||With this memoir, Jane Alison challenges Augusten Burroughs and Jeannette Walls for the dubious title of strangest domestic childhood ever. In 1965, the Alison family, then living in Australia, fatefully encountered an American family with a history and composition eerily similar to their own--a father who was an international diplomat, a vivacious young mother, and two young daughters. Jane even shared a birthday with the youngest girl from the other family. The two foursomes became fast friends, but their coincidental camaraderie quickly developed into a deeper connection, until the spouses decided to trade places--permanently. Along with her sister and mother, Jan departed for America, with a new doppelganger daddy. This unique familial transposition triggered some odd behavioral responses from everyone involved, as documented in this riveting recollection.
||When Jane Alison was a child, her family met another that seemed like its mirror: a father in the Foreign Service, a beautiful mother, and two little girls. The youngest girls from each family—one of them Jane—even shared a birthday.|With so much in common, the two families became almost instantly inseparable. Within months, affairs had ignited between the adults, and before long the pairs had exchanged partners—divorced, remarried, and moved on. As if in a cataclysm of nature, two families were ripped asunder, and two new ones were formed. Two pairs of girls were left in shock, a “silent, numb shock, like a crack inside stone, not enough to split it but inside, silently fissuring.” And Jane and her stepsister were thrown into a state of silent combat for the affections of their absent fathers—a contest that, for one of them at least, would prove tragic.|Readers drawn to The Glass Castle will be moved by Alison’s stunning emotional insight as she recounts the intimate devastations of family betrayal.|