Best Book Publishers UK | Austin Macauley Publishers
Together by Chance-bookcover

By: Bryony Smith

Together by Chance

Pages: 272 Ratings:
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Teenager Tillie Benford lives with her ditzy single mum. Tillie is severely disabled, but doesn’t let that stop her from living her life as fully as she can. She helps one of the new starters from school, bad boy Zack Johnson, through rehab when he finds himself partly paralysed after being hit by a car. She shows him that being disabled isn’t the end of the world. Through the time they spend together, they develop feelings for each other. Then, just as Tillie begins to believe in his feelings for her, he betrays her trust. He promises to make it up to her, and he does, but at a heavy price.

This teenage romance takes place in an English town, and takes us through a school year, with GCSE exams and finally the magic of a school prom marking the end of the summer term. Set against a background of living with disability and the challenges and emotions that brings, it also touches on the themes of teenage pregnancy, bullying, and being a single parent.

The author draws on her own experience of severe disability to create the character of protagonist Tillie Benford.

Bryony seemed perfectly able until her swimming teacher noticed she wasn’t doing breaststroke legs properly. After various medical examinations, she was told at age 12 that she had a severe progressive muscle wasting condition, which even to this day remains undiagnosed.


At 14 she suffered a severe chest infection as result of the muscle condition, and was referred as an emergency to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge. It was a close call, but Addenbrooke’s saved her life. She spent 5 months there recovering and had to have a tracheostomy and gastrostomy before being discharged home and back to school.


Bryony is now severely disabled and lives at her home in Hertfordshire, England.

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