Sunday, February 24, 2013

Family Matters

On the first page of Split, by Swati Avasthi, sixteen-year-old Jace Witherspoon stands on his older brother's doorstep. He has $3.84 in his pocket, a broken face, and not much else. And after that last blowup with his dad, he can't go back home.

His brother Christian, who left the family when he couldn't deal with their abusive father anymore, immediately takes him in. Jace wants to build a new life for himself, but he can't stop thinking about his mom, now her husband's only punching bag.

He also can't stop thinking about what he did to his own girlfriend before he left.

We've all read the novels about abusive families, and we've all heard the statistics about abused children growing up to become abusers. In this powerful first novel, Avasthi pulls us into the head of a young man who's struggling with the question: can you ever really escape the person your family has made you into?

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