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The Road Back From Broken Paperback – October 18, 2015
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"The imperfect characters offer authentic emotions which will resonate with readers ... In the end, Morgan reminds us that every life matters, every soul can be redeemed, and every sacrifice is remembered." ~Kim, SOS Aloha Book Reviews
"I really connected with the characters and the story, which emotionally resonated with many of my own experiences in and around the military. If someone you love is or was serving in uniform, or in combat I would highly recommend you give this a read." ~Rick Kuehn, Goodreads review
From the Author
Winner of a 2015 Royal Palm Literary Award.
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I loved The Road Back From Broken. I think the portrayal of men, of soldiers, is deftly done, without sentimentality or hero-worship. The women stand on their own, not just behind their men. And Fitz' son, young teen Ryan, is carefully and realistically drawn. All that said, I go back to my notes for something that makes me realize my review so far seems to say that I gave this book a lot of critical thought while I read.
"I keep forgetting I'm reading."
"The author keeps finding something mundane, a detail, an experience, that has been changed by events, that can represent the cost of things. So exactly right."
"I think that people with imaginations are both much more susceptible to pain, fear, and the anxiety that comes with them, but are also so much more resilient. No imagination makes for a kind of rigidity that will break you. Fitz, chatting with his grandfather, making the quick connection between his words and his own sleepless state is such a great way to show this."
"The silence of men."
"I love the way that Remy has imagination. When people write about two men together, especially two masculine men, it can be hard to differentiate them. You do this so well. To understand that to listen is the best thing, to be whimsical like Remy is here points to a flexibility of spirit and style that Fitz just doesn't have or need. It makes him the best friend for him right now too and throws his (Fitz') rigidity (and I mean that in both good and bad ways but mostly good...honest, staunch, determined, devoted) in high relief."
"I think this is important, the nuances and variations the author provides in this story around the military, about the cost the ones left behind pay, about the cost of war, even about the reasons--human, selfish, and small sometimes--that soldiers choose what they do."
I recommend this book to anyone who loves a good story. A story that happens to contain a little bit of love (father and son, wife and husband, mother and son, mother-in-law and daughter) and a little bit of tragedy and a little bit of history (and letters!!!) but really is just a story of a man trying to move on, to let go what needs to be let go, to make amends, and to press onwards.
I liked the slow reveal of the promise made and broken at the heart of Fitz's issue with the loss of his friend. While the depth of the friendship becomes more obvious towards the end, I wish that we had a better sense of that depth and longevity earlier on- I never really connected with Peterson, so couldn't mourn with Fitz, only empathize with him.
I liked the layering of the story of soldiers who are fathers and sons and the legacy of silence that Fitz is determined to break. I'm a military brat and understand that I know little about my Dad's service despite being raised on/near base until about Ryan's age.
Carter's thread gets dropped early on and I'm glad Morgan brings him back at the end to acknowledge his part in the final resolution of Fitz's consequences for bad behavior and failure to seek help on his own.
Interesting read- nice emotional throughline, with prose that doesn't get in the reader's way of feeling along with the POV characters- description and pacing a bit uneven, a little too much story crammed into one story, but engaging, and I can't wait to see how Morgan's story-telling develops over time :-)