Today's stop is a Virtual Book Review for Emlyn Chand's Torn Together, a Women's Fiction novel now available from Evolved Publishing. Emlyn will be awarding a $50 Amazon GC and autographed copy of Torn Together to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.
First, a bit about Emlyn Chand
Emlyn Chand emerged from the womb with a fountain pen clutched in her left hand (true story). When she's not writing, she runs a large book club in Ann Arbor and is the president of author PR firm Novel Publicity. Best known for her Young Adult novels, she is also developing a small, but devoted, following to her children's book series and is beginning to dapple in other genres as well. Emlyn enjoys connecting with readers and is available via almost every social media site in existence. Visit EmlynChand.com for more info. Don't forget to say "hi" to her sun conure Ducky!
by Emlyn Chand
From her cheating boyfriend to her dead father and cold, judgmental mother, Daly knows she can’t trust others to be there when it counts. This cynicism begins to melt away when she meets Kashi, a light-hearted charmer from India, who decides he cares too much to let her fade into the background of her own life. After a series of false starts, their quirky romance carries them to India, where Daly must win the approval of Kashi’s family in order to seal their “forever.”
Meanwhile, Laine struggles to cope with the pain of early widowhood, fleeing into the pages of her well-worn library and emerging only to perform her duties as a social worker at the crisis pregnancy center. Although her daughter wants nothing more than to work as an artist, Laine doesn’t know how to redirect Daly to a more suitable profession without further damaging their tenuous relationship.
Can Laine look past her pain to learn from an unlikely mentor? Has Daly finally found someone whom she can trust? Will the women recognize their common bonds before the relationship is broken beyond repair?
"Torn Together," Emlyn Chand’s first sojourn into Literary/Women's Fiction, illustrates how our similarities often drive us apart.
Excerpt from Torn Together:
Excerpt from Torn Together:
He pretended to clack at the keys in an exaggerated pantomime. "All right, you're officially in the system. Now, what can I do for you?"
When she hesitated, Kashi encouraged her to continue with a swift nod. "Well, I was on my way home and started sneezing. Then I realized I'd forgotten to fill my prescription. I've got pretty severe hay fever."
"I understand. Please, give me a moment to contact your old pharmacy, and I will fill your prescription." Kashi walked out of earshot, then reappeared and went to the back of the pharmacy. He returned after a few moments carrying a little white paper bag with her name stapled to the front.
"Take one a day, preferably at the same time each day, and I think everything will be just fine." He rang up the purchase.
Daly handed him her credit card, which he refused.
"On the house," he insisted, slipping the ten dollar co-pay from his wallet into the register drawer.
Kashi winked. Then, feigning surprise, he said, "Oh, it seems you've been selected to respond to a brief in-store survey."
"I'm sorry, every fifth customer gets selected. You have no choice but to respond." He cleared his throat loudly before carrying on. "First question: on a scale of one to five, five being the absolute best possible answer, how would you rate your satisfaction with your shopping experience today?"
"Five," she said, smiling.
He clicked a key on the register. "Okay—on the same scale of one to five, how attractive do you find your pharmacist today?"
"Kashi! It says that?"
"Please, you must answer the question."
"Five." She blushed and glanced toward her toes. When she looked back up, Kashi had a crestfallen expression on his face.
"Only five?" he asked meekly.
"You said five was the best possible answer!"
"Yes, but you could've picked the secret answer. If the subject feels strongly, she may volunteer six as an acceptable response."
"Okay, okay. Six!"
"Only six?" he mumbled, his brow pinched in distress.
She flicked the wrist he held poised over the register's keys. "Okay, fine. One billion!"
"Well, that's more like it." Kashi removed the key from the register and locked up the pharmacy for the night. "So... now that the official business has been taken care of, I do believe I promised you a life-changing date, should we meet again—and meet again, we have."
"I believe your exact words were, 'very special.'" She fell into step beside him as they made their way out of the store. "But, sure, I'll settle for life-changing."
Torn Together is a story of loss, and how it affects a mother and daughter in separate and heart wrenching ways. The death of Daly's father has a devastating effect on both Daly and her mother, Laine, and each finds their own way of dealing with it. This causes mother and daughter to drift apart, and Daly begins to think Laine would have been happier had Daly not been her child.
As Daly moves on with her life, she meets a delightful you man from India, Kashi. I enjoyed watching the relationship between Daly and Kashi blossoms, and these two have some delightful conversations. As their feelings deepen, Kashi realizes that, because of his traditional family beliefs, his parents must approve of his choice of possible wife.
As Daly and Kashi begin their relationship, Laine tries to ignore her grief and begins to mentor a young pregnant girl, Meghann. As an outsider, Meghann can see how Laine and Daly are growing further apart every day, and she tries to help salvage the mother/daughter relationship before it is too late.
The characters in this are all well crafted, and each has a strong personality depicted here. I found parts of this story very emotional, and was brought to tears in places. Overall, though, I enjoyed this look at a slice of less than perfect life, and the effect grief can have on even the best of people. This one brought out many emotions for me, and I smiled, sighed, cried and even got a bit angry at it. I will say, this one was never predictable, and I would recommend this one without reservation.