Published by Story Plant ISBN 978-1-61188-218-6
Hardcover, $26.95, 270 pages
For most of the last twenty-five years, I have been surrounded by men (my husband and two sons- even our dog was male), so I am drawn to fiction by and about men. I find that look into the male psyche enlightening.
When the opportunity to review Robert Burke Warren's novel Perfectly Broken came about, I was looking forward to reading the story of a former rock musician now a stay-at-home dad to a four-year-old boy. I'm happy to say that I just fell into Perfectly Broken and loved it.
Grant was part of semi-successful rock band from the grunge 1990's, married to Beth, who works in public relations for musicians in New York City. They fell in love, married and have a sweet little boy, Evan. Beth goes to work and Grant stays home, caring for Evan.
After 9/11, times get tough and Beth loses her job. They move upstate to the Catskills to live in a home owned by their friends Trip and Christa, rent-free while they get back on their feet.
Life has thrown them some curves. Beth's brother is a drug addict, always promising to get straight, and always failing. As a young boy, Grant came home to find that his father committed suicide, and his mother went off the deep end following that.
Grant and Beth are deeply in love, but moving from the excitement of New York to the quiet of a small Catskills community is difficult. When a family tragedy strikes, Beth seems to be dealing with that and a new job that frequently takes her out of town, but the cracks in their marriage begin to show.
And when a former bandmate of Grant's come to visit, one who is now very successful, the crack becomes seismic. At a dinner party at Trip and Christa's, things are revealed that result in damage to some marriages that may not be able to be undone. The torrential storm that rages outside rivals the storm happening inside, with both storms wreaking havoc that changes everyone permanently.
I don't know much about the grunge music scene, but if you do, you will get another level of enjoyment from this terrific novel. All of the characters are well drawn and interesting, but they do take too many anti-depressants. That can't be good for anyone.
Grant makes a decision after the storm that I find perplexing. I found that to be an interesting choice for the character of Grant, and again, this insight into his mind I find to be fascinating.
Warren writes some very steamy sex scenes, and he has some interesting things to say about marriage and friendship. I highly recommend Perfectly Broken, especially for anyone who likes Jonathan Tropper's books. Greg Olear's Fathermucker also came to mind when I read this. It pairs well with another recent book I read, Vicki Abelson's Don't Jump, about a woman in New York City in the entertainment industry trying to find herself. (My review here.)
Thanks to TLC Tours for putting me on Robert Burke Warren's tour. The rest of Robert's stops are here:
Tuesday, March 8th: Vox Libris
Wednesday, March 9th: Becklist
Thursday, March 10th: I’m Shelf-ish
Monday, March 14th: Worth Getting in Bed For
Tuesday, March 15th: Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews
Thursday, March 17th: she treads softly
Friday, March 18th: Art @ Home
Monday, March 21st: Gspotsylvania: Ramblings from a Reading Writer Who Rescues Birds and Beasts
Tuesday, March 22nd: Jenn’s Bookshelves
Wednesday, March 23rd: An Unconventional Librarian
Thursday, March 24th: The 3 R’s: Reading, ‘Riting, and Randomness
Monday, March 28th: Everyday I Write the Book
Tuesday, March 29th: From the TBR Pile
Wednesday, March 30th: The Book Chick
Thursday, March 31st: Chaos is a Friend of Mine
Monday, April 4th: bookchickdi