Together by Julie Cohen
Publishing Date: 13th July 2017
Source: Received from the publisher in return for an honest review!
Number of pages: 336
Genre: Literature/Fiction (Adult)
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.
OK guys. Confession time. “Together” is my first book by Julie Cohen. So there. I do admit, I have some of her previous books on my bookshelf, it’s just that I’ve never succeeded to read them. However, after hearing so many brilliant things about Ms Cohen’s books, it’s no wonder I was so looking forward to reading “Together” and now, after reading this brilliant, unique new release I am going to make it my priority to read the other novels as soon as possible.
So we meet Emily and Robbie in 2016 in Maine and then we go backwards, to 1962 in Cambridge and it bothered me a little how the story was constructed. I didn’t find the book being written backwards confusing but I had one issue. We start in present and go back in time, so it’s written in a kind of reverse order, so we actually know what happened, and we are only finding out about facts and details about the characters’ lives and their interweaving ways. I’ll be honest, there came a moment, and it was when we were in the 1960’s, that I lost my interest a little, as I had a feeling that I’ve read about it already, I know what’s happened – but it was then that my review copy suddenly ended at such a cliffhanger that I truly came to know the meaning of the word frustrated. Luckily, I was allowed to open the envelope with the last torn away pages and continue reading, and this is when I’ve seen that the book couldn’t be constructed in a different way. It may make us wonder but this way the things that we were asking ourselves about on the previous pages get a great clarity.
The story is not dominated by descriptions – a huge part of it is dialogues and conversations, and I have to say that they are flawless, they fly easily and effortlessly, there is nothing pushed or forced in those conversations, they just feel so realistic and honest – and let me tell you, creating such great dialogues doesn’t happen a lot in the books that I read. They just feel so natural, just like conversation between me and you.
The characters of Robbie and Emily were lovely – they were full of heart and love and such love as theirs probably happens once in a hundred years. They are not only soul mates, but also friends and lovers – a unit. Robbie loved Emily unconditionally and with fierce passion but also Emily fell head over heels for him and her feelings have never changed.
This is a story about secrets, yes, but it is also a story about unbelievable love. It is a story that tugs at all the right heart – strings and makes you wonder. It’s thought – provoking and a little controversial, written in a beautiful, emotional way, examining family dynamics and relationships. It shows the power of love. There are some twists and turns in the novel, with the biggest one at the end. One that I haven’t seen coming. I might have had some inclinations to guess the truth but THE revelation didn’t cross my mind. It is a very cleverly designed and organised plot, and suddenly everything seems to made sense and all the puzzle elements fall into their places. There are some shocking revelations but altogether the whole tone is calm and down – to – earth. You actually have to wait almost till the end to see why Emily was estranged from her family and why there were such strong feelings about this what’s happened, and really, when you get to this point everything will become so clear.
I have actually read “Together” in one day. It was unputdownable, it swept me up, and guys, I am sure you’re going to have such mixed feelings about this whole situation! But it is a good thing, and I love when I finish a book with my head buzzing with thoughts, wondering and examining, looking into. It was a powerful, moving read, a real must – read this summer! Highly recommended!