Symbiosis by Guy Portman – Review

Title – Symbiosis
Author – Guy Portman
Genre – Psychological
Length – 245 Pages
Publication – Jan 2016
My Rating – 3/5 Stars


Identical twins Talulah and Taliah have never been apart. Viewed as curiosities by children and adults alike, they coexist in an insular world with their own secret language. But being identical doesn’t necessarily mean being equal…

Soon a series of momentous events will send Talulah and Taliah spiralling out of control, setting them on a collision course with a society that views them as two parts of a whole. Will their symbiotic relationship survive?

Perceptive and poignant, Symbiosis explores our enduring fascination with twins and the complexities of twinship.

A valuable addition to the monozygotic canon…

Symbiosis demonstrates Portman’s ability to populate his worlds with peculiar yet plausible characters.

Moving and laconic, with impressive attention to psychological detail…


This story follows the life of identical twins Talulah and Taliah. I must admit I was interested straight away since I myself have twins and always wonder if they will have a “special” connection. After reading the book I certainly still hope they do.. just not to the degree these twins do.

I’ve never read a story like this before and it was very interesting to read about the kind of symbiotic dependency the girls had with each other… at first you just felt the girls were misunderstood but as the story developed I found myself wondering about the mental health of Talulah in particular who seems to have a more parasitic effect on her sister.

The story flows well but I did find myself skim reading when the girls talked in their own language since I had absolutely no idea what they were saying.

I also found as I read the book I just didn’t like the twins but I think this was mainly due to the symbiotic relationship that developed throughout the story..I just wanted to separate the girls myself since as a reader we know what the girls are thinking..i just found Talulah’s dependency frustrating but this does make you think.. these connections people have.. their would be nice to have this type of connection with someone but as the book draws on you realise it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.

One thing the book did really well from my point of view was bringing up the subject of individuality.I know from experience that a lot of people refer to my two girls as “The Girls” or “The Twins”.. buy them the same clothes etc even though they are individuals. Don’t get me wrong.. at times it’s nice but at other times you really do like to see them as separate people. People don’t always get this and add in the fact Taliah & Talulah have major communication issues it’s easy to see how this strong of a connection could be made between them.

The whole tale is very psychological for and it does make you think what would happen if you were in this type of relationship where you didn’t feel you had your free will…

Very interesting indeed, and thank you to the author for the chance to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

I’d very much like to hear your views if you’ve read this yourself

To find out more information head to Goodreads, or

2 thoughts on “Symbiosis by Guy Portman – Review

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