Thursday, January 31, 2008

Book Review: Broken for You

January 31, 2008

The debut novel by Stephanie Kallos is everything I want a novel to be, from the fully rendered characters to the twists and turns of plot, filled with all kinds of side-stories and satisfying details. I loved this book.

The story: Margaret, age 70-ish, discovers she is dying of a brain tumor. An awkward recluse who talks to the objects in her house, Margaret decides to take what little time she has left to change her life. She takes in a boarder, Wanda, who is also a broken person. The two women tentatively begin a friendship, accumulating a cast of broken people along the way. The backgrounds of Margaret and Wanda are revealed along the way, including a whopper of story that I didn't see coming with Margaret. I like to be surprised.

Kallos's writing is fantastic. Some may say she manipulates events too much to make everything tie together in a neat package, but I thought the story was fabulous. Some of the broken people were a bit stereotypical, but just a bit. Broken for You kept me up past my bedtime for several nights, and that's always the sign of a riveting book.

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