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Split is a taut, psychological thriller for young adults about two abused brothers, Christian and Jace Witherspoon at the hands of their father who is a respected judge. Older brother Christian escapes to a new life with the help of a neighborhood family and leaves a much younger Jace behind to bear the beatings meant for his mother. But after years of enduring psychological torment and physical abuse, during which Jace lives a lie, the final straw is reached. Jace discovers his father has beaten his mother yet again and in his frenzied anger, Jace punches his father knowing he will be kicked out. With Christian’s address given to him by his mother, Jace flees to a brother he has not seen or heard from in years.
Split is such a great title on so many levels about the brothers’ past and present….and how they feel, split, not whole. Swati Avasthi keeps the reader turning the pages with the psychological torture these brothers have endured and continue to re-live as they try to rekindle their fragile relationship and rebuild a life without the anger and cruelty that still haunts them. The characters are all finely drawn, especially Mirriam, Christian’s sympathetic, strong girlfriend. The reader feels tremendous highs and lows as Jace navigates his new life; but still can’t let go of his past, his mother, and his girlfriend. It is through Jace and Christian’s talking, their silences, their arguing, their fighting, and their bonding that you hope there may be a slow, painful, road to recovery for these brothers. Teens will be lining up for this drama filled book about the all too real issue of abuse in families.

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