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Shattered Wings Paperback – April 19, 2012

3.9 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Bryan Healey attended Northeastern University in Boston and studied Computer Science before becoming a software executive, specializing in start-up development. He holds an additional degree in English and lives in Boston, Massachusetts with his beautiful wife.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (April 19, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1456398350
  • ISBN-13: 978-1456398354
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,952,605 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
My deepest thanks to Bryan Healey for sending me an ARC of this book to review.

What do you do when your life is turned tragically upside down? In Shattered Wings, we are introduced to a family--John, his spouse Charlie, and their adopted daughter Cassie. While Charlie works at home to be with their daughter, John is a white collar worker with a secure job. Until it isn't. Laid off in the dwindling economy, John decides to not tell Charlie. In a series of flashbacks, we are thrust into feeling his desperation as job interviews come and go, the memories of his meeting Charlie, and welcoming their daughter. His fears thrust him back into a life that could end in tragedy.

I was struck by the stark cover of Healey's book--always a promising sign. I was not disappointed. Healey has written a very timely novel that literally moved me to tears--which is hard to do and to me, signifies a book that not only satisfies but lingers in my head. His style of writing is lyrical but not overdone.

One sign of his brilliant talent is that when I began reading, I envisioned the narrator to be a woman. It's only a few pages in do I realize that this is a gay couple. I went back to the beginning to re-read so that I had the right picture in my head. But truly, aside from a few places in the book, John and Charlie are "every family" and quite accessible to any reader. I find it wonderful, as a bisexual woman, to find a novel that is modern and mainstream and doesn't need to feel like it has to be different because it features a gay couple.

A bit of a tongue-in-cheek warning: there are no chapters. So if you're a voracious reader like I am, you may find yourself devouring this book far too quickly or staying up into the wee hours of the morning.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A very slow read. It was depressing and heart wrenching. The battle of an alcoholic to gain sobriety and become the person he wanted to be to his spouse and his daughter. Losing a job is jarring and unsettling. I could relate to the insecurity that followed the event. Many salesmen friends have told me of the sense of insecurity in succeeding in the next deal. After a few dry calls they openly wonder if they'll ever be able to close another deal. The key is never giving up because everyone has someone counting on them.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Bryan Healey's novel, Shattered Wings, won me over completely. The descent of his protagonist, John, from his delightfully gay heaven--with a good job, an attractive and almost saintly lover, and an adopted daughter they both adore--to the hell his bigoted and yet knowing father had predicted all along (thus "shattered wings") is believable, intense, and tragic.

John has a drinking problem. In order to keep his partner, Charlie, and his daughter, Cassie--his family--John stops drinking but struggles to remain abstinent. Then, apparently a victim of the recent economic crisis, he loses his job.

The bookends to Healey's story seem quite right to me. The beginning immediately arouses dread. The ending boldly goes, in the confessional first person no less, where many writers would lack the courage to go.

Reading Shattered Wings is like viewing an Ed Norton movie, where we're thinking, we love you, man; you don't need to do what you're doing to yourself. Does his character hear our plea? Of course not. He's on the screen in a magnificent fall. We're on our couch.

Those of us who read and admire thoughtful, serious fiction know a John. We sometimes see him when we look in our mirrors. I readily gave him the benefit of every doubt, even as he refused to do what I wanted him to do. His struggle, emanating from his father's rejection, is too familiar and true for him not to capture our sympathy as if it were prey.

Readers should know that Healey handles his "sex" scenes with admirable restraint. I found it good to know that, yeah, John and Charlie are very much in love with one another that way, too. But Healey wisely knows he doesn't have to provide a play-by-play account in this kind of story.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Every once in awhile, you find a book that is so compelling and penetrating that you can't put it down. Through its fiery emotional onslaught it tears at your soul and leaves a stain upon your heart. It's dark and disquieting, and yet you can't cast it away. It grabs hold of you from page one and doesn't let go till the end. Shattered Wings is one of those books.

In his book, Bryan Healey tackles the demons and obsessions challenging the alcoholic. He brings to vivid light the tragedy of the alcohol addiction. In a literary style that is both simple and masterful, his description of what true alcoholism is and what it does to people is deeply disturbing and unforgettable.

Shattered Wings is a tale of one man's descent into alcoholism. John seems to have everything going for him. He has a well-paying white-collar job, loving partner and beautiful daughter. Together with his family he lives a harmonious and prosperous life in a suburban house in upper New York. He's a successful man, content with what he has. Until one day it all comes tumbling down when John is released from his job due to the downsizing of the company he works for. Determined to salvage the situation on his own, he decides to keep the layoff a secret from his partner, until he finds a new job. But finding it isn't as easy as he first thought it would be. No one seems to be interested in hiring a laid-off worker who dedicated 13 years of his life to one company. Apparently his loyalty means nothing more than experience deficiency and not enough exposure to a broader range of skills. As days pass by and there's still very little prospect of getting hired, an overpowering sense of hopelessness sinks John to the bottom of the bottle.
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