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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Together by Julie Cohen

Title: Together
Author: Julie Cohen
Publisher: 11 July 2017 by Hachette/Orion
Pages: 336 pages
How I Read It: ARC book
Genre: fiction, romance
My Rating: 4 crowns


This is not a great love story.
This is a story about great love.

On a morning that seems just like any other, Robbie wakes in his bed, his wife Emily asleep beside him, as always. He rises and dresses, makes his coffee, feeds his dogs, just as he usually does. But then he leaves Emily a letter and does something that will break her heart. As the years go back all the way to 1962, Robbie's actions become clearer as we discover the story of a couple with a terrible secret - one they will do absolutely anything to protect.

Perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes's Me Before You, David Nicholls's One Day and M L Stedman's The Light Between Oceans.

My Thoughts

‘He thinks about you every day. He doesn’t talk about you every day, but sometimes we don’t talk about the most important things to us. Sometimes we can’t.’

Do books often come along at a poignant time in a person’s life? This is such an interesting little book on so many platforms. It is well written and thought provoking, as it shines a light on relationships and family dynamics. However, let me say right from the outset, this is not a soppy, teary book because of romance - there is so much more involved in this little story that really packs a punch.

‘No. I think it’s most likely Alzheimer’s.’ She was brave. Her voice didn’t waver at all when she said it.’

‘Sometimes people just have to stay distant,’ she said.’

‘Emily stepped forward, feeling, for the first time, a stirring of anger at her own family.’

It took me a little while to get into this book. I had to put it down and come back to it a week later, as I did not think I was in the right frame of mind to read it. Starting with a devastating event, I was unsure if I was up for the journey. However, it all changed after a couple of chapters and I shall tell you why.

The book is written backwards. Highly unusual and requires flicking back and forth as the brain does not really compute that way. But really, when you think about it, it is probably the only way this tale could be told. From a writing perspective, it is quite incredible and most definitely unique - at the end you want to go back to the beginning and read it over with fresh eyes.

The author presents Robbie and Emily at key stages of their lives, commencing at 2016 until the final date of 1962 - which is of course, the beginning and when they first met. Each stage reveals a little more of the story, but also leaves with you with questions. There are twists and turns along the way, and the ending .... wow .... I did not see that coming. Then, and only then, do all the pieces fall into place regarding Emily and why she is estranged from her family. The ‘mystery’ that had been hovering over story up until this moment is revealed.

Overall, this is an unusual book, for both the way it is set out and the issues it tackles. Try not to let that distract you from what is in fact, a most thought provoking tale.

‘Sometimes we don’t know the moments that are going to be significant to us, not until later when we look back and reflect.’

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The quoted material may have changed in the final release

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