The 100 Must-Read Books of 2020
November 11, 2020 8:36 AM EST

Yvette and Yvonne are identical twins from Texas who, aside from their looks, share only their desire to leave—even after oil is discovered beneath their father’s land, seemingly blessing them with wealth. In this keenly observed and delightfully irreverent novel from the beloved author and Francophile (in addition to being a pioneer of modern gay literature, Edmund White has also written biographies of French titans like Marcel Proust), readers see both sisters achieve their dreams. Yvette enters the upper echelons of Parisian high society, and letters from Yvonne reveal a five-decade search for a “rebirth in God’s love,” which leads her to a Colombian convent. Despite its characters’ accomplishments, White’s salacious epic asks a question both practical and theological: can people escape what created them?

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