Blog Tour: Louis & Louise by Julie Cohen

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for the moving and thought-provoking Louis & Louise by Julie Cohen. Thanks to Tracy Fenton and Orion Books for giving me the opportunity to read and review this fantastic book.

About the book:

ONE LIFE. LIVED TWICE.

Louis and Louise are the same person born in two different lives. They are separated only by the sex announced by the doctor and a final ‘e’.

They have the same best friends, the same red hair, the same dream of being a writer, the same excellent whistle. They both suffer one catastrophic night, with life-changing consequences.

Thirteen years later, they are both coming home.

A tender, insightful and timely novel about the things that bring us together – and those which separate us, from the author of Richard & Judy recommended book Together

*****

About the author:

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Julie Cohen grew up in the western mountains of Maine. Her house was just up the hill from the library and she spent many hours walking back and forth, her nose in a book. She studied English Literature at Brown University and Cambridge University and is a popular speaker and teacher of creative writing, including classes for The Guardian and Literature Wales.

Her books have been translated into fifteen languages and have sold nearly a million copies; DEAR THING was a Richard and Judy Book Club pick. Julie lives in Berkshire with her husband, son and a terrier of dubious origin.

You can find Julie on Twitter: @julie_cohen or you can visit her website: http://www.julie-cohen.com.

My Review:

Brilliant, moving and thought-provoking novel exploring how different life could be depending on the gender you are assigned at birth. Louis and Louise are the same person. All that separates them is an extra ‘e’ on their name. They are born on the same day to the same parents, but in one timeline Lou is a boy, in the other a girl.

They grow up with the same best friends, go to the same school and have the same dream of being a writer. But life for Lou as a boy and Lou as a girl, although in many ways similar, is in other ways a world apart.

Louis & Louise explores the drastically different directions their lives take simply because of their gender, from the confusion of their sexual awakening to their often difficult and complex relationship with their parents.

On the evening of their graduation a catastrophe befalls Lou and Louise that sends their lives (and the lives of those around them) spiralling out of control in ways they could never have imagined. The details of that catastrophic night and the devastating effect this has on Lou are gradually revealed as we continue to move through the story.

But this is not only a story of gender and how it can dictate the direction our lives take, but is also a story of life, love and the importance of forgiveness. Julie Cohen brings Lou vividly to life and you very quickly come to care about both versions of this wonderfully complex character.

Louis & Louise is a fascinating, beautifully written and emotional rollercoaster of a read that I highly recommend. An incredible piece of fiction that I feel privileged to have been given the opportunity to read.

Louis & Louise by Julie Cohen is available to buy from January 24th: Amazon UK

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