Broken by Daniel Clay – I have to say I was drawn into this novel from the very beginning-drawn into the characters, their lives, this story.
The story is told from the point of view of Skunk, an eleven year old girl who is in a coma. The whole book leads up to the point where we finally learn how she came to be in this coma.
Skunk leads a fairly normal life for a little girl. Her father adores her, maybe more so because her mother left the family and doesn’t seem to be bothered with her children at all. She and her brother Jed have the normal sibling relationship-getting along and fighting. They also have a live in helper named Cerys who is really a lot more than that. And being the normal eleven year old-Skunk is in love with her teacher, Mr. Jeffries. Things would probably be great if Skunk didn’t have the completely crazy Oswald family as neighbors. This is a family of five girls and their father. They are totally out of control and their actions and bad language continue to prove this to us throughout the book.
Without giving away too much of the novel, Skunk’s neighbor Rick Buckley ends up being picked on by the Oswald girls, this escalates to the Oswald’s talking about him to anyone who will listen and accusing him of something awful. He ends up being dragged off to jail although later being released and cleared. However it is already too late to save him from the humiliation he feels-he is already Broken. After this his life takes a continual downward spiral that eventually culminates in a tragedy that will leave Skunk in a coma herself and barely alive.
This novel shows us what can result from false accusations and reckless acts. It shows us how fragile the human mind can be. It also shows us how a dysfunctional family can not only ruin their own lives but the lives of those around them in ways they never could have imagined.
While parts of the book leave you with a heavy heart, other parts leave you feeling hopeful. There are four words towards the end of the novel that leave you with that hope. They are: Life, Love, Aspirations, Dreams. These are the words that Skunk holds onto and very likely we all should.
I think this was a really good novel. I enjoyed it a great deal, in fact I had trouble putting it down at all and finished it quickly. I was sad to see it end because I wanted to know more about these characters that I had grown to love like Skunk and her family and even the Oswald girls-they were a product of their upbringing. I would definitely recommend this novel.
Many thanks to Mini Book Expo and McClelland & Stewart for this great debut novel by Daniel Clay. I look forward to more from this author.
Shooting Stars Mag says
Awesome review. I saw this book on a blog recently…it may have been this one! and loved the cover, so I looked it up and it sounded great…put it on my list of books to get/read.
Now that i’ve read the review, I want to read this book even more. It really does sound like a great and meaningful story.
Thanks for stopping by Lauren. It really is a good story. I’d love to see other’s opinions on it too.
What a great review! I haven’t heard of this book and am glad that I read your review as I am adding it to my wishlist! Thanks!
This sounds great. I love the cover, too. Added to my to-read list.
Hi Bonnie and Mari. Glad you liked the review and Mari I agree. I had meant to mention in my review how much I liked the simplicity of this cover and forgot. I think it’s a good cover in relation to the book itself. Thanks for stopping by ladies.
This sounds like a good book Dar. Have you read anything lately for a nomination for Page Turners? 🙂 Toni
You know Toni, that’s a very good question. There’s been so many here that I’ve loved. I do think Broken would be a good book club selection-there’s so many things going on that are worth talking about. I’ll have to go through my posts and see which might hold up to one of our PT chats. LOL.
This is the first I’ve heard of this book. I love the cover!
Thanks for the review.
Stay tuned everyone, a little birdie told me there may be a giveaway on this one some time in September…
I love when a book and its characters stick with you. This sounds like a heartbreaking but touching story. I haven’t heard of it but I’ll keep my eye open. You’ve read some really great books lately, Dar! I’m jealous! 😉
Hey Trish, I have been lucky lately with some really great novels. I love when that happens. Stay tuned on this one-word is I’ll be having a giveaway…
Excellent review! This sounds like a great book and one I am going to add to my list!
Dar, this sounds very good. Skunk … what an interesting name for a main character, but I think I like it. I’m glad you enjoyed this book. Mini Book Expo is a great site.
Shana, you know what it kept reminding me of was Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird. Even the writing reminded me a bit of that novel.
Great review, I would enjoy this book based on what you wrote. Glad to find another Canadian blogger.
Hi Sandra, thanks for stopping by-I hope you will again. It is nice to find another Canadian blogger-I’ve added you to my google reader.
This sounds like an excellent book, great review. Thanks so much for such a wonderful opportunity!
Nice Review.I would love to read this book.I have heard Daniel
Clay was a good writer.Please enter
me and thanks