My rating: 5 of 5 stars
If you could look at one life in two different ways, what would you see?
Louis and Louise are separated by a single moment in time, a strike of chance that decided their future. The day they were born is when their story began.
In one, Louis David Alder is born a male.
In the other, Louise Dawn Alder is born a female.
Louis and Louise are the same in many ways – they have the same best friends, the same parents, the same dream of being a writer and leaving their hometown in Maine as soon as they can. But because of their gender, everything looks different. Certain things will happen in their lives to shape them, hurt them, build them back up again. But what will bring them back home?
I received an e-ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
Julie Cohen’s writing is utterly wonderful. From the opening pages I was struck by her way with words and the way she approached this idea of following one person’s life and exploring the differences that might occur if they were born male or female.
It’s a fairly simple concept, and yet could have been misrepresented so easily. Julie Cohen manages to delve into this topic exquisitely and with sensitivity. Louis/Louise has the same best friends, the same love interests, and the same ambitions and the book really focuses on how society imposes it’s ideas of gender on a person, rather than a person’s soul being in some way changed just because of their gender.
Lou’s life story is for the most part a sad one, full of secrets and hurt which at points left me heartbroken and in tears. The emotion within the writing was so rich and believable it was impossible not to get swept up in it. I was so invested in Lou’s story that I found myself reaching to read more at any small given opportunity, even if I only had time for a page.
Louis & Louise is a masterpiece with an important message which will leave you pondering gender long after you finish reading about Lou’s life.