Sunday, July 7, 2013

In Broken Places by Michele Phoenix

From the publisher: Shelby’s life isn’t glamorous, but it is predictable—and that’s the way she likes it. A survivor of her father’s violence, she has spent a lifetime creating a safe existence devoid of dependence. But her carefully managed world begins to break when, under staggering circumstances, she becomes a single mother to four-year-old Shayla. In a drastic attempt to escape her childhood’s influence, Shelby moves to Germany, but she quickly discovers how intimately linked memory and healing are—and how honestly she must scrutinize her past in order to aspire to a richer future. As she juggles a new job, a new culture, a new daughter, and the attention of an enterprising man, Shelby’s fresh start becomes a quest for the courage to be not only a survivor, but someone who prevails.


I am giving this book five stars for relationship that Michele Phoenix depicted between Shelby and her brother Trey.  Reading the flashback and reading their adult interactions was worth the whole book.  Phoenix has written the bond of siblings going through something horrific day in and day out--and yet their struggle to survive and even thrive.  I have not read a book that showed the bond of siblings as well as this book.  It moved my heart.  

The whole book was well done.  Michele Phoenix doesn't gloss over the difficulties that Shelby (or someone like her) would have to deal with her situation but she also moves the reader through Shelby's quest to move beyond her past circumstances into a better future.  

I also thought it was realistic that Scott is a flawed human being, he isn't there to rescue Shelby but to walk along beside her.  In Scott's flaws he doesn't come off at "the hero" but a real person who has strengths and weaknesses.  

I would recommend this book to others, especially if they have a past they feel is haunting their present and future.  

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