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Moving tale of Soviet twins destined to remain together for ever

Fiction

By Louisa McKenzie

Dasha and Masha Krivoshlyapova were conjoined twins born in Moscow in 1950 during the Communist regime.

The Less You Know The Sounder You Sleep is a fictionalised telling of their real - and almost unimaginably unique - lives.

The author, Juliet Butler, is an English journalist who got to know the twins very well during the latter part of their lives. This book is based on taped conversations and interviews with Masha and Dasha, as well as those that knew them, recorded during Butler's 15-year friendship with the twins.

Hidden from public view since birth and subjected to a variety of medical 'experiments', the twins developed wildly different personalities - one domineering, one gentle and kind.

The Less You Know The Sounder You Sleep is told in the voice of Dasha, the quieter of the twins.

Through her eyes, the reader discovers the twins' unique life experiences and Dasha's hopes and dreams, as well as the harsh reality of life for those considered physically and mentally different in Russia, both under the Communist regime and afterwards.

It's a fascinating, heartbreaking tale of what it was like for the twins to be forever together, two different people whose destinies were forever entwined, one unable to escape the other.

Belfast Telegraph

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