About the Book:
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'm happy to say this book wasn't what I was expecting: it was far more. I was drawn to the story by the idea of a single mother adopting a four-year-old. What captivated me was the story of a brother and sister, living a nightmare and yet still being there for each other through every life event.
Trey and Shelby made this story for me. Watching the two of them survive, support, share and become the adults they were meant to be was inspiring. I had a hard time reading about the abuse they endured: at times I wanted to call Child Protective Services, then I'd realize that they weren't real people.
But I know real people suffer unimaginable abuse, and that made the story come alive for me. Michele crafted a novel that resonates in your soul, regardless of your life circumstances. I come from an unusual background: Shayla comes to Shelby's life through unusual happenings.
All of that made the story richer and more real. I found Scott to be a true hero, Gus and Bev to be ideal 'foster parents' to adult Shelby, and adored the relationship between mother and daughter (Shelby and Shayla).
And the play! Seth and Kate and the other teenagers in the cast were amazing as background characters. The whole book was crafted so carefully, with every piece making a huge difference in the story. I just loved the story, from start to finish.
Even the transitions from today to scenes from Shelby and Trey as children were handled well. The story didn't get bogged down, and every detail shared was critical to understanding the overall story. Some of the scenes are difficult to read, especially for those who've survived abuse.
Just a caution--these scenes aren't inappropriate, but they are powerful.
I purchased a copy of "In Broken Places" and couldn't wait to read it. "In Broken Places" will take you to your own broken places and offer healing in the words of the story. The book is published by Tyndale Publishers, and could be the most important work of fiction you read this year.
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