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The Shattered Door

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  251 ratings  ·  76 reviews
After a tortured childhood and years of soul-searching, Brooke Morrison has finally settled into a comfortable life. While his sexuality prohibits him from practicing his degree in youth ministry in a church setting, he’s found a fulfilling job as a youth counselor at a residential treatment facility in Colorado. He falls in love, marries the man of his dreams, and makes p ...more
ebook, 350 pages
Published August 13th 2012 by Dreamspinner Press (first published January 25th 2011)
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Average rating 4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  251 ratings  ·  76 reviews

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Jan 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an incredibly brave book I think. The bare bones of the story is of a gay man returning to his home town to encounter and face up to the past he fled which includes an appallingly cruel mother and unresolved side issues of rejection and self acceptance which is complicated by an unexplained situation with his work which involved caring for and counselling young offenders.

It is also a love story, a story of injustice and intolerance, of deep friendships and family ties and central to the
Gitte TotallyBookedBlog
Dec 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014
Reviewed on:

I think I can safely say that this story is one which has touched me and affected me more than many before it. Every so often, and I mean often, I had to stop reading and try and process and digest what I’d just read. Call me naïve, hell, call me ignorant, but I have never in my thirty-eight years of life come across anything remotely close to what I just read. I grew up in five different countries, lived in more small villages, towns and citi
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I'm still on the fence about this book.

On the one hand I enjoyed the writing and wanted to know what happened next.
On the other hand...there were so many things that personally annoyed me, so that I had partly to struggle to come through the plot.

My main issue was a religion topic. Not that I WASN'T prepared. I had read the blurb and skimmed through some reviews before I picked up this book, but I honestly didn't expect it to be in THIS FORM. I expected rather a big fat secret hidde
Jun 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Brooke Morrison's story is truly captivating, emotional and very thought provoking . A story for a rough live and struggles. Accepting yourself as a gay and trying to discover if God still loves you.


Even accepting the cruelty of a mother's “love”. A toxic mother who constantly tears you apart. A dismissive mother who make you feel unworthy and a mistake of nature. After all, you can't exactly dump your mom and then jump online to look for a new one.


Now. The narrator, Andrew McFerrin, did a truly
There was too much telling and not enough showing. I liked the start and then boom, they meet, have a connection and talk. Then we jump 6 years in the future. Um, why? Why don't I get to see them fall in love and get married? I wanted to see that. I didn't care for how the story was organized and again, to much telling and it seemed to drag the story down. Information overload - I didn't need to know most of what was told to me. 2.5 stars rounded to 3 because I can see the appeal for this one. W ...more
Apr 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Coming from another country and being a gay male, where religion does not play a big part within the population, I mean it's literally non existent for 70-80% of the people, maybe more. The Shattered Door opens a dark portal into the heart of the Bible Belt in the US and gives a frank account of the struggles to grow up there within the LGBT+ community. I can't even fathom that nearly everyone in small country towns attends church but I have a lot of US friends online and this story rings so tru ...more
Kaje Harper
4.5 stars. I've read several books by Brandon Witt, and they have an interesting quality, where at first I feel a little detached, and distant from the narrative. At some point in the first couple of chapters I usually think that it's pretty good, but I'm not getting pulled into the characters and story. And then slowly, almost without noticing it, I get sucked into his characters' minds and lives. This one - The Shattered Door - was like that. It also shares other characteristics I'm coming to ...more
John Sontag
Apr 17, 2014 rated it did not like it
Although this book is well constructed, written with love and care, and edited perfectly, it does nothing to help eliminate the chasm between religion and homosexuality. I enjoyed the characters and their journeys, but I found the message that this book gives is unrealistic. It is a good story. But, ultimately I cannot agree with its entire premise. The story has been told before, many times. And this just didn't work for me. The characters were just two dimensional and lacked that real depth th ...more
Marc | Rainbow Gold Reviews
Nov 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Marc | Rainbow Gold Reviews by: Cassandra
This book has been on my TBR since 2013. Yes, that's right. It took 4.5 years for me to get the up the courage to finally read this truly beautiful, yet devestatingly heartbreaking book.

I have heard so much about it from people who loved it, but who were emotionally shattered after reading this story. It became one of those reads, where I knew it would be amazing, but I would not be able to read it with my heart intact. This special category of books usually takes me longer to get to, because I
Feb 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Brooke is hurting. How could he not be? This book… OMG this book! I can’t say I loved it, and liking it seems wrong as well. This was one of those stories that made me feel a lot of things, a lot of them bad, and a lot of them angry, few of them good and happy. I almost felt emotionally manipulated into finishing it at a time I didn’t want to. There is so much hate, prejudice, and mental abuse in Brooke’s background that I felt suffocated. It has had such a lasting effect on him, to the point th ...more
Dec 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Brandon Witt webcam interview and giveaway January 10-12th

Full review at

This book is not a MM romance. It is LGBT writing that happens to have a gay man as the narrator, and that gay man happens to have a partner. But the book is about so much more. It is about being beaten down psychologically, trying to be a good person, trying to believe in yourself, despite adversity, a relationship with God, a relationship wit
J. Vaughn
Mar 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Fifty pages into this book I thought it was probably going to be a dnf from me, simply because I don't typically like books that are about mundane day-to-day life even if they are as well written, humorous, and insightful as this one. However, the story line progressed in unexpected ways and by page 150 or so my jaw was on the floor and I was turning pages as fast as I could read.
The sweet shy Christian boy we were introduced to had layers and then some. I like that his story unfolded slowly an
David Leger
Jan 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Despite the heavily religious theme, I found this to be a good read. It is a gay coming of age story. It is well crafted. It made me care about many of the characters, despise some, and pity one. Any book that makes you feel that strongly about the characters is a good read. If, like me, you are not religious, you need to be able to look at that part of the novel objectively rather than personally, otherwise you won't enjoy the book. I can understand how relgion is so important to the characters ...more
Sep 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any gay person struggling with being gay
Recommended to Jane by: Brandon Witt (bless him)
Like a Phoenix rising from the ashes, gay Brooklyn Morrison, rises from the ashes of his miserable childhood. A life with a verbally,and mentally abusive single mother. A life lived in squalor, drunkenness, strange men and unspeakable horrors. Add this to the shame he feels of the secret he holds inside……being gay.

Cemeteries were his solace. His grandfather's statue was soothing; touching his bronzed hands, comforting.

But Brooklyn Morrison also had more than that growing up. He had the unswervi
Lisa The Novel Approach
Jan 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Review: Boy, does Brandon Witt know how to pull on my heartstrings.

It took me a bit to put my thoughts together after listening to The Shattered Door because it affected me so much. I came into this book expecting a romance but once finished, realized this wasn’t a romance at all. It is a telling of Brooke’s life through trying times, heartache, and abuse. Brooke becoming comfortable with himself and who he is, and overcoming his past. Once I approached this book as not a romance but more fictio
Oct 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! I don't know where to begin. What a great book. Was slow to start, but didn't take long to be totally emersed in it. A book about a Gay Christian Man doubting his way of life. His search for God's approval of his sexuality. Brooke from infant to adult struggled for his mothers love. A mother who couldn't love him uncondintionaly. Being hurt over and over again by his mothers abusive lifestyle, Brooklyn leaves and finally finds love and a job with troubled youth, until he is falsely accused ...more
Wendy Ann
Oct 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was hard to read, and yet, I couldn’t put it down. It’s not the typical m/m romance type book that I enjoy, although there is a gay romance as part of the story. Instead, it’s a book about perseverance and finding a way through adversity to come out whole and content on the other side.

I could easily believe that some of the story was based on or inspired from true life events because true life is often more cruel and trying than things we can even imagine. Brook’s character and journe
Apr 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Not usually my cup of tea, but thank god for that. I was looking for a gay male author and came across one with I just bought it (my corgi is very influential in my decision making).

While I'm not a religious person, I can feel the love between Jed and Brooke. I'm surprised at how Brooke overcame so many hardships yet kept his faith -- I would have probably given up. That said, I see a little bit of me in Brooke...some of his past resonates with me and memories of mine...his strength a
Serena Yates
Jan 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gay, read-2016
‘The Shattered Door’ is a phenomenal book and a deeply emotional experience all at once. Its honesty and heartfelt directness left me feeling overwhelmed, raw, and in need of some reflection before I was able to put together my thoughts for this review. As I was reading Brooke’s story, I kept thinking about the title. A shattered door is a pretty strong visual, and depicted perfectly on the cover. Even though I didn’t fully understand the connection to Brooke’s life until the last few pages, one ...more
Rainbow Gold Reviews
9.5/10 Pots of Gold (95% Recommended) - Compares to 4.75/5 Stars
This review was originally posted on

This book has been on my TBR since 2013. Yes, that’s right. It took 4.5 years for me to get the up the courage to finally read this truly beautiful, yet devestatingly heartbreaking book.

I have heard so much about it from people who loved it, but who were emotionally shattered after reading this story. It became one of those reads, where I knew it would be amazing,
Dec 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book is a great read! The story line takes you through multiple emotions. Many of the characters are lovable! The underlined story is based on Christians. Being more of a spiritual person and not such a religious person I was skeptical on that aspect prior to reading. I did not find it to be to much, annoying or getting in the way of the story. I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it!
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
Dreamspinner daily deal for only $0.99, 7/3/14!! Big Price drop!
May 25, 2015 rated it did not like it
Just wasn't for me. The Christian thing. Couldn't get into it and honestly made me skip much of the book.
Aug 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m
There are a few times where I cringed at the lack of contractions. It could make the characters sound robotic or alien. The story, though, is richly written, and allowed me to feel as if I was there. I knew the main character's past was going to be angsty, an it was. I couldn't imagine living through what he did. But I was able to take the pain without crying for the character. It was a surprise incident that really wrenched the tears from me. I didn't expect it and while I loved that the author ...more
Joyfully Jay
Mar 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wendy
A Joyfully Jay review.

4.75 stars

In this coming of age story, readers meet Brooklyn Morrison – a man who is always waiting for the other shoe to drop. Good things just don’t happen to guys like Brooke – and when they do, he fears that it is only temporary. When he graduates from college with a degree in Youth Ministry, he didn’t even attempt to gain employment in the field, fearing his sexuality would prohibit him automatically. Instead, he applies for a position at a residential treatment facil
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sharon Cox
I've had this book for quite a while but have only read it within the last couple of days. If I had known more about it perhaps I wouldn't have chosen to buy or read it but now I'm really glad that I had little prior knowledge.
I found the story to be slow but it kept me engrossed. The Shattered Door is not a love story although there is love there.
The main character is Brooke and his husband is Jed. Brooke returns home to look after his mother who has had a stroke and, at the same time, he is r
Aug 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful start to this series we meet Brooklyn Morrison ( his mother loved anything that had to do with NYC), a shy and nervous young man who is being interviewed for a job at a youth treatment center.Brooke (what he likes to be called) has a degree in youth ministry, but realizes he'll probably have a difficulty getting a job in that field because he's gay.Brooke gets the job and becomes respected and loved member of the staff of the facility. Brooke also keeps running into a handsome young ...more
Cathy Brockman
Sep 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing

Review: Brooke moved to Denver after college to get away from home and put his past behind him. He gets a job at a boy’s center as counselor and makes significant changes there. Brett has a beautiful apartment and meets the man of his dreams. Even though he can’t use his degree in a church, he loves his job with the youth, loves his husband. He almost has that fairy tale life until a tragedy brings back his past and it could all come crashing down around him.

The Shattered Door is one of my favor
Sep 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2014, mm
Wow. Need something more than that? How about… go buy this book! Still want more? I am not entirely sure what I can say about The Shattered Door by Brandon Witt. It is amazing. It is not something I would think to pick up, usually. First of all it has a fair amount of religion in it. What am I saying? Religion is a central theme in the story. So is homophobia, acceptance, family, love, and so much more.

I will say this upfront (if 3 paragraphs into a review can be considered up front). I am an at
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Brandon Witt's outlook on life is greatly impacted by his first eighteen years of growing up gay in a small town in the Ozarks, as well as fifteen years as a counselor and special education teacher for students with severe emotional disabilities. Add to that his obsession with corgis and mermaids, then factor in an unhealthy love affair with cheeseburgers, and you realize that with all those issue ...more

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