In this fascinating novel, Cohen explores the paths taken by Louis and Louise, which run almost parallel until a life-changing event on the night of Lou's high school graduation. It's a poignant look at how our gender can determine the way we are treated and the knock-on effects that can have, even if all the other circumstances of our lives are exactly the same
Not often does a story remind us of what beautifully complex creatures we are. Julie Cohen has given us that rare gift
Exploring two alternate realities - one in which the Alders have a son, the other a daughter - the Sliding Doors-style scenarios of growing up male or female in a small US town make for an intriguing looks at gender and destiny.
Louis & Louise is moving and beautiful, but it will also make you wonder and question
Cohen has written an engaging, moving novel, at its most arresting in the pivotal scenes when she explores the personal fallout of industrial and class conflict in Louis/Louise's beleaguered hometown.
Poignant and heartfelt
Hugely original and heartbreakingly real
A cobweb of a book: beautifully intricate and delicate
A timely read that will stay with you long after you put it down
Book of the Month: The idea behind Louis & Louise is one of the cleverest I've seen: a baby is born on 8 September 1978 - from that point, the narrative splits, with the child growing up female in one strand and male in the other... This tender, moving, fantastically readable story is expertly handled by Julie Cohen.
Beautifully written and thought-provoking
Louis and Louise is Julie Cohen at her absolute best. So cleverly done and authentic, and you feel as if you live in the town with the characters and have been in the story with them.
Fierce, intricate and intriguing
This elegantly written novel also examines much that is universal: teen love, parent-child relations, class division and small-town prejudice.
What a brave, warm and wise book this is. I loved it
Emotional and seriously powerful.
The premise here is radical, but worth the effort... this elegantly written novel also examines much that is universal
A beautifully written, heartbreaking and important novel about gender, self, family and, ultimately, love
this is a modern take told with heart
Wow. What a beautiful, ballsy and brilliant book
Elegant, thoughtful and powerful
In the hands of a less skilful author this could have been an unsubtle gimmick to make a point about gender but Julie Cohen has written a powerful and memorable story of small town secrets, family dynamics and the sense that some things are just meant to be.
Told over two, initially parallel, narratives (or, indeed, universes), this is a nuanced exploration of how the social expectations of gender can push us down certain paths.
Tender and thought-provoking