In this family saga set against a backdrop of other-world mysticism, we are plunged into a dreamlike state as we follow our characters. Irish twins are the focal point of the story and are defined as “two children born to the same mother within the same year.”
The stage is set with the death of Anne Monaghan Shields while water-skiing—at eighty years of age. Descriptions of a “pop” sound and everything turning to black and white set the tone for what comes next. “Random thoughts and visions of people are trapped in a crazy quilt of time and place and emotion…” The author’s words best describe our introduction to the other-world of Ohr, a transitional place where one views one’s life and the lives of those left behind and comes to some kind of acceptance. It is later described as a place of “judgment,” but not in the harsh sense of the word.
Anne first meets her sister Molly, her own Irish twin, who died many years before under mysterious circumstances. Molly looks like she did when she died and now hands over a cup of tea. She is the spirit guide, apparently, but others will also step in to assist as time goes on. Many cups of tea in several different cups accent this unique journey.
When she died, Anne’s own Irish twin daughters, Jenny and Caylie, were 40 (and almost 40) and struggling with their own life issues. As her two youngest children, they seem more adrift; Anne feels a sense of having “abandoned” them—not only at the moment of her death, but earlier in their lives when she and their father Michael abruptly left their home to move to Mitten Lake, Michigan on the day of Caylie’s high school graduation.
Moments like these fill the pages, as we move from the spirit world to the lives of family members, and then move back in time to the past in the lives of each family member.
It’s like we have a birds-eye and a panoramic view of life events, with Anne leading us. When we are dropped into each family moment, past and present, we gradually come to learn the history of events, with all the long-buried secrets surfacing in little snippets.
We are treated to Anne’s own “life passing before her eyes” moments, almost as if we’re watching a movie. We come to know each character deeply and care about how they all deal with everything life presents.
Irish Twins is a fascinating and uplifting story of life, life after death, and the insights we can glean along the way.
I will never think of death in quite the same way again.