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Toni Stanhope

Toni is the enigmatic twin sister of Sophy, who narrates the second section of Darkness Visible. The twins have a difficult relationship with their father, and live in a separate building at the bottom of the garden. Sophy is jealous of Toni’s appearance, which she describes as ‘no, not beautiful, with her smoke-grey hair afloat, her thin, no slim body, her face that could be seen through – she was not just beautiful. She was stunning (198). Toni and Sophy are not particularly close and Toni runs away aged fifteen to Afghanistan, where she is involved in drug smuggling. On her return home, she has fierce rows with her father, and leaves again for London, where she tries to be an actress. Her next move is to Cuba. Sophy hears little from Toni during this time, except a postcard which reads ‘we need you’.

On Toni’s return, it is implied that she is now a member of a terrorist group, and she seeks Sophy’s help in carrying out a plot, to which Sophy agrees. Toni becomes involved in Sophy’s kidnapping plan, but doublecrosses her, and escapes. Our last view of Toni is on a television screen in Africa, talking about ‘freedom and justice’ (392).