Kerry Reis's Reviews > Broken Pieces
Abby Pena has had a harsh life from as far back as she can remember from when she was five in the mid-1960’s. She has no knowledge of her birth mother. She and her older sister must navigate growing up with an alcoholic father, an abusively strict grandmother who they call Ma, a jealously abusive stepmother who wants them to disappear, and cliquish school bullies who seek to undermine any solid relationships with boys. It is a broken life that continues to undermine Abby’s family and marriage relationships into her adult life. This is a dark tale that seeks to understand a woman persevering through a hidden life of abuse and mistreatment. Unfortunately, in this newly released version, the author really needs a strong editorial pass through this work, as the reader must navigate plenty of missing punctuation, homonym style misspelling (“to” for “two”, e.g.), and sentence run-ons. Readers will also find confusion in the constant shifting between first and third person narration, as well as present and past verb tenses, sometimes within the same sentence; however, I felt this probably represented Abby’s own disassociative fluctuations as she attempts to tell us her story from a safe distance, only to find the difficult times she faced as personal and immediate in her mind. Even as I felt I understood the psychological hardships that shaped Abby, I was not truly sold on the final resolution, but looking into the life of a troubled soul is still quite a challenge.
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