You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone

Finished You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone by Rachel Lynn Solomon. I received a copy for review.

Summary (from Goodreads):

“Eighteen-year-old twins Adina and Tovah have little in common besides their ambitious nature. Viola prodigy Adina yearns to become a soloist—and to convince her music teacher he wants her the way she wants him. Overachiever Tovah awaits her acceptance to Johns Hopkins, the first step on her path toward med school and a career as a surgeon.

But one thing could wreck their carefully planned futures: a genetic test for Huntington’s, a rare degenerative disease that slowly steals control of the body and mind. It’s turned their Israeli mother into a near stranger and fractured the sisters’ own bond in ways they’ll never admit. While Tovah finds comfort in their Jewish religion, Adina rebels against its rules.

When the results come in, one twin tests negative for Huntington’s. The other tests positive.

These opposite outcomes push them farther apart as they wrestle with guilt, betrayal, and the unexpected thrill of first love. How can they repair their relationship, and is it even worth saving?

From debut author Rachel Lynn Solomon comes a luminous, heartbreaking tale of life, death, and the fragile bond between sisters.”

Oh you guys, this book. This book could have been a horrible Lifetime movie of an experience and instead it’s this amazing, wonderful thing. It’s smart and sad and completely unexpected.

I feel like we have a very specific narrative with illness. People suffer bravely and gain these profound insights, right? But when one of the sisters learns that she has the gene for Huntington’s, there are no insights. There is rage and pettiness and a little bit of a malaise.

I also want to mention that I read the acknowledgments (as I always do) and I love the fact that she wanted to write a story about Jewish people that wasn’t a Holocaust narrative. (I’m sure there are plenty of stories that center around Jewish people that aren’t—one that immediately comes to mind is my beloved OyMG by Amy Fellner Dominy—but there aren’t many. And I love the portrayal of faith here, too.)

This book subverted all my expectations for what would happen. I cannot believe this is a debut novel. Rachel Lynn Solomon is definitely one to watch. Highly recommended.

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