26a is a story set in Neasden, London about a mixed race family. The father is an Englishman and the mother a Nigerian woman. They have four daughters Bel, Georgia & Bessi (identical twins) and Kenny, the youngest. The main storyline revolves around the twins.
The story begins when the twins are about 9 years old, they live in the loft of their house at 26 Waifer Avenue. They name the loft 26a, hence the title. Georgia and Bessi are both regular pre-adolescent girls, with an amazing bond. They share everything and tell each other all their secrets. As the story progresses, the Hunter family moves to Nigeria for a couple of years. All the girls take their own adjustment periods. However, Georgia has a near rape experience which she chooses not to tell anyone, even Bessi, about. This incident is a turning point for the story. Georgia begins to keep all sad and depressing things from Bessi. As they turn 18, Bessi, moves from England to St. Lucia leaving Georgia alone. Georgia's depression and dark periods worsen. She starts a relationship with a young man and they have a wonderful companionship and friendship. They complement each other, but she worries her depression will destroy him too, so she breaks it off with him.
In the end, depression takes over her and tragically, she commits suicide. Although the twins shared the close bond, in the end the elder sister Bel, seems to be more in tune with Georgia's feelings. She is the one who is constantly worried about her and she tries to get Georgia out of the house.
The parents have always had a strained relationship but after the death of their daughter, their mutual tragedy brings them together. The father was always a bitter and hard man but in the end is shown as a broken, grieving father.
in the last few pages, the book took a bit of a spin for me. I wasn't sure what the point was. The twins continue communication and discussing things, perhaps to show the common bond of twins. For me, it seemed a bit off and unnecessary.
All in all, it was a nice coming of age book. There were some nice parts to it and I liked the authors writing. The storyline was not too spectacular.
I would rate this a 2.5/5