Yodassa Williams’s The Goddess Twins is an impressive, commanding novel about black girl magic.
A few days before their eighteenth birthday, strange things begin to happen to twins Arden and Aurora. Their mother flies to London for a work trip, and Aurora throws herself a party. When the twins learn that their mother never arrived at her destination, hints of magical powers begin to arise in them.
Arden and Aurora head to London, where they are greeted by cousins they never knew existed. Crazier yet, they discover that the women in their family have genetic superpowers granted to their Jamaican grandmother by the Fates. The men in the family are furious that they, too, are not gods; they have developed a master plan to steal the magic from the twins.
Arden and Aurora, narrating alternating chapters, each have distinctive voices. They acknowledge their own faults and intricacies, as well as those of their twin. Arden is introspective, mature, and no-nonsense; Aurora is brassy, outgoing, and cynical. Both are stubborn. Their respective powers—Arden is telepathic and Aurora is telekinetic—are perfect extensions of their personalities, and their weaknesses and strengths are the obstacles and drivers of the exciting plot.
Tense and energetic, the story builds to a powerful conclusion as supernatural family secrets are unveiled, one after another. The book’s refreshing feminism stems from literal black girl magic and the efficacy of women’s solidarity. As the girls learn more about their family and themselves, they come to understand the benefits of having and loving each other.
The Goddess Twins is an emotive and powerful feminist novel that inspires the innate goddess in every girl.
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