cover image Broken Like This

Broken Like This

Monica Trasandes. St. Martin’s/Dunne, $24.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-250-00683-7

In her transcendent debut, Uruguay-born Trasandes eloquently renders the passionate and heartrending love story of Kate Harrington, a bold, energetic young woman who, in the process of documenting young sex workers for her college thesis, addresses her own abusive past. Kate is the type of person who transforms the lives of anyone lucky enough to be part of her inner circle: first Louis, the shy, self-conscious guy she meets in high school, is captivated by her frank sexual talk and adventurous view of life, and blossoms through the course of their friendship. Some years later, Angela, a Latina from Southern California who is in Spain with Kate on their year abroad, comes to a moving discovery about her own sexuality when their friendship becomes something more. Trasandes begins her gripping tale with tragedy, then moves fluidly through time and space, illuminating Kate’s disturbing adolescence with her predatory stepfather, her joyous relationship with Louis, then Angela. It’s rare to root for all sides of a love triangle, but the author’s depth of insight into her characters makes this a wonderfully accomplished first novel. Agent: Kristin Nelson. (Nov.)