New Year’s Eve is a vivid and fascinating fictional journey into the lives of adult twin sisters whose relationship is marked by rivalry, tragedy and questions of loyalty.
Erica is the younger of the twins, the conciliatory daughter who safeguards the family connections and memories. Watching her father and sister as the novel opens. Erica explains: “here is what I really wanted: I wanted to have these people around me always. I wanted our fights and our speculations, our triangles, duels, and solitary pouts. I wanted us to live under the same large, actual roof, attending our various joys and pains, and not being forced, as we always were, into the fragmented future.”
Heather, by contrast, is the forward-moving twin, the “successful” twin who married first, had a child first and works as a doctor. When Erica and Heather become pregnant at the same time. Erica sees it as a chance for the two of them to go back to their childhood closeness.
For a while, things go as she hopes: Erica and Heather bond through their pregnancy and, later, Erica’s daughter Sarah and Heather’s son David become the best of friends. But when David is suddenly killed and Sarah begins to believe that she can communicate with him in heaven. Erica finds that the closeness she has developed with her sister is severely challenged.
Grunwald, author of two previous novels and a children’s book, here gives us a beautiful and intriguing book about memory, loyalty and sisterhood.