The Broken – Tamar Cohen

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The Broken – Tamar Cohen

Post by Graham on Wed Jan 02, 2019 8:55 am

My mistake. I shouldn’t have picked this up in the first place. Cohen is writer in residence at Kingston University and is described as a chick lit author, sub-genre domestic noir. According to Penguin she is one of the UK’s most successful published authors, which makes me ask: are there successful unpublished ones? I was seduced by the blurb 'haunting psychological thriller,' 'taut, tense and addictive,' 'a work of near-genius.' 'Near' must be in the sense of Mr Bean standing near Albert Einstein (I don’t mean Rowan Atkinson. He is a genius.) Perhaps I should have considered the source of the quotes, The Daily Mail and Good Housekeeping among them. It reminded me of Renee Knight’s Disclaimer full of writerly faux pas and utterly uncompelling.

There is obviously a whole class of writing which gets published and achieves mass readership but would get a bare pass on a creative writing course. I’m not talking about Katie Price or celebrity autobiographies or, God forbid, Fifty Shades of Grey Underwear. They would be lucky with D minus. Of the books I’ve read over the last year Disclaimer, The Broken and Leaving Berlin come into this must-try-harder category.

I should make allowance for two facts. With her emphasis on clothing, shopping and children Cohen is probably aiming for a demographic that doesn’t include me, Knight likewise. Secondly, I find the concerns of the Southern English middle classes dull and trivial. All right, not facts so much as chips on my shoulder.

Plot if required: Dan dumps Sasha for bimbo Sienna. Sasha turns into bunny boiler. Best friends Josh and Hannah find their own marriage disintegrating as their loyalties are torn. Plot twist heavily signalled by inter-chapter italics: a woman is not what she seems. Well, we all know that but which of these is it?

Graham
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