Why do we hurt the ones we love, and can there ever be a way back?
“The Torn Up Marriage” is about betrayal, complacency, love and loss, and that key instinct to protect your family. But what happens when you tear that family apart? Kate and Michael are about to find out as they cope with the crushing fallout of his affair, whilst trying to protect their two young children. This powerful and poignant novel captures the explosiveness of everyday life and what it is to be human; to make mistakes.
Set in the historic town of Alnwick, Northumberland, with its stunning backdrop of castles, moorland hills and coastline, this relationship story of love and family takes you in a rollercoaster ride of emotions along with Kate and Michael.
Michael’s mother’s battle with breast cancer shatters them all, yet shows them how precious life, love and family is. Can they find a way back and fight for their battered yet enduring love?
So, what would you do if it happened to you? Could you betray? Could you forgive?
The Torn Up Marriage is a day to day story of the effects of an affair in a marriage. It is tragic and upsetting for all involved as it follows their lives, from the wife, to the children, to the husband and their respective families.
Kate struggles to understand why her husband has walked out, as she believed she had a happy marriage, although she accepts that much of her time was taken up by two young children so much that she had thought that she might be neglecting her husband. This tale does not make excuses for any of the characters and is written in a way that the reader can find empathy for them all.
I particularly enjoyed the friendship of Kate and Mel and the honest and forthright way Mel helps Kate to see the way her choices have on her life.
This is not a romantic novel by any means, it is about illness, betrayal, forgiveness and family, which most of all is about love on every level.
Caroline Roberts has written a superb novel that i found impossible to put down, it made me cry, wonder and change my mind several times about what I would do if I found myself in the same situation.
The following is a Q & A with the Author.
1. Is A Torn Up Marriage your first novel?
It’s my first published novel. I had actually written four novels by the time I was published – the first two are what I like to think of as my “Learner” novels, “The Torn Up Marriage” was the third, and the fourth is already accepted with Harper Collins and will hopefully be out by the end of 2015.
2. I live in Durham so I am familiar with the setting in A Torn Up Marriage. Why did you choose Northumberland as the setting?
I have lived in Northumberland for the last 13 years and absolutely love the place – its rolling countryside, moorland hills, and the most amazing sandy beaches with castles perched on cliffs overlooking them, are just stunning. There are also historic towns, such as Alnwick, with its honey-stone buildings. My novels are all set in Northumberland – it’s just such an inspiring setting to have!
3. The Torn Up Marriage is an emotional story, Where did you draw your ideas from?
I am intrigued by relationships and by the “messier” side of love – it’s more true to life. A magazine article initially sparked the idea for “The Torn Up Marriage”, detailing how difficult it had been for a family coping with the fall-out of an affair, but how they were trying to make it work. I wanted to show how everyone involved would feel, the betrayer as well as the betrayed, the children, the grandparents; the idea just grew. And I wanted to show how love, even when battered, can survive.
4.Are any of the issues in your novel taken from personal experience?
I have to admit I haven’t been through a break-up like that. I have been married for many years and I think in any long term relationship there are ups and downs. I remember the early years when the children were very young being a difficult time. There are so many other factors involved, work, the demands of young children, feeling knackered most of the time, and suddenly you’ve been thrown from being a couple with time and energy just for each other into a whole new world. To really understand the emotions, I read many blogs from people who had been involved in affairs, and spoke with friends who had been through it – on both sides, and really sank myself into how it must feel.
5. I love the friendship between between Kate and Mel, Do you have a Mel in your life?
Everyone needs a Mel in their life! Yes, I’m lucky to have some very close friends – there are two or three I would definitely be able to call on in a crisis, and who would look out for me.
6. Was the ending of A Torn Up Marriage the original idea, or did you have other ideas about it?
Without giving too much detail and spoiling the ending for those who haven’t read it yet, yes, I always wanted it to end that way. That outcome for me was the whole idea of the book.
7. What is your next project and will it be as heart-rending?
The next novel is already written, it has some poignant themes, but isn’t quite as heart-rending. I felt like writing something more uplifting with some flirty fun, as well as some serious themes too. It is inspired by the Tea Rooms at Chillingham Castle, Northumberland, about a girl in her mid-twenties leaving her safe office job and going to run the Tea Rooms for a year, fuelled by her love of baking and her dreams. Of course, there is an extremely handsome estate manager and a gorgeous love story about to unfold too. I can’t resist a bit of romance.
8.Tell me a secret no-one else knows about yourself.
I’m quite an open person, so that’s a tricky one – but most people won’t know that I dressed up in a huge round, blue costume as Mr Bump, many moons ago, whilst I was at Sixth Form! It was for a sales promotion for the Mr Men books, but it was so hard to see where you were going and to avoid bumping into people, I probably took out a couple of kids that day. The things you do to sell books, hey!
Thank you so much for writing a brilliant read