Monday, April 11, 2011


A few weeks ago my friend Kristin remarked that the novel Split by Swati Avashti looked interesting. Without even knowing more, I decided to check it out. This must be the sign of a problem of some sort, since the mere mention of a title makes me want to read it.

Since it was close to coming due, I pulled it out and started reading with little prior information.

Split is the story of two brothers who have been abused by their father. Avashti's characters are interesting and complex and real. Jace has been kicked out of his home by his abusive father. He seeks out his older brother who left their family several years ago and now lives in Albuquerque. He only knows Christian's whereabouts from his mother's whispered goodbye as she placed some money in his hands. Now the two boys get to know each other again. The only contact they have with their mother is Jace's emails the two exchange. While at first she promises to come to them by Thanksgiving, it is apparent that although their mother has attempted to leave their father before, her ability to strike out on her own has vanished and she will never leave her abusive spouse. There is a lot of different emotions at play in this book. The two brothers have temperaments that are very unlike each other and have different ways of dealing with their own anger. Jace is still trying to understand his anger after having hit his girlfriend in the face. Christian has managed to separate himself from his home life and now with Jace's presence he is forced to confront his feelings about his parents and his childhood.

This novel was well written and interesting in several different ways. Split explores the idea of abuse in a home, allowing the brothers to offer different insights into their experiences and different ways of reacting to what happened to them. I found it remarkable that Avashti chose Jace's family to be well educated and affluent. Jace's dad was a judge, and while abuse can happen at any socioeconomic level, most of the books I have read where abuse is present often occur with characters who are not educated or poor. There are no easy answers in this novel and both boys struggle to move forward in their lives and move beyond the abuse and the memories of their childhood.

I'm glad my friend Kristin mentioned this book - it was a great read about a tough subject.


Laura Ashlee said...

I absolutely loved this book. The character development is just amazing. It's such an emotional book too, a real roller coaster. Glad you enjoyed it. I don't know about you, but I'm looking out for anything else Avasthi writes.

Kristin said...

I guess I should probably read it now!

Peaceful Reader said...

This does sound complex and good. It is funny how just the mention of a book can make you grab it!