Theodora Keogh’s Gemini

I just finished reading Theodora Keogh’s 1961 novel, Gemini. As I mentioned in my previous post, it is about a brother and sister who are lovers. Their attraction for one another is never fully explained; it is part of their mysterious connection as twins, a magical force unknowable to outsiders. As such, it is difficult to make an argument either for or against their incest (or to tell whether the novel itself does so)–they never make an argument for it, it just is, and there is thus nothing to “agree with” or “disagree with.” I am anti-incest, but the book did not horrify me or get my hackles up. The plot itself elicited an “eh, whatever” response. If Keogh intended it to be shocking, it no longer accomplishes this purpose.

However, I really enjoyed reading this book! Keogh’s use of language is beautiful in a smooth, languid way. Her prose is clear, with enough physical detail that I could easily picture in my mind the small Long Island village where the story takes place. One indicator of when a book is well-written is when its descriptions of food make me hungry, and Gemini had me craving good seafood the entire time (too bad I live in Utah!). I found myself really savoring the novel throughout its entirety. It makes me want to read more of Keogh’s writing, which is one of the best compliments a book can receive.


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