The Broken PDF/EPUB Ò Ebook

  • ebook
  • 273 pages
  • The Broken
  • Tamar Cohen
  • English
  • 10 September 2014
  • 9781448169030

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The BrokenThe Broken by Tamar Cohen audio book 35 stars rounded upJosh and Hannah live a uiet unexceptional life in suburban London with their four year old daughter Lily Josh is a teacher and Hannah a self employed journalist Their good friends Dan and Sasha live near by and also have a four year old daughter September The two families have a long standing very close relationshipWhen Dan out of the blue announces that he no longer loves Sasha and that he has fallen heavily for a young model Siena the ramifications are of course immense The Broken starts off as a measured realistic look at how massive emotional upheaval in the lives of friends can impact on our own lives This being a psychological thriller things begin to gradually turn very uglyAll very entertaining and gave me the odd shiver of recognitionWhat’s I guessed the ending about half way through and felt very smug about it This didn’t spoil things though I enjoyed backing up my hunches and looked forward to the great drama and reactions of all the characters as the truth was exposed and come uppances were hadExcept this didn’t really happen We were left with an eerie uestion mark but other than that the ending seemed a bit disappointing ie a uick summing up in the last couple of pages a uick tying up of loose ends and then that was it No fireworks emotional showdowns etcIn all fairness though I was engrossed throughout the novel was plainly but well written with believable characters and it had some emotional depth The audio book was excellently narrated by Jane CollingwoodI will certainly read by this author Best friends tell you everything; about their kitchen renovation; about their little girl's schooling How one of them is leaving the other for a younger modelBest friends don't tell lies They don't take up residence on your couch for weeks They don't call lawyers They don't make you choose sidesBest friends don't keep secrets about their past They don't put you in dangerBest friends don't always stay best friends After reading Dying for Christmas and loving it I was so pleased when I won a paperback copy of The Broken from the author via THE book Club last month The Broken is a great psychological thriller about marriage and friendship and what happens when things start to go wrong One couple are separating while the other couple feel torn between their two best friends This isn’t just a book about four friends disagreeing and arguing This is surprisingly dark and sinister in placesThe characters feel very real and I really did feel I was in amongst all the turmoil This story covers the extremes humans will go to when heartbroken angry desperate and paranoid It also covers the impact childhood experiences have on a person as an adult A lot of emotions and experiences are covered in this story and the fact that there are young children involved as well makes it uite an intense readThere are some very unlikeable characters in this with others that may attract your sympathy While the main characters struggle to work out who they can trust where will your loyalties lie? How far would you go to help a friend?I had some uite strong negative feelings about a young girl in the story I feel slightly guilty for having such negative feelings towards her as clearly she was a victim in the situation but I couldn’t help how I felt about her I found her uite scary and didn’t trust her alone with another child Perhaps I’ve just watched too many horror films with creepy children inHaving discussed this with other readers and the author as part our ‘Book of the Month’ discussion on THE Book Club I found it very interesting how some people shared the same views as me about particular characters while others experienced it from almost completely the opposite view point It has made me realise uite how subjective a book is despite whatever the author's intention is Discussing it with others has also made me realise how my own childhood memories and friendships helped shape my opinion of some characters and make perhaps unfair judgements of other characters on occasions throughout the bookI loved the use of the word Fiddlesticks as I’m not sure I’ve ever read it in a book before My Mum used to use that word when I was very little so it felt very nostalgic and jumped out of the page at me I love the author’s writing style and the way she has me second guessing myself as I don’t trust where she’s going to take me next I found this very hard to put down I can’t wait to read by Tammy Cohen now I wanted to enjoy this one than I did Honestly I tried really hard but I could not bring myself to give it than three starsOkay let me make things clear I was expecting a bit of a thriller than I was given It is my mistake which left me disappointed Nevertheless the story was still nowhere near what I expected even when I shifted my perspective to take into account my faulty thinkingThe story follows the breakdown of a marriage and how this impacts upon the people around them Rather than following the two going through the breakup however we follow their best friends who are dragged down in the process Life events spiral out of control with events slowly growing troubling Until the rather anticlimactic ending that is I admit the twist at the end was interesting but I knew something was coming as details were not adding up throughout In retrospect I should have made the jump but the focus upon the potential for another crumbling marriage left me unwilling to look that deep into what was before meI think what made matters even harder for me was the fact that I disliked all of the characters Rather than being introduced to the characters growing to enjoy them we are thrown headfirst into the drama Whilst I love drama I would have liked to get to know the characters a little bit first Maybe then I wouldn’t have hated them so much and maybe then I would have cared about where things were goingOverall not uite my usual kind of read and not at all what I expectedAs a final note I would like to thank NetGalley for allowing me the chance to read this As soon as I spotted Tamar Cohen’s new book on Netgalley I knew I wanted to read it Tamar is a very popular author who writes Chick Lit Noir I think that’s what they’re calling it these days but her books could also probably land in the psychological thriller category I think I haven’t read any of her books – though I have her first two novels on my shelf if I ever get the time to go back and read them hopefully so and I decided that starting with her newest novel The Broken The synopsis offers what sounds like a fascinating tricksy read so I couldn’t wait to dive in Coming off the back of reading Cally Taylor’s new novel The Accident I was perhaps expecting a bit too much for this novel and I felt very let downI was really looking forward to reading The Broken So much It hooked me uite well from the beginning with with the exception of a strange entry from a girl named Lucie a young girl which I have to be honest made absolutely ZERO sense to the novel until the very end and every time we were interrupted by an entry from Lucie it just sort of felt off kilter because it didn’t make sense If you’re going to include stuff like that it needs to make sense as to why it’s there and it was explained way too late but on that later Dan announces to his friend Josh that he’s leaving his wife Sasha All normal stuff stuff that happens in life But Josh and Hannah are best friends with Dan and Sasha and so the break up makes their life way awkward than they would like – they’ve got Dan kipping on their couch and Sasha popping round constantly and neither wants to give the other an inch and neither Hannah nor Josh want to pick sides but soon the fight turns nasty and Hannah and Josh may be forced to choose sides if only for their own sanityWhile the initial premise for The Broken is interesting I just didn’t think it worked because what’s the one thing people tell you when a couple break up Whether you like it or not you will have to choose sides and Josh and Hannah made the fatal FATAL mistake of trying to stay friends with both Sasha and Dan And so the entire novel is like one big game of Dan and Sasha trying to get their friends to choose sides – Dan’s constantly whinging and moaning and crying even though it’s all his fault it all happened; and Sasha is having one big meltdown swinging from happy to sad in the blink of an eye like a Jekyll and Hyde character The negativity in the novel is immense and makes the novel so difficult to read when on every page there’s Dan or Sasha whinging about the other person effing and blinding and making accusations left right and centre and Hannah and Josh are fighting because Hannah’s sticking up for Sasha and Josh is sticking up for Dan and it was just so messy As the reader I felt like I was being screamed at from all corners and I didn’t like it I wish they had just picked bloody sides I felt on edge whenever I was reading because I didn’t know what spitefulness I was going to have to hear next It was way too much too much hate too much vitriol And I just simply didn’t like it I wanted to block my ears and sing “La la la” at the top of my voice until it was all overThe Broken just muddled along the entire novel with things becoming increasingly erratic as Sasha just unravelled But do you know what annoyed me most of all? The very last chapter The last chapter was immense the best chapter I read in the entire book and it turned the entire novel in its head So my uestion is Why the heck did it take until the final chapter for that truth to come out? It was completely out of left field It was clever don’t get me wrong but I was just sat there saying “What?” because it just didn’t ring true for the rest of the novel It felt like a sad excuse to try and confuse the reader which it did If Tamar Cohen had managed to intigrate that into the novel it would have been so much better instead we had to listen to four grown adults argue like children during every single page of the novel and it was physically exhausting I wanted to love the book but it rather took after it’s title and it just felt broken It was a good tale of what NOT to do during a break up sure but it was tiring to read I am super disappointed but this novel just didn’t work for me on any level except for that very last chapter and that just gave the novel an entirely different spin This is Tamar Cohen’s first foray into the world of psychological suspense with the story of two couples who became friends since they met when their daughters were newborns They were ideal best friends with Dan Josh watching football together while Hannah and Sasha went to art galleries book clubs and shopping So with weekends spent socialising all together along with their daughters September and Lily life seems perfect until the day that Dan decides that his marriage to Sasha is over and chooses to confide in Josh before telling her From that day on the ripple effect starts working as Hannah and Josh get drawn into taking sides despite stating that they’d stay neutralI loved Tamara Cohen’s debut The Mistresses Revenge because it was realistic and in turn the success of this book is because of that very reason Many of us have witnessed the terrible things ex partners have done to each other following a split and there was nothing in this book that felt false I’d go as far as to say there was nothing that I haven’t witnessed in ‘real life’ just maybe not all at once The characters are expertly drawn and as flawed annoying and selfish they are there is a reality about them which is breath taking mainly because they are the people with the social veneer stripped away and all the scary because any one of them could be someone you knowInterspersed between Josh and Hannah’s witnessing the fall out from the split along with their own views on who to believe is excerpts of a young girl’s thoughts These short pieces fuelled the dread I felt as the story progressed which was only marginally relieved by the sometimes witty dialogue as each party presents themselves as the victim in the sorry tale There were times when I wanted to catch hold of all of them and give them a shake in short I often felt little sympathy as they lurched from one insane event to the next although it soon became clear that the split had uncovered much larger demonsI found the story chilling and although for once I had guessed the reveal at the end I wasn’t entirely sure which kept the tension levels high as I searched for clues I really enjoyed this read I love the style of writing which doesn’t dwell too much on the why so rooted is it on what is happening at any particular moment in time but leaves the reader to draw their own conclusions from the unsaid as much as the saidI received a copy of this book from the publishers Random House UK Doubleday prior to the publication date of 22 May 2014 For a different take on psychological suspense I would recommend this book which maybe touches on real life just a tad too much Firstly thank you to the publisher and author for the copy via Netgalley Much appreciatedThe Broken is a psychological thriller that had me feeling uncomfortable at the best of times Two couples supposedly best friends the girls swapping stories spending much time together drinking shopping their own daughters always playing together the boys best drinking buds confide in each other the way men do Then it all goes horribly wrong One couple separate the man leaving his wife for a younger woman Not unheard of But what follows is the most awful gut wrenching explosive nerve jangling aftermath that would have most people running for the hills The woman left behind totally falling apart at the seams and this is where it got uncomfortable for me I've witnessed something not too dissimilar myself and as events unfolded everything was brought glaringly back to life A bit too close for comfort As the book goes along the author cleverly gives insights into their pastpresent lives their personalities I didn't much like any of them and there were times that I became so frustrated I could have shaken and shouted at them especially Hannah It cruises along nicely ramping up the sinister feel you just know something is going to happen and just as you think you do Suffice to say the book has a great end left me feeling chilled I actually got goosebumps To the extent I've been replaying bits in my head asking myself 'what did I miss?'I recommend this book highly If you haven't been there yourself you may know of someone who has Happy reading Publication Date 22nd May 2014 from DoubledayTransworldThank you to the author and publisher for the review copyBest friends tell you everything; about their kitchen renovation; about their little girl’s schooling How one of them is leaving the other for a younger modelBest friends don’t tell lies They don’t take up residence on your couch for weeks They don’t call lawyers They don’t make you choose sidesBest friends don’t keep secrets about their past They don’t put you in dangerBest friends don’t always stay best friendsIts very hard to put into words how TOTALLY addictive this read wasevery time I put it down it called to me to come back to the point that I actually got uite grumpy when I had to do mundane things like making sure I fed the childrenGrumpy Thats how good it wasTake two married couples – best friends – spend the majority of their time together help out with each others kids close as any friends ever were Then split two of them up and set them at each others throats – what would you do? Could you choose one over the other? This is what the author explores here and it is absolutely fascinating brilliant and evocative reading As one couple struggle to hold their own marriage together in the aftermath of an untenable situation you will not be able to look away And not everyone is telling the whole truthCleverly constructed to give you hints and nuances of each individual’s situation and thoughts you will find your sympathies wavering between one person and the next often feel like you would like to lock them all in a room somewhere and throw away the key but mostly just be desperate to know what the heck is going on The characters are amazingly real popping off the page and into your head at random moments telling you their side of the story inducing either sympathy or outright rage and generally messing with your social life Be prepared to put that on hold for the durationDare I say this is the best book I’ve read so far this year? I think I do dare although its up against some stiff competition 2014 is looking to be one heck of a reading yearHappy Reading Folks wishing i just DNF ed this in the beginning and didn't suffer for nothing This is an exact example of books I don’t like married couples drama annoying characters that think they have the right to act the way they act towards others things mentioned and then never resolved All in all I don’t like domestic booksThe writing was okay however the plot was something I didn't enjoy Almost the whole book was fighting between the couple that’s going to separate and then the friends fought because of the accusations the first couple was throwing at each otherJosh and Hannah are in a very bad situation their friends are having some marital problems and they are caught between two fires I understand that Sasha is emotional but her behavior is wrong Either way that shouldn’t stop Josh and Hannah to tell her to back off with some things that involve their daughter The fight between their friends is also affecting their relationship because you have to be on someone’s sideDan thinks that all is going to go smooth the way he’s planning and honestly he’s not taking the situation he made too serious I guess Sasha took all the seriousness and then added drama on it making it a great tragedy She’s also very needy and manipulative not giving Hannah any time to do anything else than spend time with her was bothering me so much September is a little manipulator and poor Lili is trapped in a friendship with her From all the characters I feel bad the most for Lili she’s the most helpless of them all The thing about her being too uiet was mentioned like it was going to have some impact on the story but it was only mentioned and moved onThe end was anticlimactic I expected something after all that drama but I was disappointed by how things turned out The chapters of Lucie didn’t feel like part of the story and honestly didn’t add much to it Maybe it would’ve been better if we had known about her sooner not in the very last chapter Perhaps then it would’ve been a surprise but I already figured that part earlier so All I can say is that I'm so glad that book is done It took me forever to read and I didn't really like it at all All four of the main characters are so awful that the only 'psychological thrills' that one could ever wish upon any of them is to have their one dimensional heads smashed together until they grow up Dan is a self obsessed non entity Josh a moron Hannah a doormat crippled by neuroses and Sasha a narcissistic drama ueenI was waiting for a big twist as at 70% it was supposed to get better Really? Did I read another book? Even towards the end they kept making reference to Lily being uiet and subdued but why? Did we ever find out why? No This book frustrated me on so many levels I'd give this one a miss

About the Author: Tamar Cohen

Tamar Cohen is a freelance journalist who lives in London with her partner and three teenage children