Twin brothers growing up in the same home should have similar experiences. But for Whiskey and Charlie Ferns, their two stories are very different. 

Whiskey — outgoing, bold and daring — often out-shines Charlie — shy, quiet and reserved. Whiskey pushes Charlie’s limits, and Charlie begins to shove back. The brothers drift apart. 

As children, the twin boys had a secret language. The pair was connected in a way no one could understand. Their code and their bond sealed them together, but as they grow into the cusp of adulthood, bonds are broken and they begin to instead grow apart. They all but stop speaking. 

The distance is still strong when Whiskey gets into a tragic accident and slips into a coma. Charlie returns to his brother’s side. Suddenly alone with the threat of Whiskey never waking up, Charlie looks back on their lives and questions all the decisions between them. He also begins to question his own self-identify. Who is he without his twin brother? Who is his twin brother now? What forced them apart? What will happen if Charlie can never say all he wanted to say and thought he had the time for? What is the future for both twins? 

“Whiskey and Charlie” is a captivating first novel for author Annabel Smith. The writing is quick and clean with rich character development and a great way of flipping between past and present without it being jarring to the heart of the story. 

“I’ve got a theory, that there are some things in life we never feel ready for, that it’s only by doing them that we become ready.”