Monday, 10 September 2018

Together by Julie Cohen

- Source: my bookshelf -

This is not a great love story.
This is a story about great love.

On a morning that seems like any other, Robbie wakes in his bed, his wife Emily asleep beside him, as always. He rises and dresses, makes his coffee, feeds his dogs, just as he usually does. But then he leaves Emily a letter and does something that will break her heart. As the years go back all the way to 1962, Robbie's actions become clearer as we discover the story of a couple with a terrible secret - one they will do absolutely anything to protect.

The first time I saw Together in a bookshop, I was immediately drawn to the cover, and whilst the blurb intrigued me.. I was hesitant. Often times, when a romance or love story is the focus of a book, I tend to steer clear (unless I am familiar with the author, or have heard great things by those who have similar reading tastes). Now, having said this, some of my all time favourite books have a love story front and centre...I know, contradictory. Here's my thing... I adore love stories that are a bit different and unusual.

Having ultimately left Together behind in the bookshop, the next time I purchased books online, I came across it once again and took a chance... Happily so! Having now read Together, it is to be added to that list of love stories that I do in fact adore.
Opening up the book, we meet Robbie, as an elderly man, who is about to take his own life. Naturally this raises a lot of questions, and from this point onwards, the story is told backwards and we come to learn all about the secret that hangs over this couple of Robbie & Emily. 
The unknown and piecing together of Robbie & Emily's story definitely made this book a page turner for me - I read Together in just one day. Not only was I gripped to the mystery, but I was truly invested in Robbie & Emily as a couple. The connection and investment you feel for these two characters definitely impacts on you whilst reading, especially as the book concludes. Together is the kind of book that leaves you unsure of your thoughts and emotions at the end... Not quite sure how you should be feeling as a reader.
This was my first reading experience of a Julie Cohen's writing, and I can honestly say it couldn't have gone any better! Not only is the plot so well done, but the writing itself is really rich and detailed, with a great observational element. The opening scenes of Robbie going about his morning routine is a great example of this. There is also a delicate nature to Julie Cohen's story telling within Together; it feels precious and fragile, and in many ways, this writing style aligns with the unfolding love story.
I realise my thoughts here are pretty vague, and that's simply because the less you know about this book going in, the better.
For me, Together proved to be a hidden gem of a read - I'd heard nothing of the book until seeing it in the bookshop, and having come away absolutely loving it, I just want to shout about it some and recommend it to others.
Together is a powerful and thought provoking story that truly has a lot of heart.


  1. I love the cover. I would have been drawn to it, too. I’m glad the insides are just as good as the outsides!

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  2. Beautiful cover, I can see why it would be worth a look. Glad this was such a great find!

  3. I haven't heard of this one but I can see why you gave it a second look. This sounds interesting and your enthusiasm for it has me even more interested. Great review!


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