I had the absolute pleasure of meeting Julie Cohen earlier this year and interviewing her for Hillingdon Libraries, alongside Rowan Coleman and Lisa Jewell. All through the talk I was fangirling at all three authors, and desperately trying to find a way to explain this novel without giving too much away. I’ll give it a good go here too.
Together is not your typical romance story. One morning, Robbie wakes up and goes about his morning, leaving his wife Emily to sleep. He leaves her a letter, and he walks into the sea. From here, their story uncurls in reverse, revealing new secrets and mysterious in every new chapter of their life – while new to you, it’s history to them. Why did Robbie make the decision to leave Emily alone?
I’m really fascinated by the reverse-narrative structure of a novel. I recently read Genuine Fraud by Emily Lockhart which also employs this complex structure to piecemeal feed you secrets and untruths. Julie spoke about how complex it was to write, remembering that the characters knew many secrets that you hadn’t come across yet.
Together is an emotional book, that had me weeping more than once. Robbie and Emily are wonderful characters, whose love and story you immediately get behind – even more so as you realise the trials and tribulations they’ve gone through to reach their happy settled life at the beginning of the book.
If you’re looking for a thought-provoking story about love with more than a few twists and turns, Together is the book for you. Make sure you have a box of tissues handy.
Interested? Get it here.
What to read next:
- The Summer of Impossible Things by Rowan Coleman
- Hold Back the Stars by Katie Khan
- Tin Man by Sarah Winman
Thank you kindly to Orion Books for sharing this copy with me and to Hillingdon Libraries for allowing me to chair such a wonderful event.