January 2010 Indie Next List
“At age 16, Jace Witherspoon has finally fled from the home of his violently abusive father. With only the return address on an envelope slipped to him by his mother as he left, he travels to find safe haven with his long-vanished older brother. Split is the story of their prickly and unexpected reunion, and the two brothers' struggles to reconcile the legacy of their damaged upbringing with the possibility of a new life. Dynamically told through Jace's voice, this story is relentless and captivating.”
— Karen McCollom, The Yankee Bookshop, Woodstock, VT
A riveting portrait of life after abuse from an award-winning novelist.
Sixteen-Year-Old Jace Witherspoon arrives at the doorstep of his estranged brother Christian with a re-landscaped face (courtesy of his father’s fist), $3.84, and a secret.
He tries to move on, going for new friends, a new school, and a new job, but all his changes can’t make him forget what he left behind—his mother, who is still trapped with his dad, and his ex-girlfriend, who is keeping his secret.
At least so far.
Worst of all, Jace realizes that if he really wants to move forward, he may first have to do what scares him most: He may have to go back. Award-winning novelist Swati Avasthi has created a riveting and remarkably nuanced portrait of what happens after. After you’ve said enough, after you’ve run, after you’ve made the split—how do you begin to live again? Readers won’t be able to put this intense page-turner down.
Review, Booklist, January 1, 2010
“A nuanced and mournful work; Avasthi is a writer to watch.”
Review, Publishers Weekly, January 25, 2010:
“…gripping and heartbreaking.” —Publishers Weekly
Review, School Library Journal, March 2010:
“…raw and intimate, dramatic and poetic.” —School Library Journal
Review, Kirkus Reviews, March 1, 2010:
“This taut, complex family drama depicts abuse unflinchingly but focuses on healing, growth and learning to take responsibility for one’s own anger. —Kirkus Reviews