Together by Julie Cohen
Published by Orion Books
Is this a great love story? Or a story about great love? You decide. 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 would. 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.
This is an interesting story and has an ending that I have no doubt will divide readers. I was sent a copy by the publisher to review and the last two chapters had been removed. We were asked to tweet our thoughts at this point in the book - mine was WHAT?!!!!!!
Robbie and Emily are in their eighties, happy in their own little world, children grown and flown the nest. But Robbie has Alzheimer's disease and whilst some days are good, others are confused and muddled and he isn't sure that this is a life he wants to live. One fine morning he leaves Emily and note and goes to the shore near to where they live. He knows he only has a certain amount of time remaining to carry out his plan before Emily wakes and rises for the day, now is not the moment for confusion and delay.
The story starts at the end and ends at the beginning of their relationship. We learn about their family and children, of the early days of their relationship and of when they first meet each other when Emily is studying at Cambridge University. We learn fairly early on that something happens in 1962 that the pair swear they will never share with anyone else. Neither has family that they see anymore. It is only the death of Emily's mother that leads her to fly across the Atlantic to see the family that she ran out on all those decades ago and it would seem that even her younger sister Polly has no idea of the secret Emily has been holding on to for all of these years.
I didn't expect the twist that Julie Cohen throws into the mix but it does work sort of... It comes out of the blue and answers some of the questions that the reader may have about Emily's family and why her and Robbie never see them anymore. I do think it will divide readers as some may be satisfied with this and others I feel may think that it is a little like a curve ball thrown unexpectedly into the mix, there is no real build up - just BOOM!
This is a story of family and love and of two people that fate brought together and who are destined to remain together no matter who or what tries to pull them apart.
Miss Chapters x