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Broken for You

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  12,010 ratings  ·  1,691 reviews
National best seller and Today show Book Club selection, Broken for You is the story of two women in self-imposed exile whose lives are transformed when their paths intersect. Stephanie Kallos's debut novel is a work of infinite charm, wit and heart. It is also a glorious homage to the beauty of broken things.

When we meet septuagenarian Margaret Hughes, she is living alon
Paperback, 373 pages
Published June 7th 2005 by Grove Press (first published August 23rd 2004)
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Average rating 3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  12,010 ratings  ·  1,691 reviews

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Cathrine ☯️
Nov 10, 2015 rated it liked it
Book Club Pick

3★ What I thought. A mansion full of coveted ceramic art that has been a prison of sorts becomes a sanctuary for misfits with emotional baggage. The story centers around mostly sentimental characters and a plot loaded with contrivances and coincidences that are unbelievable with the predictable ending.

There were elements I really did not like. The dream sequences, Wanda’s ongoing ungrateful attitude, breaking the irreplaceable ceramics which brought back the reaction I had when th
Aug 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
Recommended to Jonquil by: book club choice
I just finished this book for our book club in St. Helens, Oregon.
This is the best book I have read in years. The story is zany in a believable way and it's just full of the kind of charm and magic I wish for in my own life! We all have loss and sadness in our lives somewhere and I love how the women in this book deal with it!
Linda Dale
Jan 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing
An imaginative tale that explores how physical things tether us to our history and how they can prolong our pain.. This idea is woven into a story about an elderly woman, Margaret, a wealthy recluse tied to a home that is chock full of procelains, pottery and all things breakable. As the story opens, Margaret receives the news that she has a fatal brain tumor.

Margaret is determined to expand her life, but she’s not ready to leave the safety of her home. She decides to take in a boarder. Enter Wa
Aug 09, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: adult-books
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 29, 2009 rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this book. It had such potential. My Mom gave it to me after she said that she couldn't get into it enough to finish. I should've heeded that as a warning because I felt exactly the same way. It had all the elements to what I am normally drawn to - wounded, lost, yet interesting characters who form unexpected and unusual bonds, and find parts of themselves they didn't know existed. (I just described the plot of every indie movie I've liked) Despite this, I had very little attach ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
While Broken for You is a book populated with characters who have experienced great sadness, it is not a sad book. On the contrary, this book is about people who move past their sadness, their brokenness and their grief to live. I was drawn to this book for its characterization of being a book about family being what you make out of the community surrounding you. It was encouraging while reading this book to realize the community/family surrounding me and that people continue to grow and thrive ...more
Jun 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
what a wonderful book of community and surrogate families. i loved the way all the stories weaved together and intertwined in a complex, but beautiful way. everyone's stories made me feel deeply and be grateful for my family and my friends and neighbors. and made me want to be a better person and contribute to the world around me. i also enjoyed that it took place in seattle about ten years ago, so i could relate to a lot of the locations in the book. there was one small part in the book, though ...more
May 08, 2009 rated it it was ok
Let's pretend I stopped reading this book halfway through. This would have been my review: The characters are interesting and well-developed, though the story is a little thin on plot.

Now let's pretend I read the entire book, which unfortunately I did. This is my real review: WTF? The plot starts halfway through and every bit of it is completely unbelievable. The new characters are caricatures, the original characters go off the deep end, and the story hinges on one ridiculous coincidence after
Apr 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Broken Lives Pieced Back Together
This was a book club selection that received a luke warm review from our group of ten. I, however, was one of the few who truly enjoyed reading Broken For You by Stephanie Kallos.

While many felt elements of the plot were too contrived—and they were—for me it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the story, and particularly from the entertaining and well-developed characters.

This is a unique story. It made me laugh. It made me cry. It made me angry. Anything that
Michelle Hendricks
Aug 28, 2013 rated it liked it
I finished the book but wouldn't recommend it. It had potential. Two women connect. Both lost souls in their own way. One woman, Margaret, has treasures (stolen by her father) from Holocaust victims. She understandably wants to atone and get rid of these items. She hasn't found a single owner though she has searched. Solution? Of course, have lost soul #2, Wanda, break priceless items and create mosaics out of them (She's never created art before but is about to become a famous artist using brok ...more
Apr 15, 2015 rated it liked it
There is so much to dislike about this book! But I found it to be inexplicably entertaining. (Spoiler alert!) Gotta love a book with a ghost like Margaret's mom, the colorful dreams, and the wackyness of all these people. Gotta hate the sheer abundance of "broken" parallels (what, did she write a list of things that can be broken and include multiple examples of each? (Porcelain, hearts, bones, etc.)) Gotta love Irma and the three-legged cat, Maurice. Gotta hate the wanton destruction of histori ...more
Lisa Gallagher
Interesting that the author has chosen to write about broken bits of china because this was one of the more fractured stories I've read. The book starts off as one thing, becomes several more stories somewhere along the line and ultimately ends as a very different tale. The characters were so interesting and yet I found them behaving in the most unbelievable ways. How does a 70+ year old dying woman who has disdained company for much of her life suddenly decide to not only take in a border and a ...more
Sep 11, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: bookcrossing
I really liked the first part of the book. Margaret has been living alone in a castle outside Seattle, her expensive porcelain collection is her only friend. She doesn't interact much with with world until she finds out she has a brain tumor. She places an ad in the local patient for a roommate and a young woman named Wanda shows up.

The story then turns in to something like the Island of Misfit Toys. She takes in more and more boarders. People who are broken like her. Most of the characters are
May 13, 2020 rated it liked it
I wish there were half stars...... I’d give it 3.5. This one would be a good choice for a book club because I feel as though I need to discuss it before I can decide how I feel about it. I need someone to explain some of it to me because there are parts that I just don’t understand. I have to admit that I skipped entire pages of endless introspection. I have no patience for dream sequences and skipped those too.

There were parts that I really liked and enjoyed and was anxious to return to. I love
Nov 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
I saw Kallos speak earlier this year and she was just delightful. This story, however, was really sprawling and not all that engaging.
Dee Georgette
Jul 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favorite books, I keep hoping it will be made into a movie. The characters psychological problems and quirks make you fall in love with them.

The below came from "Book Browse" BOOK SUMMARY

Broken for You is a novel of infinite charm and tremendous heart that explores the risks and rewards of human connection, and the hidden strength behind things that only seem fragile. With a riotous energy that recalls the works of John Irving and Anne Tyler, Kallos brings to life a delightful
Jul 03, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adultfiction
In Stephanie Kallos's Broken for You, pieces of the story fit together in the same manner as the pieces of Margaret Hughes's porcelain antiques. The story begins when Margaret, an older woman, learns that she has a brain tumor, and may only live a few years more. After placing an ad for a boarder, Wanda Shultz shows up on her doorstep. The women are both broken in many ways, and their relationship builds from this bond. Subsequently, Margaret reveals that the antique porcelain acquired by her fa ...more
Oct 10, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, human-nature
I found this book in our house - not sure how it got there, but it was a decent read. I happen to like stories about people, so it worked out for me. It's roughly about a few people and their quirks and trying to make changes to break out of ruts/self-destructive ruts. Interesting and fairly funny.

An older lady has lived in her house for years, just surrounded by antiques which are dear to her, but maybe not exactly cherished. She decides to be a little wild and rents out one of her rooms to a y
Feb 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
From the title of this book, you'd think it was a downer. But instead, this novel shows that from brokenness can come healing in unimaginable ways. Some things--but not everything--wrap up just a little too neatly at the end, but it really was a page-turner, with characters you can't help but find yourself pulling for. The story begins with an older, reclusive woman learning she has a brain tumor--and deciding to make big changes in her life. These changes involve several other people she meets ...more
A good practice is when readers talk, listen. I'm so glad that I listened to someone who recommended this novel. It is layered with the stories of lives that intersect in the most unexpected ways. While the focus is on Wanda and Margaret, there are threads of lives that extend from and to them and stretch across time and countries, making it a small world indeed. Kallos redefines relationships and family in a novel where broken becomes whole and whole becomes broken, and everything and everyone ...more
Jul 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Quirky characters pieces break to heal.
Antonis Giannoulis
Having studied acting I found the story full of emotion and improvisation . It was honest , sense full and with love for human beings. I was moved . Characters well studied, and she did lots of work with the past of the heroes .
Loved it all the way .

Λοιπον 3,5 αστεράκια για αυτο το βιβλιο που στην ελληνική του εκδοχή λέγεται ρωγμή στο χρόνο. Ήταν ένα βιβλιο που το ξεκινησα με πολύ μικρές προσδοκίες περιμένοντας κάτι αναλαφρο και χαζό δεν ξερω γιατί αλλά στην πορεία πολύ το αγάπησα . Το βιβλιο έ
Nov 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
I think I liked this book so much because I could relate to so many of the characters in one way or another. And maybe I'm not as messed up as I thought; we're all broken in our own, different ways and it's never too late to fix things, even if such things are only as we perceive them and we fix them from within.

Irma gave good advice: " 'Choose life.' Make friends. Play cards. Bowl. Go to Hawaii."

I would've given 5 stars if Margaret had known who M.J. Striker was, and maybe she did, but I reall
Feb 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I can't begin to tell you how much this book moved me. Every eccentric and irresistible character in the book was broken in some way. There is a wisdom and soulfulness in this story as well as bittersweet humor. A memorable Septuagenarian caused a surrogate family and shows how far the tiniest repair jobs can go toward righting the world's wrongs ...more
Jul 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book a lot, although not quite as much as I liked her book "Language Arts". Kallos's writing is quite extraordinary; her stories are certainly not what one often encounters. Quirky characters, many of whom have had sad lives, but have overcome their heartaches. I do like that Kallos writes happy endings. Hopefully there is still hope for this almost hopeless world. ...more
Apr 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
I would probably give this 4.5 stars. I really, really enjoyed this book. I thought the title was cheesy, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect. What I got was a beautiful story about the families we are born with and the families we choose to create. ...more
Julia V
Jul 13, 2017 rated it liked it
I wish I wanted to write a review but honestly within 100 pages I regretted picking up this book. I'm not sure what it was because I enjoyed the characters a lot and I didn't mind the writing style. I honestly feel this would've been better as a shorter book. ...more
Deborah Schultz
Feb 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I loved the characters, their interactions, the art and beauty transforming the terrible, the catharsis from the smashing, greeting visitors to the home by including them in the process... I enjoyed the book the whole way through. I highly recommend it.
Sarah Stoskopf Borchert
Nov 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Strange and wonderful! Multiple plot lines that intertwine and connect with characters so fully developed that I swear I know them. It has me asking what is the object of my affection? What leaves me broken? What is worth breaking? What repairs me? Loved this book!
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HPL Morning Book ...: Book for July 1 4 Jun 19, 2017 09:34AM  

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Stephanie Kallos spent twenty years in the theatre as an actor and teacher. Her short fiction has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and received a Raymond Carver Award. Her first novel, BROKEN FOR YOU, received the Pacific Northwest Book Award, the Washington State Book Award, and was chosen by Sue Monk Kidd as the December 2004 selection for "The Today Show." Her second novel, SING THEM HOME, w ...more

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