Head of the River (Pip Harry)Leni and Cris are rowers and twins, and with Olympic rowers as parents, the twins see competition in everything. Rife with sporting metaphors, the clear message of this story is the price you are willing to pay to win.
The book charts the slow decline of each character as they continue to sacrifice their true identities to “win at all costs”. Leni cuts herself off emotionally from friends and family in the belief that frivolity does not fit with perfection. When Cris starts struggling emotionally and physically to stay on top, he chooses to take steroids, despite knowing how ashamed his parents would be.
As events progress, each character slowly realises their choices are actually making them miserable. It is only after some choices lead to unintended (and tragic) consequences that both characters begin to understand their true selves, and what brings them happiness.