The Broken Tamar Cohen
Divorce – you know someone who’s been through it, right? Well, the simple but compelling premise of The Broken is that we all know a couple who’ve broken up. We’ve all been affected, but where did you draw the line? Was it tea and sympathy before you moved on or did you really get drawn in? Did you take sides? Did you face consequences?
Tamar Cohen’s novel focuses on two couples – best friends since the birth of their little girls. When Dan decides to leave Sasha, Josh and Hannah set out to remain neutral and be supportive. Quite quickly, they get drawn into their friend’s hostility.
What draws you in and makes these characters so engaging is that they could be your neighbours, your in-laws, your friends. Tamar Cohen’s characters resonate because you recognise them. Being so ordinary you might find yourself comparing Dan and Josh to men you know – don’t do it, it won’t end well!
Of all the characters, September the four year old daughter of Sasha and Dan is the most challenging. You know its wrong to find a small child creepy, or disturbing. Yet, she displays all the manipulative tendencies you see in her mother and it feels so real.
September’s behaviour shows the impact of parental decisions on children. Sasha, Hannah, Gemma and Sienna are all women who’s adult reactions and decisions are largely impacted by their own parents choices. Dan’s ability to twice fall for such damaged women and have so little understanding of the impact of his actions on both of them is shocking. You have to fear for September as an adult.
As the story unveils there are a number of interesting twists. Ms Cohen’s ending may not appeal to all. I don’t want to give it away, and initially I wasn’t keen on the ending but on reflection I think its perfect.
Hopefully, if your best friends divorce don’t have Hannah and Josh as your role models.