Sunday, 25 November 2012

1990s Nostalgia: Racing the Moon by Terry Prone

Don't ask me why I felt a sudden pang of nostalgia, because apart from a minor subplot of small social change in Ireland in the late 20th century, there is nothing terribly remarkable about this book. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that, like Naomi Campbell's Swan or Disco Daddy by Morag Prunty, I am constantly seeing copies of it inside various secondhand bookstores. (Sidenote: My uncle used to own a secondhand bookstore. He once told me that if he ever sees "that bloody Naomi Campbell book" again, he will scream.)

If I recall right, I first read this one at about the time I graduated from high school. I found it on the shelves at my local Target and took it home, simply because I had exhausted the stores supply of Anne Rice and V.C. Andrews novels. 

Racing the Moon tells the story of fraternal twins, Sophia and Darcy. Beautiful Sophia is almost angelic in her behaviour, Darcy is her opposite in every way. The blurb would have you believe that the pair fight over the same man. The truth is, Darcy dates the lying, womanizing Greg for a while, discovers what a moron he is and dumps him. So then Greg decides to marry Sophia, cheats on her while she is hospital having suffered an ectopic pregnancy and because she is so good and self-sacrificing, Sophia decides to stay with him anyway. Besides, at the time of publication, divorce was not legal in Ireland. (The first edition was published in Ireland 1997.) And then Darcy meets her lifelong penpal and decides to marry him. The end. 

The novel plays out over the course of about fifteen years and revolves mainly around the random shit that happens to each twin (i.e. the guy Sophia loses her virginity to drowns on the same evening, Darcy's first car is ruined by Greg, a teacher who sets Darcy an assignment hangs herself because she cannot find love.)

Of course, one could argue that each twin was meant to represent something important, or the novel represents the importance of family and loyalty, but there is not much evidence to support either argument. It's really just a story of a whole lot of crap that happens to two total opposites who happen to be related. As for the cover ... ugh. And why are the twins featured identical, when Darcy and Sophia are fraternal twins?

Remarkably though, this was Terry Prone's best and most famous book.