My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Emlyn Chand, author of the Farsighted series and Bird Brain books, returns with something a little different. Torn Together is a women’s fiction novel that tells the story of a young woman named Daly English.
After being cheated on by her boyfriend, Daly is hurt and defeated. She has a mother she can’t connect with, a dead father and no real friends to speak of. The only thing in her life she enjoys is her art. Even that proves to betray her, as she finds herself unable to produce anything worthwhile for an important portfolio project.
Fate seems to intervene on Daly’s behalf, bringing a couple of people into her life that inspire her personally and artistically. Meghann is a pregnant teen Daly’s mother is counseling, whose courage and faith serves as a lesson to the older Daly. Kashi is a charming Indian man who sweeps her off her feet and causes her to open her heart in a way she hadn’t since her father’s death. Before she knows what’s happening, she’s formed a friendship with the younger girl and is traveling all the way to India to win over her new boyfriend’s traditional family.
Chand’s strong suit in her writing is her characters. She infuses them with a realness that stirs your emotions, developing them over the course of the book. Daly’s mother, for instance, starts off as the type of character you hate. By the end of the story, she’s added layers to the woman that helps you to like and understand her and why she behaves the way she does. Meghann is a bit of an enigma, seeming wise far beyond her years as she deals with a life no teenager should have.
I liked the relationship Chand builds between Daly and Kashi and how it helps Daly to grow as a person. She portrays the emotions realistically, making you root for them. Through that relationship, she also introduces you to a new culture, one the author herself was very familiar with and it shows.
Overall, this was a great story that inspires the reader to care for the people within its pages, making you feel what they feel; hurt as they hurt. Each character gets their chance to tell their side of this story, and Chand includes some great illustrations, each a part of Daly’s sketch diary. I recommend this one for fans of Emlyn Chand, Women’s fic, love stories and anyone who enjoys well-developed character pieces.