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Division Paperback – March 17, 2014
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The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
"[A] unique and complex topic . . . The book is well written and very well thought out . . . . It will appeal to young and old readers alike. Science fiction, fantasy, young adult, future or realistic; whatever you want to call it, Division by Karen Wyle is good reading for all. - Readers' Favorite
About the Author
Karen A. Wyle was born a Connecticut Yankee, but moved every few years throughout her childhood and adolescence. After college in California, law school in Massachusetts, and a mercifully short stint in a large San Francisco law firm, she moved to Los Angeles. There she met her husband, who hates L.A. They eventually settled in Bloomington, Indiana, home of Indiana University.
Wyle has been a voracious and compulsive reader as long as she can remember. She majored in English and American Literature major at Stanford University, which suited her, although she has in recent years developed some doubts about whether studying literature is, for most people, a good preparation for enjoying it. She has been reading science fiction for several decades, but also gobbles up character-driven mysteries and historical fiction, with the occasional foray into anything from chick lit to military history.
Wyle's authorial "voice" is thus the product of almost five decades of reading both literary and genre fiction. It is no doubt also influenced, although she hopes not fatally tainted, by her years of practicing appellate law. Her personal history has led her to focus on often-intertwined themes of family, communication, the impossibility of controlling events, and the persistence of unfinished business.
Wyle and her husband have two essentially-grown and wildly creative daughters, as well as a sweet but neurotic dog.
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Top customer reviews
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"Division" is one of the best books I read in 2013, a year in which I read "Parasite" and "We Need to Talk About Kevin." (And the Divergent trilogy, but I didn’t actually like those books, so no competition there.) I liked it so much that I asked author Karen A. Wyle to write a guest post for my blog, which she did last Friday.
I read books to escape and be entertained, like everyone else. But more, I read books to be challenged intellectually, and "Division" does just that.
This is a story about a pair of conjoined twins. One twin wants to undergo an operation to separate them into two bodies, while the other wants to stay joined. This is set in the near future, where the twins must present their arguments in court because the procedure requires the use of clones and cloning is restricted. The book follows a variety of characters as they cope with the emotional atmosphere up to and after the decision.
I get swept away by books like these that explore what it’s like living in the skin of an unusual, unexpected person. "Division" puts us into the experiences of a twin who want to be free, showing us what life is like chained to another person. It shows us the struggle the other twin undergoes when he’s–in his mind–rejected by someone closer than a lover could ever be. It even examines how their struggle affects their mother, who’s loved them unconditionally from birth and must watch their relationship fall apart. It follows a girlfriend who believed she would, someday soon, marry two people in one body.
A variety of moral questions are opened without direct treatment, which was skillful and impressive. Should the twins be allowed to leave their body for clones? Should a court have the responsibility to decide the future of their lives? Can there ever be a “right” answer when both of them want something mutually exclusive? Yet the morality was never heavy-handed, but was instead a backdrop for the interesting and subtle character interactions.
This book is one of the beautiful pieces of self-published literature that inspires me. The author, Karen A. Wyle, has published several other books that I’m eager to check out. Not to get on my soapbox again, but meticulous attention to detail–plot, character, premise, grammar–is what makes people want to read books. You don’t have to be traditionally published, though you may have to work your bum off twice as hard to get noticed. I heartily recommend this book.
This has also been published to my blog, Magic and Mayhem Book Reviews at saboviec.wordpress.com
Division takes place in a future where a human can be cloned, the aging process can be accelerated, and then the brain can be transplanted into the clone's body. This is only permitted when a person's quality of life is severely limited due to an ailment or injury. The implications of this procedure (TTC - Transplant to Clone) could be the answer to Johnny and Gordon's problem--except only Johnny believes it is a problem, and Gordon is perfectly content living as a conjoined twin.
When Johnny decides to fight for this procedure in court, their relationship is irrevocably changed. It was really hard for me to pick sides; I could understand both points of view. I found myself leaning more towards Johnny, only because I could understand why he would want to live a more normal and independent life. But then I felt badly for Gordon, because even though living your life attached to someone else sounds awful, I realize that that was all he knew. That was how his entire life was so he couldn’t imagine living it any other way. And it didn’t seem fair that he should have to go through such a risky procedure when it wasn’t medically necessary.
I really got to know and care for the main characters, including their mother and their girlfriend, Dodi. It is a complex family drama that kept me hooked from beginning to end. Between the controversial cloning procedure and the psychological issues, this is a thought provoking, human interest story that you will not forget. Division is an excellent book worthy of five stars. Highly recommended.
Disclosure: I was given my copy of this book by the author as a review copy.
Can two individuals, joined together before birth, be two separate individuals?
Conjoined twins, raised as individuals, yet never being apart. Johnny would like to live a separate life now that it is possible. Gordon, on the other hand, believes him and Johnny can and will live together forever.
The author took the time to weave a delicate and sensitive story into a great novel. It is so much more than the idea that cloning could be acceptable at some time. It is much more than science fiction. It is the story of love and relationships between brothers. It is the story of the delicate threads that bind us together at times. It is also the story of fear and loathing that sometimes sneaks in to our relationships.
The author writes a very serious story with this book. She also writes a story of the love between brothers, and the battles that sometimes take place. This is a work of fiction, but who can say that it will not be a work of fact some day?
I have enjoyed every one of Karen A. Wyle's books that I have read. She writes with authority about subjects that are near to her own heart. I would recommend this book to adults and teens alike.
Most recent customer reviews
The author, Karen A. Wyle has definitely taken on a controversial topic with this book.Read more
It charts the lives of twins, those joined at birth, two with very...Read more
Another thought-provoking, ethically-challenging and very enjoyable story from...Read more