Friday, November 9, 2012

Torn Together by Emlyn Chand - Virtual Review tour and Giveaway

(Full length, contemporary women's fiction with romantic elements)

This review is done in conjunction with the author's virtual tour with Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a $50 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour, so comment today AND follow the tour (if you click on the tour banner above, it'll take you to a list of his tour stops) -- the more you read and comment, the better your odds of winning. You could be introduced to a great new author AND win a fun prize!

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.

What a rollercoaster!

I wasn't sure what to expect when I opted to review this book, but I enjoyed the YA by the author I read some time ago, so knew that the writing would be solid at the least.  It was.

Ms. Chand has serious writing chops.  Her prose is descriptive and clear, grammatically correct and evocative.  It was for this reason I read through the entire book, even when Daly's anger wore me out or Laine's strange personality (loving, giving and sacrificial to anyone except her daughter) irritated me.  There were moments I wanted to slap them both silly.  On the other hand, that certainly makes it clear that I was wrapped up in the characters!

Truth be told, I feel very ambiguous about this book.  I recognize the wonderful writing, but I just didn't love the story.  I can say that the author painted a clear picture of India, for instance, and her characters are certainly three dimensional, but I'm not a big reader of books that are meant to be more edifying than entertaining.  I'm a believer in "the world is depressing enough, read for fun" mantra.

That's not to say the book didn't entertain.  Much of it was very fun and interesting.  I enjoyed watching how Daly and Kashi worked through their relationship and how Meghann (a girl Laine all but adopted who is an unmarried pregnant teen from the center where Laine works) held her head up and remained strong despite bullying from her peers and blatant disapproval from her dysfunctional parents. She was inspirational.

What I didn't love was how the story ended.  Intellectually, I understand why it was that way and the lesson is very clear and heart-warming.  That doesn't mean I enjoyed it.  However, I know a whole bunch of people who would have absolutely loved the ending and would put this book on their keeper shelf to be read again and again.  So, how do I rate this?  It's hard when you recognize a book is well done, but didn't completely enjoy it yourself.  It's a bit like reading the classics in some ways.

After much agonizing, I'm giving this book...

3.5 flowers - this was a good book

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 for more info. Don't forget to say "hi" to her sun conure Ducky!


  1. A very honest review, which I appreciate. I'm dying to know about the ending.


  2. First off, thank you for your in depth and honest review of this book. You touch on some points that could make or break a book.

    Question for Emlyn: Is this the first book you've written that is set, at least in part, in a foreign country? Did you find researching India difficult? Do you plan to do the same for future books?

    kareninnc at gmail dot com

    1. Hi again, Karen! Torn Together is actually the first book I wrote. Ever. It took three years to get it ready for publication, which is why it's my third novel published. And while all my works include characters from other cultures, this is the only one that takes place in a foreign country.

  3. Thank your honest review. I have to admit that I agree than I think reading is for fun though if it is beutifully written then it might just be worth the emotional journey envolved

    fencingromein at hotmail dot com

  4. That was a very honest review, thank you. I can't wait to find out how it ends.


  5. Thanks for the great and honest review, MJ. "Like the classics" is a huge compliment, and you're right, I enjoy writing depressing stories (there's some of that in my YA too). I really enjoyed your review. If you have the chance to cross-post to GoodReads and Amazon, that would be splendiferous!

    Em :-D

  6. Several reviewers have alluded to the ending. I think I will have to read it just to get to this unexpected ending!
    catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

  7. Sounds a little intense for me right now, but I'm sure it's well-done.


  8. I enjoyed reading your review!

    gokarter418 (at) aol (dot) com

  9. sounds like a fun one and liked the review - regnod(at)yahoo(d0t)com

  10. It is so interesting that you read on because of the style of the writer. I know sometimes plots can be a bit frustrating but when you have fine writing before your eyes, the flaws of the plot can dissolve. I would enjoy this book.


So... inquiring minds want to know: what do you think?