D.H. Schleicher's Reviews > All The Broken People

All The Broken People by Amy Rivers
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it was ok

"Dull Objects"

Somewhere between a Gillian Flynn novel and a Lifetime movie lies Amy Rivers undercooked All the Broken People.

When Alice (conveniently a reporter) comes to her lawyer husband's hometown in the mountains of Georgia to help care for his recently (and mysteriously) injured mother, dark secrets, family feuds, and emotional entanglements are quickly uncovered.

Rivers creates a potentially rich kudzu-vine covered environment for her characters to inhabit, but she never gives them anything interesting to do other than sulk around, hang out at the local library or diner, and ponder all the horrible things that have happened to them. The author attempts to get inside their heads and provide some psychological depth to their sad predicaments, but it's only surface level, highly repetitive and worst of all...dull. Though really bad stuff happened and continues to happen to these people, there's nothing that terribly shocking...but maybe we've become too desensitized to suffering these days. Meanwhile, the villain of the novel, Beth Simms, is rendered cartoonish, and only in the very end does Rivers even hint at any complexity...by basically saying, "shouldn't we feel sorry for her because bad things happened to her, too?" Well, no... not really...because nothing Rivers wrote prior to this afterthought gave us any reason to care about Beth Simms as anything other than a threat to the other dull characters.

There was also a potentially interesting mirror-story within the novel where Alice is researching an old murder case...but Rivers never successfully weaves it into the main storyline in any deep or meaningful way,

All that being said, this is a quick read that doesn't require much effort by the reader...so those looking to kill some time with something best described as Gillian Flynn-lite might not be as bothered by the issues stated above as I was.
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Reading Progress

March 1, 2019 – Started Reading
March 1, 2019 – Shelved
March 20, 2019 – Finished Reading

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