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Sunday, July 08, 2007

Half Broken Things

Joss, Morag. Half Broken Things. There is so little I can say that won't reveal too much, but I recommend this one highly --in spite of the fact that the tension kept me on edge (dread?), and I had to put it down frequently before I could read on. A powerful and emotional psychological study of three lives, the way they become entwined, the bonds forged, and the eventual consequences, a haunting story of suspense...

Joss does a remarkable job with the characters, letting them gradually insinuate themselves into your good graces, allowing them to grow and broaden their horizons, even as you know that the deceptions will lead to no good. Her writing is smooth and flowing, sensuous, creating a remarkably visual novel as the characters enjoy the pleasures of a beautiful home, good food, the finer things of life.
The story unfolds slowly. Nothing is rushed. The details accumulate, layer after layer. New beginnings seem possible to Jean, Michael, and Steph, and each discovers a family denied to them as they forge their own family unit and luxuriate in the previously unknown love and support a family can offer.

And all the time, my heart was pounding. The more beautiful, relaxed, and delicately happy the scene, the more I dreaded the end of their sanctuary.

Read this one if you can. I will be reading her other books as soon as I can get them.

Fiction. Psychological suspense. 2004. 303 pages.


  1. This sounds like a good one, Jenclair! I will add it to my wishlist. Thanks for the review.

  2. I've just picked this one up in paperback; portable and good for some summer reading. Hope I will get to it this month...

  3. It's got a great title, doesn't it? Thanks for your review.

  4. Wow, sounds good. I have to be in the right mood for suspense this suspenseful, but I might give it a try.

  5. I'm not certain I should say that I 'like' the sound of this, but it does sound like a good read. I'm off to the library site now.

  6. L.F. - I'm quite impressed with Joss' writing!

    Melanie - I've just ordered the De Charms biography of Von Arnim that you recommended- an interesting kind of balancing act!

    Bybee - Yes, the title catches your attention, I think.

    Gentle Reader - Joss is so very good at suspense!

    Ann - Exactly, Ann! You notice that my description of the experience never includes "enjoy" -the novel is an excellent read but not exactly "enjoyable" and what I "like" is Joss's skillful handling of all the elements.

  7. Sounds like a delicous page turner, JenClair. Wonderful, tempting review!

  8. Sounds good!!

  9. Carl - Both a page turner and one that forces you to close the book because you just can't turn the page. Maybe I was just more susceptible to the tension Joss created...

    Danielle - Joss is certainly a talented author!