“The Grammarians” by Cathleen Schine is the story of girls, grammar, and growing up. Laurel and Daphne are identical twins who love words. As toddlers they, of course, had their own language, but as they acquired more “typical” language, they grew to love English as well. This is a “coming of age” story because readers follow the girls throughout their entire lives from birth into adulthood. As children, the girls are always together, always having a best friend, always experiencing things as a pair, always one part of a whole.
As they grow up, they have their own friends, their own trauma, their own jobs, their own families, but they always have something special that no one else has; they have each other.
I was compelled to read this book because my family contains two sets of identical twins and two sets of fraternal twins. The youngest are identical girls, now four; I see Laurel and Daphne in them, and I see them in Laurel and Daphne. It is fun and scary at the same time. I know they communicate secretly with each other, and I wonder how they perceive being twins, always part of a pair.
I loved this look inside their little brains. They do not have a dictionary with an elaborate stand, but perhaps I’ll buy them one — or two