I have always loved reading about separated twins. Once they’re brought back together they usually are found to have a lot more similarities than differences.
I first got interested in the subject back in the 1970s, when so many people were into psychobabble in general and believed in what is now considered to be a laughably inane idea known as the “Blank Slate Theory” in particular. If you’ve never heard of it, be glad. It espoused the ridiculous, and scientifically unproven, idea that everybody in the world is born as a “blank slate,” with the same potential for talent and ability as, say, Mozart, and that it’s your “environment” alone that can make you into either a genius or a killer. I knew a few too many people who couldn’t turn off their psychobabble when I was little. Finding books on twin studies therefore peaked my interest because, at that time, they were the finest, and most sensible, information available on the subject of who we’re born to be. Genetics began to get its due thanks to a project known as the Minnesota Twin Study, which took a closer look at identical twins raised apart and concluded that genes are more important than those who chose to ignore them were inclined to think.
That leads me to this new book, a product of a more enlightened age, SEPARATED @ BIRTH.
If Samantha Futerman hadn’t become an actress, maybe Anaïs Bordier might never have found out she had an identical twin sister.
Fortunately, Samantha, whose work I was familiar with in the beautiful movie Memoirs of a Geisha, appeared in a little video that was found on YouTube by a friend of a girl from France named Anaïs Bordier. He sent it to Anaïs as the one looked so much like the other.
Their resemblance was too strong to ignore. Both girls had been adopted from Korea, though raised by separate adoptive families on different continents, Parent Trap-style. When Anaïs found out, thanks to the movie site IMDB, that Samantha and she shared the same birth date, it seemed almost certain that the two were twins.
Samantha is an actress, and Anaïs, who once considered becoming an actress, is a clothing designer, so creativity runs through their veins in abundance. The book follows their almost miraculous reconnection and reunion – as well as the documentary they decided to create about finding one another. They funded that through the social media site Kickstarter.
Social media, and all the good it brings to us, is one of the “heroes” of the well-written story, told in alternating chapters by the twins. The adoptive parents of both girls are as well – all four are so great, so wonderfully supportive of their daughters, that they’re an inspiration.
This book is a fantastically good read. Never underestimate the power of social media as a force for good. The name of the documentary, which will be released in 2015, is Twinsters. I’m already looking forward to it. Here’s the trailer:
I wish all the best to the two reunited sisters!