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On The Table Read Magazine, “the best book magazine in the UK“, in Tony Webster’s Torn, David is abandoned by a Catholic priest in childhood, and after meeting Jennifer in adulthood is set on a dramatic path that neither can control.


In Torn by Tony Webster, a traumatic and dramatic tale that sees both protagonists facing more than their share of desperate moments, the power of love is shown to shine through the darkest times.

In Johannesburg, 1993, a young woman abandons her newborn son on the steps of a priest’s house. This harsh beginning to David’s life leads to an even harsher childhood at the hands of the priest who takes him in.

David tears himself apart to survive into adulthood, keeping his real self and his dreams hidden from view, always in fear of the consequences. One day a young woman named Jennifer bursts his world apart. Her spirit and presence transforms his life…but she is torn, too, by vows she is soon to take. Together they face a future neither of them can control.

This multi-layered story immerses readers from the outset (whilst also showcasing the darker elements of the Catholic church), keeping readers guessing whether happy ever after is ever an option for this fated couple right to the very last moment.

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Tony Webster

The inspiration for this story has come from the darkest of places, the most painful of experiences, and in the suffering of those I would have swapped places with – at the drop of a hat – to free from their pain. I have been inspired beyond anything I could ever have imagined by the sheer determination of those closest to me in the way they have faced and dealt with their own adversities and battles. Their determination and courage is humbling.

Life teaches us all many lessons. Some are learned, some neglected or avoided, and some take us down entirely misleading paths until we discover the reason for the detour. I was educated in a time and place where I was told on a regular basis by people in authority that I would amount to nothing. 

One of them was a teacher who made what I now see as a life changing statement: ‘You’ll find yourself behind bars, Webster.’ Growing up in the rough and tumble of a Catholic secondary modern school in working class Wigan and from a loving family strengthened by faith, it came as something of a shock to me.

He turned out to be right. In a way. I spent 19 years of my life ‘behind bars,’ but not as he had suggested. I became a prison officer. I think one of the reasons was to help in a small way those who may have been similarly condemned but who unfortunately never got the chance, through better life circumstances, to prove their detractors wrong. There by the grace of God! “Last of all but not least of all, I need to thank the dreamscape from which I woke early one morning during the first Covid lockdown in 2020. There was a big question in my head. To answer the question I embarked upon a mission – and that mission was to tell the story of David, Jennifer and Father Seth.

-Tony Webster

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