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R&R 001 | The Divide

Nicholas Evans
"The Divide"
2005, Bantam Books
403 pages
Book borrowed from Wil 🙂
Flickr post


On a ski trip, a young boy and his father make a gruesome discovery: the lifeless body of Abbie Cooper – once the pride and joy of her parents, Ben and Sarah. Until a turn of events in all of their lives caused Abbie to chose a life of violence, fueled by anger. What actually happened to make a girl like Abbie go from being a passionate, kindhearted young woman to being a fugitive, wanted for eco-terrorism and murder?

The Divide, an apt title symbolizing both the actual division between Abbie’s family and the location where the division started to form (a Continental Divide), in itself is to be divided in two parts.

The first half of the book requires a lot of patience from the reader; shortly after the thrilling start of the book where Abbie Cooper is found dead, Evans takes you all the way back to where it all started: The Cooper family’s history. Though this background information is necessary to understand the present situation, it is written slowly – but with a poise to it.

But then things start to get awry, and the book gets better. The transition is obvious and from then on out, with all the knowledge of the past as a way to gain understanding and, as far as this is possible, some form of compassion, the reader is finally drawn into the story.

And because the plot and background come together in the second part, you realize that the author didn’t intend for you to be impressed with his descriptions and careful storyline, but that he just really took his time to connect everything the way it should be.

Most books I really like, I keep in my bookcase. One day I hope to re-read some of them. Despite the improvement in the second half of the book (which was entertaining and realistically human enough for me to rate the book as high as I am rating it), The Divide isn’t a book I’d keep in my bookcase simply because I wouldn’t want to plough through the first 200 pages of the book yet again.

January 5th 2008.
3.5/5

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