Publisher: Story Plant
Date of publication: March 2016
His rock star days may be behind him, but stay-at-home dad Grant Kelly’s life is getting more interesting by the day. It’s the beginning of the post 9/11 era, and he and his wife and four-year-old son have traded a New York City apartment for a Catskills farmhouse, where ghosts from the past, worries for the future, and temptations in the present converge to bring about drastic changes in their marriage, their friendships, and their family.
A gorgeously nuanced novel with unforgettable characters, Perfectly Broken is a story of human frailty, the endurance of the heart, and the power and possibility of forgiveness.
Perfectly Broken is a great title for this book. Everyone in the book was broken in one way or another. The book focuses on Grant who is a former rocker, stay at home dad and uncertain about the future. His wife has lost her job and they have decided to move out of the city to try to get back on their feet. I was a little wary of this book. I wasn't sure if I would like the story. But in the end, I found that Grant's story relatable in some ways.
This book isn't exactly uplifting throughout most of it. In fact, everyone in it is kind of a mess. But one thing I liked about this book was the writing. I felt like the author did a great job of putting me in Grant's shoes. It's 2 years after 9/11, when everyone was still iffy about the future. I could really feel Grant's uncertainty about his marriage and being a father. You know...when your life hasn't ended up where you thought it would. How do you make peace with the past and figure out how to love your present and future? I've also been through that panic of turning away for one second and your kid is gone. It makes you wonder if you are really cut out for the job. I think a lot of parents go through that when they first start out.
The characters are really what drive this novel. I really hated Grant's choices, but I was really rooting for him to figure things out. I hated Beth's choices as well, but I found myself rooting for her as well. In fact, I found myself rooting for everyone to figure things out. I was about the same age as the characters in this book in 2003. It think that is why the book really spoke to me. It made me feel really nostalgic for the late 80s and 90s. Even though I wasn't a fan of 90s music in general. Music is something that make memories more vivid in our minds, right?
I hope you will give this book a shot. I was surprised at how much I ended up liking it. I look forward for more from this talented writer in the future.
About Robert Burke Warren
Robert Burke Warren is a musician and writer whose work has appeared in Paste, Salon, The Bitter Southerner, The Good Men Project, The Rumpus, The Woodstock Times, Texas Music, Brooklyn Parent, Chronogram, The Weeklings, and the Da Capo anthology, The Show I’ll Never Forget. He lives in the Catskill Mountains with his family. This is his first novel.
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