, leaving Gavin trying to break free from his unstable brother once and for all.

From the start, Kain establishes a sharp contrast between the twins’ physical traits and personalities. Devon and Gavin might be identical twins, but the author clearly shows they have opposite personalities. For example, Devon is portrayed as manipulative, racist, and arrogant. He belittles his brother and calls him a “loser.” He takes his brother for granted but still makes Gavin believe that he needs him and that they cannot be apart. Ironically, it is Devon, though, who cannot let go of his twin brother. By contrast, Kain develops Gavin’s character as one who is sweet, respectful, and helpful. And even though Devon treats him badly, Gavin obviously cares about him. In this book, the author successfully exposes the harsh truth about physical and emotional abuse and its psychological effects on one’s self-esteem, self-worth, and growth.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

Return to USR Home