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?
This is a story about Daly and is told by her. We are introduced to an artistic girl who has had it rough in her life. She lost her father quite some time back and her mother withdrew from her at the same time. She never really got a closure and is still grieving her dad. Trying to cope with the loss and handling her school work so that she could get a scholarship an Art school without any support from her mother is difficult enough. The only bright spot in her life was her boyfriend until she caught him cheating on her. She thought she had reached the lowest of low point in her life with no chance of recovery. Only to have Akash a.k.a ‘Kashi’ and Meghann enter her life and turn her world upside down once again.
First of all, from the summary the book had the feeling of that of a love story. I must admit that I read love stories and romance novels only when I am looking for a change in ‘flavour’. But knowing Emlyn Chand and her writing, I decided to give it a chance and picked it up during Indie-read-a-thon last weekend. And boy, am I glad! Reading ‘Torn Together’ was a bitter sweet experience. There is a ‘love story’ in it, but it is so much more than that. Besides the Kashi-Daly angle, Torn Together also deals with other relationships, loss, acceptance and social nuisances.
The characters are all just amazing. Yes – each and every one of them! My favourite is Meghann. She is such a powerhouse! Daly’s life seems idyllic beside Meghann, yet she bounced back and has such a positive effect on Daly and Laine. Yes, she’s a girl I am not likely to forget soon. I understand Laine and Daly’s plight too but only up to a point. It is not easy to get over the loss of a loved one but instead of supporting and healing each other – they drift apart. It would have been easier on both of them if only they had concentrated on what they had instead of what they had lost. Unfortunately it is something that often happens in our lives. But I have to admit that Laine is strong. Kashi is a sweet but typical Indian boy from a typical Indian middle class family. Jaya and Mishti also reflect today’s generation of spirited and independent women of India perfectly.
But what I loved the most was seeing my country through Daly’s eyes. I have to admit that I have often wondered how the tourists see our country. From the organized life to the chaos on Indian streets – it has to be a shock. So, I thoroughly enjoyed Daly’s experience in India, from the moment she landed at the airport till she went back. The auto ride, the triple riding on a scooter to the Cannaught Place shopping experience – it was all fun. The author has managed to catch the true essence of the life of the Indian middle class life and portray it through Kashi’s family very well.
Emlyn Chand is truly an author of high caliber. Her capabilities of narration and story-telling can never be questioned, but to be able to touch hearts with both paranormal/ fantasy and women’s literary fiction is not an easy job. They are so different from each other, yet she makes it all seem so simple. I, for one, am not going to miss out any of her works ever.
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