Award-winning author, Karen Turner’s debut novel, Torn, is a historical romance set in the Regency era that explores the darkly human nature of relationships.
Set against a backdrop of love and treachery during the turbulent years of the Napoleonic Wars, this sweeping saga tells the story of a young girl, Alex Broughton, and her journey to womanhood. As events progress, Alex experiences the devastating effects of war, unrequited love, and suffers a cruel betrayal from an unlikely source.
Unlike many ‘Jane Austen’ style stories that often feature chaste lovers and scandals strictly kept ‘behind closed doors’, Karen set out to look at the damaging effects of love and betrayal in graphic detail, all the while remaining faithful to the historical era.
Karen Turner is an Australian author, and as an escape from the corporate world, she discovered a passion for fictional prose, which led to a rather eclectic compilation of short stories, All That and Everything. First published in 2009, many of the short stories have won literary awards, including the Society of Women Writers Vic Biennial Literary Award.
Torn is the first of a planned trilogy, with the second book, Inviolate, to be lauched in 2014.
Once I started reading this book I could not put it down, I love the way it was written, usually stories from that period are quite tame, but this book did show the characters in a more modern light, I am sure it was more true to life for that period than usually portrayed. I liked all of the characters in the book, I especially liked how they came together as a family, at first I was expecting that they would not all get on but I was pleasantly surprised how they all interacted with each other, I loved this book but did not realise it was the start of a trilogy so I was very disappointed in the ending, but saying that, I cannot wait until the next book is published to find out what happens. I hope Karen can churn out books as fast as Nora Roberts does.
I am currently reading the authors book of short stories and am enjoying that also.
I very much enjoyed this book could not put it down and can not wait for the next one would highly reccomend very good read
I truely enjoyed reading this novel and I was swept up in the lives of the Washburn family right from the start. Once I started reading I could not put this book down until it was finished, I read it in 3 days.
Alexandra also being my daughters name, made me feel even more for the character and wanting to protect her while following her on her journey from a young girl to womanhood.
Loved everything about this novel from it's setting in the Regency era to the beauitful scenery based upon the gorgeous Yorkshire landscape in England.
Can't wait for the next installment of this trilogy in the life of the wonderful and incredibly resilient Alexandra. I highly recommend this book.
Karen Turners writing actually reminds me a bit of Phillipa Gregory and her books.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and can't wait for the next book to be written by this Author. The main character displays a vulnerable side to her personality that is cheeky, almost tom boyish which you can relate to particularly when much is thrown at her. I found the book hard to put down as you sensed that the family was going to be torn apart with the onset of the war in Europe. The relationships between the blended families, the strict expectations of social influence coupled with love and intrigue all made for unimaginable twists and turns with secrets thrown in for good measure sending you in a spin but adding to the mystique.
Your senses are provoked as the descriptive scenes of the winter harshness on the countryside are unveiled followed by each season change and more beautiful countryside. You can imagine and almost hear the horse drawn carriages coming up the stately driveway. You can smell the cooks home cooked breads being baked. You can feel the tension when "Mother" speaks for her presence is both feared and respected.
For me, reading is about learning something new and after reading this book I have certainly learnt much about this historical era, family expectations back in this time and much about the power of money and influence and how that was placed high above all else.
This first novel by Karen Turner contains some exquisite descriptions, some sweet vignettes, and all the promise of a deliciously sketched period romp. Elements are so visual in their telling that it is easy to see how it could translate to screen. It has some wonderfully titillating descriptions of passions, more than its share of tears and heavy hearts, and overall I was left wanting more.
I was left wanting more insight into what was so appealing about Patrick. He felt like a caricature of a character – the outline of a romantic villain, without the personal detail that would make fill him out and make us understand why Alex fell for him.
I wanted more passion and connection: love and romance moved at glacial pace at times, then at others flared in a flash-fire of heat. I found the overall effect frustrating in the extreme.
I wanted more understanding of the protagonist, more detail, and more time. Time moves inexactly through this novel in a manner that left me jarred and confused. I preferred the slower pace: detail of clothing, meals, woodlands are artfully described. But at other times years pass within a sentence.
The recurring “vision” is perplexing and the apparition serves to give the reader a fright. On the rare occasions when I actually lost myself in the narrative the “shade” would appear again to serve no purpose I could see.
To me it feels exquisitely sketched: as if the characters, story, setting and place are beautifully outlined. But I feel as if the telling it lacks some plausible detail or passion.
I am interested to note there is a second story in the series, and would be keen to read it to see how the story progresses, and whether the characters are filled out.
Such promise, but slightly hollow overall for me. 3 stars.
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