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Download Identical Strangers: A Memoir of Twins Separated and Reunited Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Identical Strangers: A Memoir of Twins Separated and Reunited Audiobook, by Elyse Schein Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,477 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Elyse Schein, Paula Bernstein Narrator: Alma Cuervo, Effie Johnson Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2007 ISBN: 9781436125154
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Each knew she was adopted, but neither knew she was a twin. Reunited at age 35, they share their powerful story how they found one another, each redefining her sense of identity, and expanding her definition of family. Interweaving studies of twin science Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • Identical Strangers tells a shocking story of adoption gone awry—and how two strangers become sisters.” 

    New York Books

  • Identical Strangers is…a riveting, heart-touching story you’ll never forget.” 

    Darin Strauss, author of The Real McCoy and Chang and Eng

  • “Remarkable…powerful…[an] extraordinary experience…The reader is left to marvel at the reworking of individual identities required by one discovery and then another.” 

    Boston Sunday Globe

  • “[A] fascinating memoir…Weaving studies about twin science into their personal reflectionsSchein and Bernstein provide an intelligent exploration of how identity intersects with bloodlines. A must-read for anyone interested in what it means to be a family.”

    Bust

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah | 2/15/2014

    " This was a very interesting book. I liked all of the research and stories they shared about twins and general and separated twin studies specifically. The big things they had in common were as interesting to me as the tiny nuances and gestures. The other story line of why and how they were separated was also interesting. Like Susan's review, I agree about the whiny part, but it was a good read :) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ineke Van | 2/1/2014

    " Well researched with respect to twins - but too light on the personal side. It didn't keep my attention. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Donna | 1/30/2014

    " Having multiples made me interested in reading this book, despite the fact that identicals and fraternals are so different. The amazing story of their reunion and subsequent relationship kept me reading but the research on multiples was what really caught my interest. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lynn | 1/28/2014

    " Twins separated and adopted find one another in their 30's and investigate their origins. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kim | 1/27/2014

    " I enjoyed this book, but I think might have been better as a long article than as a shortish book. It seemed kind of padded out with stories of other twins and summaries of different nature/nurture studies, which were somewhat interesting, but not really necessary. I like the way the story is told, alternating between the twins' voices, and I really admire their honesty about their feelings. Paula, in particular, was brave to express her anger at having this life-changing news just blurted out to her over the phone, out of the blue, and her fears of her sister expecting too much and taking over her life. Really the best thing about this book, though, is that I learned about Poto and Cabengo (Grace and Virginia Kennedy), American identical twins (born the same year that I was) who spoke to each other in their own invented language. I LOVE learning about stuff like that. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kerry | 1/23/2014

    " I was readily drawn in to this honest account of adopted identical sisters reuniting. Both Paula and Elyse kept journals tracking the two year period which began with their discovery of each other and ends with the search for their birth mother. They include facts and similar stories about twins. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kara | 1/11/2014

    " Two identical twin girls separated at birth to be in a study on nature versus nurture. They are reuntied about about age thirty. lots of interesting insights into identical twins. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 ♥ Marlene♥ | 1/10/2014

    " Must admit I thought this book was quite boring . Probably also had to do with the fact that I did not like the 2 sisters very much plus that I was not really in the mood so maybe it was just me and not the book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carla Jean | 1/9/2014

    " I found an ARC on a newspaper stand in New York City. Random... but it's a good read, lots of interesting nature vs. nurture stuff. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chris | 12/18/2013

    " After I got over the outrage of learning that, at least for a very short time, twins had been separated for a scientific study, I felt that the author got a bit whiny. Still an interesting read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anna Helm | 11/30/2013

    " Good story, and a different angle than the Parent Trap, "Let's Get Togetether". "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Magda | 9/22/2013

    " Interesting story, and also interesting side notes on twin research. More honest and open than I would have expected a story like this to be. I like that they incorporated family pictures, too, so it was easier to keep track of their family tree(s). "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rebecca | 8/29/2013

    " Wow. This was fascinating. Nature vs. nurture. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Judy | 8/17/2013

    " As a twin and adopted (though together) I found this book very interesting. It was easy to read, not too cerebral, but still evoked a lot of thought about many topics. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Heidi | 8/15/2013

    " Not sure what to think. I enjoyed it but it felt like the same things kept getting said over and over. I also felt like they took our knowledge for granted. There were spots that made me feel quite dumb and that is never fun. Overall it taught me about myself somehow, but it took too much time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Grace Oh | 8/8/2013

    " Fascinating story of twins separated as infants and how they find each other, as well as the mix of emotions they feel upon finding each other. They also explore society's views of twins, as well as historic mythology on twins. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jose | 3/17/2013

    " Excellent story, one of the audio readers was good (paula's character) the other (elyse's character) was stiff and robotic. Poor choice. Otherwise the story was cool, learned lots about adoption studies, twins, etc. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Becky | 2/15/2013

    " An incredible story of separation and reunion of identical twin sisters. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Fran | 11/18/2012

    " Really interesting book. You'll be thinking twice about when people you 'look just like...' Read it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Koz | 7/11/2012

    " It was interesting to a certain extent. Got a little long in some parts. I hate to say this, too, but I found Paula to be very obnoxious. She was arrogant and high maintenance. I felt bad for Elyse. And have to agree with others that it wasn't exactly well written. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jaime | 6/28/2012

    " written by my lovely cousin elyse and her found identical twin. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Esther | 12/28/2011

    " A strange mix of memoir and research book, I now find myself slightly fascinated with separated twins... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Beth | 12/5/2011

    " I learned if you are left handed then you probably had a twin in utero- weird! It was an interesting book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelly | 11/13/2011

    " A really interesting book! As a twin, I find books and articles about twins fascinating. Elyse Schein and Paula Bernstein, the reunited twins, present an interesting study in nature vs. nurture while recounting their reunion and other reunions of separated twins and triplets. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stacy | 9/10/2011

    " I really enjoyed this book; a very interesting memoir about twins separated at birth and then discovered at age 35. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 KaTe | 9/2/2011

    " I stumbled across this book when it was reviewed in People magazine. I'm married to an identical twin so I found the subject matter riveting. The authors did a great job chronicling their reunion as well as the stumbling blocks they faced. Great read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rach | 7/11/2011

    " An unbelievable story. Both heart-breaking and hopeful at the same time. It's interesting to learn about the relationship between identical twins, and the nature vs. nurture debate. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris | 5/22/2011

    " very interesting to me personally, having adopted twins. I think it was an insightful book, and I'm glad I read it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ellen | 4/25/2011

    " It probably didn't need to be an entire book, but I still enjoyed reading it. It got a little repetitive toward the end. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karen | 4/22/2011

    " I read this book because I have identical twins. I found it immensely disturbing that an agency would separate twins out for adoption, and this book shows clearly why this is not a good idea. Each sister told her story of their reunion very well. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Katherine | 4/21/2011

    " A must-read for any twins or those who are close to twins. They have a unique ability to reflect on the realities of being twins for both an outsider AND insider perspective. Fascinating and helpful. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linda | 4/17/2011

    " Fascinating, educational, interesting, poignant.I love learning and that's why I love non fiction. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lily | 4/8/2011

    " Had the uncanny experience of meeting someone who had dealt with the adoption agency named in this account. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary | 3/12/2011

    " I enjoyed it very much and found it interesting and informative. I laughed and cried. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 April | 3/9/2011

    " Fascinating read. The gall of the adoption agency and those conducting the twin study! The story is a triumph for the sisters and comes full circle. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Margaret | 3/9/2011

    " Quite a fascinating account of twins separated at birth. I liked hearing both of them discussing the same situations and how they felt. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Robyn | 3/9/2011

    " Interesting story but not the best written. I couldn't always tell the two authors' voices apart and I didn't really feel it was necessary to distinguish them. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Merry | 2/9/2011

    " Fascinating. Identical twins who were separated in infancy in the early 50s by a Jewish adoption agency that worked with twin researchers. As adults they found each other, developed a relationship, and researched their own and others' cases. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gerianne | 1/26/2011

    " memoir of identical twins, adopted separately, from an exclusive jewish manhattan adoption agency in 1968; they find each other and uncover secrets of their pasts; includes insightful info about twins and mental illness. i loved it, but could be biased since i'm an identical twin! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Peter | 1/25/2011

    " The writing wasn't particularly great (the way they switched the narrative from memoir to scientific information and back was pretty clunky) but the story was so fascinating, it was still a very good read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Christine | 1/15/2011

    " A fascinating story, but the format is off-putting. Each twin writes about the same event from their own perspective and frankly it gets a bit boring. "

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About the Narrator

Alma Cuervo is a stage actress and singer, who has also performed in film and television. She holds an MFA in acting from the Yale School of Drama, from which she graduated in 1976 alongside Meryl Streep. She starred in the role of Madame Morrible in the first national tour of Wicked. Her audiobook narrations include Colum McCann’s Let the Great World Spin and Francine Rivers’ The Scarlet Thread, among many others.