It Takes Two


166 pages
ISBN 0-7791-1389-6
DDC jC813'.54





Reviewed by Dave Jenkinson

Dave Jenkinson is a professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba and the author of the “Portraits” section of Emergency Librarian.


Bernice Thurman Hunter’s final novel contains many of the fine
qualities that for more than two decades, have consistently attracted
middle-school readers, but especially girls, to her historically rooted
stories. Readers initially met Connie and Carrie Taylor, “mirror
twins,” in Two Much Alike, and the present work, set in Detroit
between May 1955 and late fall 1956, continues their tale. Readers of
the earlier volume will find numerous moments of recognition; however,
It Takes Two can stand alone as a separate read.

As in most of Hunter’s other works, this book has a gentle, episodic
plot wherein each of the 33 chapters is an almost self-contained
happening that contributes something to readers’ knowledge or
understanding of the central characters. The book’s only real
continuing storylines involve two changes in the girls’ lives. Much to
the twins’ dismay, their “ancient” 43-year-old mother is pregnant,
and she delivers another set of twins, this time fraternal. Because this
“second family” demands so much of their mother’s time and energy,
the girls are required to help out much more than normal. The theme of
individuation, which was part of Two Much Alike, reoccurs in It Takes
Two, with Carrie continuing to take the lead in separating her identity
from that of a resistant Connie. Nonetheless, when circumstances allow
the girls to separate, at least physically, Carrie discovers the truth
contained in the book’s title. Dotted with numerous references to
aspects of the 1950s, It Takes Two permits today’s readers to visit a
much less complicated time. Recommended.


Hunter, Bernice Thurman., “It Takes Two,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 25, 2024,