by Amelia Brunskill
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: April 3, 2018
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery, Thriller
Anna is everything her identical twin is not. Outgoing and athletic, she is the opposite of quiet introvert Jess. The same on the outside, yet so completely different inside–it’s hard to believe the girls are sisters, let alone twins. But they are. And they tell each other everything.
Or so Jess thought.
After Anna falls to her death while sneaking out her bedroom window, Jess’s life begins to unravel. Everyone says it was an accident, but to Jess, that doesn’t add up. Where was Anna going? Who was she meeting? And how long had Anna been lying to her?
Jess is compelled to learn everything she can about the sister she thought she knew. At first it’s a way to stay busy and find closure . . . but Jess soon discovers that her twin kept a lot of secrets. And as she digs deeper, she learns that the answers she’s looking for may be truths that no one wants her to uncover.
Because Anna wasn’t the only one with secrets.
Was there a specific reasoning behind making the main characters sisters, specifically twins? How do you think the story would have differed had they not been siblings at all?
I really wanted to explore a relationship where there was both an intense bond and a strong inclination—on the part of one of them at least—to more cleanly separate out their identity from the other. With twins there are so often comparisons made between the two siblings, both by themselves and by others, and I wanted one of them to be really tired of that dynamic.
If they were simply friends, not siblings at all, then I think the story would have changed substantially. Jess might still have wanted to know what had happened to a friend, but she wouldn’t have gone to nearly the same lengths.
How did you decide to focus the story around secrets? What is the importance behind this theme?
Oh, how I love secrets! I love secrets and small towns, and people being connected in unexpected ways. Secrets are a form of currency and they cause a huge amount of havoc—even the tiniest secret can be incredibly precious to someone. I think everything I write is about secrets in one way or another.
How do you think the story would have differed had the sisters’ personalities been switched?
If Jess had been the one to fall, and Anna had lived, then Anna would be heartbroken, but she’d grieve in a more typical, and arguably more healthy, way and she’d rely on her existing support structure to help get her through it. She definitely wouldn’t have pushed for answers in the same way that Jess did.
Funnily enough, I think that their parents might have pushed harder for answers though, because sneaking out in the middle of the night would be so incredibly out of character for Jess that I think they’d really want to figure out where she’d been going, and that they’d be much more skeptical of any initial explanation that they were presented with.
Amelia Brunskill was born in Melbourne, Australia, but she grew up mostly in Washington state where she picked a lot of blackberries, read a lot of books, and failed to properly appreciate the epic beauty of the mountains and the Pacific ocean.
She earned her bachelors degrees in psychology and art from the University of Washington and her master in information studies from the University of Texas at Austin. She now lives in Chicago, where she eats as much Thai food as possible and works as a librarian.
The Window is her debut novel.
Prize: 3 copies of THE WINDOW by Amelia Brunskill (US Only)