Review: Division – Karen A. Wyle
As part of a conjoined twin set, Johnny hasn’t given much thought to what life would be like without his beloved brother by his side. Their mother has taught them to value what they have from an early age, a lesson they’ve learned to keep as time goes by. He knows that people think their existence goes against God’s teachings. In their eyes, they’re an abomination that shouldn’t exist. Yet he refuses to allow the way people see him and his brother to dictate the way he lives his life.
As time goes by, technological advances surface that allow people to change the way they live their lives. Johnny soon comes to the realization that he’d like more out of life. It’s not that he doesn’t love his brother, he does. He just wants to experience things on his own. Granted, he’s spent all of his life sharing a body with Gordon. Yet the thought of moving on his own and doing things for himself are far too alluring.
Determined to gain his freedom, Johnny sets a chain reaction of events into motion that soon changes his life and that of those around him. Though he feels bad about everything, he refuses to give up on the idea of having his own body. Resentment from those he loves follows his every wake, but it does nothing to deter him from his goal. In his mind, he’s doing the right thing, and he’ll do everything he can to show everyone that he’s chosen correctly.
As tensions rise, and their lives grow more hectic by the day, Johnny soon takes into account the circumstances that have led him to where he is now. He knows there’s no changing the way things have come to be. He’s made a choice, and he’ll stand by it, much to his family’s chagrin. His brother, Gordon, might not agree with what he’s done, but he knows he’ll come to see things his way sooner or later. At least, he hopes he will, because nothing’s going to change the fact that he’ll do his best to achieve his dream of having his own body, once and for all.
Division is one of those books that will capture your attention, and give you food for thought. Karen touches on a subject that’s been around for ages, but hasn’t been fully explored. What if you had the chance to clone your body in order to survive? Would you take the risk? Or would you live your life the way you were meant to live it?
In this book, Johnny and Gordon are presented with that choice. While many in the story balk at the idea of cloning, Johnny has chosen to go ahead with procedure because it allows him to live a full life in a body of his own. Some may see his doing so as selfish, but I think he chose a way that allowed both him and his brother to know what it’s like to have a body of their own in order to lead separate lives. Yes, Gordon was against it in the beginning, but he was soon able to see the good in what his brother set into motion. A bittersweet story, Division is full of many lessons that anyone can relate to. This is definitely one those books you’ll want to read time and again. I know I will.
New technology, new choices . . . but who gets to choose?
Conjoined twins Gordon and Johnny have never let their condition keep them from living full and fulfilling lives. Gordon looks forward to many years of closeness and cooperation. Johnny, however, faces their future with increasing restlessness, even dread.
When the boys are in their teens, the new technologies of accelerated human cloning and brain transplants are combined into a single medical procedure — Transplant to Clone, or TTC. Someone whose body has suffered such extensive damage as to make normal life impossible may — with court approval — be cloned and then given a brain transplant into the clone body. With Gordon’s unwitting assistance, Johnny realizes that the TTC procedure provides the chance he had never dared to hope for — the chance to live in a “normal,” separate body.
But Gordon considers their conjoined life a blessing, rather than a curse. He has no intention of accepting separation — not without a fight . . . .
Division, like Wyle’s earlier novels, uses original settings and situations to explore universal themes: the complexity and intensity of family relationships, the nature of individual identity, and the far-reaching effects of the choices we make.
About The Author:
Karen A. Wyle was born a Connecticut Yankee, but eventually settled in Bloomington, Indiana, home of Indiana University. She now considers herself a Hoosier. Wyle’s childhood ambition was to be the youngest ever published novelist. While writing her first novel at age 10, she was mortified to learn that some British upstart had beaten her to the goal at age 9.
Wyle is an appellate attorney, photographer, political junkie, and mother of two daughters. Her voice is 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 law practice. 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.
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