Jennifer's Reviews > Broken for You

Broken for You by Stephanie Kallos
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Mar 03, 10

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bookshelves: read-2010
Recommended to Jennifer by: Sara
Recommended for: people who cry when listening to Eleanor Rigby
Read from February 24 to March 01, 2010

This novel made me, once again, wish that Goodreads had half-star ratings because it's really a 3.5 for me. An elderly lady, Margaret, living as a near-recluse in her large Seattle mansion populated with thousands of ceramic dishes and figurines, finds out she has a brain tumor and a limited life expectancy. This diagnosis prompts her to look for a housemate and into her life comes Wanda Schultz, a theatre stage manager by trade, who has moved to Seattle from the East to search for her ex-boyfriend. The women's connection is sealed when Wanda both breaks a figurine and bursts into tears during her interview.

The theme of brokenness is used throughout the novel--both women are struggling with their pasts, they both must deal with health issues in the present, and there's some literal "breaking" (lots of breaking eventually) that involves Margaret's rooms full of ceramics, many of them stolen from Jews during World War 2. I love the overall message--that you need to "make" your family and that the importance of life is the connections we create. That said, the way everything connected and worked together almost too perfectly made this novel walk a little too far into movie-of-the-week territory for me (and away from "isn't fate strange.) I would have liked an ending with a few more jagged edges.

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