The less you know, the sounder you sleep… or do you?

Isn't that title intriguing?

It turned out to be a very intriguing read. 

The Less You Know the Sounder You Sleep

I would characterise this as being a "fictional biography".  The story is Juliet Butler's take based on the fascinating lives of Russian conjoined twins Dasha & Masha Krivoshlyapova.

Born in 1950s Soviet Russia the twins are locked away in the Institute of Experimental Medicine in Moscow.

The novel plays with themes of innocence, love, abuse, institutionalization and survival all set against the changing political landscape of Russia.

Written from the perspective of submissive Dasha, I felt heartbroken for this little girl, trying to find love, acceptance and normality in often deprived circumstances.

Butler does a great job of making you feel Dasha's frustration at sharing a body with her dominant, and sometimes abusive, sister. And her innocent desire for affection and love, from the often abusive staff that she sees as her family, is at times tear-inducing.  It's a story written with both beauty and sensitivity.

I was so fascinated by this book, I found myself researching the twins. I wanted to know how much of this story was real, and found that much of it is - this could easily have been a non-fiction book.