Split, a young adult novel by Swati Avasthi (a Minnesotan), I knew I had to spread word about it and her.
This riveting YA read, published in 2010, traces one family's pattern of abuse. Swati Avasthi portrays those who do the abusing, those who receive the abuse, covering up abuse, escaping abuse, staying within the abuse, and the devastation of abuse.
The premise: Sixteen-year-old Jace Witherspoon escapes his home and abusive father in Chicago and lands, many states away, with his estranged older brother. His mother stayed behind, promising she would join the two of them very soon. Jace reshapes his life knowing the secrets he escaped with could drown him at any turn.
What keeps readers reading: Page turning suspense and a tantalizing pace of revealed secrets. As Jace rebuilds a relationship with his brother, starts a new school, gains new friends, gets a new job, and starts to understand himself - all in a new place - he also knows what he left behind. His mom. The abuse. Lauren. And a big secret. Jace is haunted by it all. Split leads readers on a troubling, real, unpredictable journey. Swati Avasthi rivets readers from the opening sentence to the closing word.