Together, by Julie Cohen
I cried on the first page of Together - how amazing to pack that emotional punch into so few words. But it’s appropriate to start sobbing, as this is a book written backwards. You meet Robbie and Emily at the end of their long romance, then trace back to its shocking beginning. You’re already invested, as you can see how much their love has weathered storms. In that respect, there’s a touch of The Notebook to it. But it’s clear that this lovely couple are keeping secrets.
There’s a certain jigsaw puzzle delight in working out how everything fits together and it’s very skilfully done. But while the backwards timeline works well as a breadcrumb trail of clues, I found the dangling of the ‘big secret’ slightly heavy handed. At the end, I felt more intellectual satisfaction as the last piece clicks into place, than the emotional climax I’d been expecting - my tears from the first page didn’t return at the end. But the characters are wonderful, and the unusual format makes a fun read.