- File Size: 4086 KB
- Print Length: 400 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: B08BF44KZH
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Magnum Opus - A Next Chapter Imprint; 7 edition (October 8, 2017)
- Publication Date: October 8, 2017
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0769LB2N3
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #433,222 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Watching Glass Shatter (Perceptions Of Glass Book 1) Kindle Edition
|Length: 400 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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|Age Level: 13 - 18|
|Grade Level: 9 - 12|
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"This book has an authentic, rich, and elegant feel to it. The kind of feel that I've only came across by very seasoned, big name authors... Watching Glass Shatter isn't all tears, it's also very modern and chic... Watching Glass Shatter is about grief, trauma, healing, and family ties that go beyond that of any other family story I've read."
Cathleen Townsend, Author of 'Twelve Tales of Christmas'
"Watching Glass Shatter is one of the best literary books I've read... James Cudney weaves each character's concerns together skillfully, leaving the reader in a state of high anticipation for the final denouement. If you are a lover of literary fiction, you will likely find this a satisfying read."
Reader's Favorite Review
"Wow! Watching Glass Shatter by James Cudney is an experience not to be missed. Page 1 drew me straight into the story and from there it was hard to put it down. I loved the way each chapter surrounded separate characters, rather than the story being jumbled together; it made it much easier to follow and it also allowed each character to be developed individually as well as part of a family. They say the devil is in the detail and, Mr. Cudney, you nailed it! I was left in no doubt as to who these people were, what each of them was battling against, and the development of both characters and story together allowed me to identify with each one. I absolutely loved this book. It's the kind of story that makes you realize that what you see isn't always what you get, that everyone has the potential to be hiding some deep and painful secret, and that you really shouldn't judge a book by its cover. Fabulous, looking forward to more from James Cudney."
Book Blog Review
"First and foremost, I loved this book so much. The plot is well-thought out and intricately and methodically crafted. The execution is great, especially the last several chapters are stunningly beautiful, incredibly gut-wrenching, this is surprisingly and astoundingly a great read for a debut author."
"Watching glass shatter is a suspenseful family drama, that will make you feel all the emotions there are. you will be angry, you will be happy, you will cry and you will be hopeful. all characters are beautifully written, realistic and relatable. there is no way, you won't become a huge fan of everyone in the glass family. the writing is thrilling and beautiful, so that you will have a page turner in your hands, that you will not want to put down. "watching glass shatter" is a wonderful debut novel that i highly recommend to anyone."
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I learned more about relationships than I knew before and isn't that the beauty of reading? Learning? Experiencing? Even though we don't know each other, I would love to know if the characters are based upon people you know/knew? Because by the end, as a reader, I felt like I knew them too. Maybe you should continue the Glass family saga? Just a suggestion from a reader who would love to know more about their next chapters.
Great debut! Looking forward to your next published book!
When I read the synopsis for this one, I knew I had to get my hands on it. I knew I would fall in love with the story, but I could not have expected how deeply this one would affect me. James has done a phenomenal job with his beautiful writing. I laughed, and cried, and was full of emotion the entire time!
The plot was so full of life and suspense. There were so many unpredictable moments that fit so well in the story. There were so many family secrets revealed, and new feelings explored. The story was exciting, unique, happy, and sad all at once! I really loved how well written it was, and how the plot was laid out in separate scenes involving each brother, and each brother and their mother, Olivia.
The characters felt real. They each offered secrets, flaws, and a variety of emotions. They also felt natural and made the Glass family come to life through the pages. Each character added depth to the story and really drove it home!
I have to point out my favorite character. Olivia’s sister, Diane, was one that stood out for me. She was strong, loving, and beautiful! I felt like she held the family together and shined above the rest! She was so accepting of everything, and had her own obstacles to overcome throughout the story.
Anything that can make you laugh and cry all in the same sitting deserves a 5 star rating! This was such a strong, character driven story full of lyrical writing and depth. It was unpredictable and emotional, and offered beauty, heartache, and a story of self discovery for each of its characters. It wasn’t just about the one “big” secret Olivia found out about after the death of her husband. It was about learning what secrets each family member harbored in the separate paths each of their lives took as they grew older and grew apart. It was about learning how to become a family again through adversity and change.
Reading the review, the general storyline is given. So I’m going to concentrate my review on the mother, Olivia. I disliked her. There’s spoilers ahead! She goes to each of her five son’s homes, I don’t know why except for her to snoop into their lives, on the pretense of learning more about them. I guess that’s all well & good but if I did what she ultimately does to her sons, to my son, I’d be ashamed of myself. For example, she discovers a son is gay & married to his boyfriend but hasn’t told the family and that they’re in the process of adopting a newborn. Another son has developed a drug problem, Another son’s wife slept with her brother-in-law trying to get pregnant because her husband had a low sperm count. Another son had a child out of wedlock & is battling custody issues. He’s the one who slept with his sister-in-law. The fifth son was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor & given about three months to live.
So, what would any normal mother do? Certainly not what Olivia does. If you’re in the same situation, do the opposite! She calls a family meeting & decides all of these facts should be common knowledge amongst the family. And this is where I decided I really disliked Olivia.
It isn’t any of her business to decide the family needs to know her son is married to another man & adopting a baby. That’s HIS news to announce & he’s mealy-mouthed enough to stand by while she makes it a general announcement in this family meeting. That she received the news about the baby from someone arranging the adoption who called to speak to her son doesn’t seem to be possible, though. Such things are so very private & I can’t see a professional leaving a message of such importance with a stranger who answers the phone. So that part was ludicrous & I wish the author would have made it more authentic. The woman isn’t above snooping so it could be she saw something laying around the house that made it obvious.
The son whose wife cheated is told about it out of the clear blue with no warning. His wife tried to get her mother-in-law’s attention to explain PRIVATELY some very important news about the situation but this control freak insists on making it her business to be a tattle-tale. She hurts her son & his marriage. This was another situation where she was guessing because she overheard her son’s side of the conversation with his sister-in-law. Totally outrageous & I can only imagine a mother who thrives on drama being this way.
She makes a big announcement about the son who has a drug problem. Is no one safe from this woman? Supposedly, this is on the pretense that he needs family support. His wife didn’t know. This storyline was rather ludicrous as he’d embezzled from the legal firm he worked for & it was forgiven by the partners. This needed to be thought through a little more.
She makes it her business to tell everyone about the youngest son’s upcoming death. Is no one allowed to share their own news? Is no one going to hold her accountable? A child who grows up with a loving & nurturing parent & develops a close relationship with his mother isn’t treated with such disrespect. The obvious conclusion is that resentment & animosity would cause them to be estranged. She would have to do some serious work to mend the hurt she caused.
I guess it’s a win for the author when he can create characters you love to hate. He was realistic enough with his storytelling to cause a reaction & that’s something author’s strive to do. Beats writing something that doesn’t touch anyone. It does have an interesting premise & that’s the key that holds the story together.
I was entertained reading this book—just frustrated. I’m a “literal” thinker so it was difficult to suspend my belief about the reaction of the sons toward Olivia. It isn’t going to be a book I go back to re-read. My star rating is because of the ludicrous parts of the plot—the sons not confronting her, the unlikely scenarios of how she obtains private news & on a lesser note, the many places near the end that need editing.
Top international reviews
For example - just before Ben dies he's on the phone with his wife and they are having a conversation like a couple of lovestruck teens. I could almost go along with that - except they are discussing things that each would have known, as a mechanism to inform us (the reader) of some background information. I'm afraid that only works if the topic of conversation sounds natural - and this doesn't.
I've got to about 13% and already the characters are a bit irritating. The women are a bit insipid and the men are either really good looking / weird / loves his mother. Clearly the 5 sons are being given different characters to make the "who is the real son" more dramatic but I'm afraid that that ploy is kind of being telegraphed.
What finally made my teeth itch was the description of "tattered raindrops". I'm not sure I've ever heard anyone pair those two words as, certainly in my mind, rain cannot be "old, torn, threadbare, worn and in poor condition".
Apologies to the fledgling author - although would offer encouragement to keep trying as lots of first books are a bit wobbly. That's if you can use wobbly to discuss prose ;o))
What a wonderful and thought-provoking debut book this is. I have not found it easy to write a review without some level of spoilers.
There is so much depth in the author’s writing. I was immersed in it right from the very start. The theme is all about secrets. The title is most appropriate. After forty years of happy marriage Olivia Glass… the mother of five sons is informed one day that her husband Ben has been killed in a car accident leaving her devastated.
The family gather for the reading of the will when she is given a letter from her husband for her alone. She is shocked to the core by its contents. It reveals to her a secret she has known nothing about and cannot reveal to any of her family at this point in time.
To discover the answer to this secret that her husband has kept from her throughout most of their married life he has instructed her to visit each of their sons and spend some time with them. When she discovers what she needs to know, there is a second sealed letter she must pass on to the appropriate son.
During her visits to each son more secrets are revealed to her which which again leave her shattered. She finds she knows little of each of her son’s individual and private lives.
The individual characters are so well drawn as the author deals with his characters by giving them chapters of their own as we learn of their secrets.
I found Olivia (the family matriarch) to be a strong character. Although she loves her sons she is the sort of dominant person who both likes and expects to control. She rarely stops to think about other’s feelings before she speaks. This is made very clear as the book progresses. I found myself disliking Olivia more and more. Each chapter is told from one or other of the in-depth character’s viewpoint including Olivia’s own personal reaction as she learns so much more of the lives of each son.
As more and more secrets are revealed there is much emotional stress going on among these compelling characters and their mother. In any book of fiction, the characters must grow in one way or the other. This is so evident in every family member including Olivia. I began to admire her as she comes to terms with the family secrets and her own greater understanding of both herself and her sons.
This is one of the best books I have read in a long time and I found it a real page turner. It touched my heart and moved me to tears more than once. I recommend it highly.
Her way of dealing with this is to follow Ben’s secretive instructions, keep the sons in the dark, and to visit them all over the next few weeks and spend some time with them, which totally backfires as she discovers, even more, secrets that they are keeping from the family. It’s a big potluck of secrets and lies in this family people!
So, I hated Olivia, seriously hated her. She’s a fantastic character, and she plays her part to perfection. But my God that woman drove me nuts. She’s a control-freak, her need to know everything about everyone and to be the one who decides everything for everyone was infuriating. I swear if my Mum was like Olivia I would disown her, I couldn’t deal with all that bossiness! Wowsers!
The sons though, they are a different story, lets talk about the sons for a bit shall we?
Teddy is the eldest, a lawyer who has worked with their Father. A very serious man and in a marriage that appears to be rocky from our initial introduction to him. I found him hard to connect with for much of the book but I kept thinking there were hidden depths that there were things we weren’t seeing, as his secret unfolds a different side of him unfolds and you see a bigger personality emerge.
Matthew is the character I felt a huge affinity with, I had a LOT in common with Matt and completely connected with the secret he held. I fought his fight with him and was willing him through his situation hoping for him to come out of it. He is a wonderful character and I spent almost every moment he was on the page wanting to wrap my arms around him.
Ethan is training to be a Doctor, he’s the youngest of the brood and came across as happy and loving. His secret is moving. I know someone who went through the same thing Ethan went through and I think that may be why I was so deeply moved by his storyline, it really hit me hard and reminded me of some difficult memories. Ethan has probably the hardest secret to deal with but also the most beautiful and the one most full of love.
Caleb, oh Caleb, I would like a Caleb please. He is adorable, sweet and kind and funny. He’s also been keeping a huge secret from his family for years. I think his secret is pretty darn special, and I wouldn’t mind keeping it for myself as well, but as it’s Caleb secret I’ll let him have it.
Finally, there is Zach. I really fell for Zach, with his tattoos, and Harley. He’s a DJ and just plain yum! His secret is probably the least explosive of all of them, it’s also the one that Olivia gets most hung up on (Mom’s!) He has a wonderful attitude, not taking any shit, with a daughter he loves to the ends of the earth and an ex who he is fighting for custody.
Be warned this is a sob-fest, I cried solidly for the last two hours of this novel, not gentle tears either these were big ugly sobbing tears. Every time I thought I was stopping I turned the page and bam they would start all over. This is an author who doesn’t give us a moment to compose ourselves before dropping another emotional bomb. It’s not all sad though there are moments where I laughed out loud, one scene sticks in my mind and can dissolve me into laughter even now and secured my love of two characters in particular.
Watching Glass Shatter is an absolutely outstanding debut, I couldn’t put it down, I sobbed most of the way through, and I wanted to keep half the characters for myself.
Ben left two letters with his lawyer to be given to Olivia on his death. One of them is for Olivia, revealing Ben's secret, and the other is for the son who will be most affected by it, though she doesn't know which one. She decides to spend time with each of her sons before finding out which of them this secret affects. Olivia thought she knew her sons really well, but she's about to discover that they all have secrets of their own too!
This was very much a character driven novel, and with quite a large number of family members ( Olivia, her sister, and Olivia's five sons and their families ) I expected to get a bit lost along the way, but that wasn't the case. We were provided with an in depth look at each of them, giving great insight into what made them tick, how their vices or issues affected the way they interacted within the family dynamic. There were tears, laughter, hope, and forgiveness.
My initial thoughts on reading the synopsis were, sounds intriguing - well let me tell you, when I started reading this novel that quickly changed to, boy this is really gripping!
James Cudney deserves credit for this debut novel, he's taken me on such an emotional journey and really brought his characters to life in terms of personalities and feelings, and with such a unique storyline it makes for a real page turner!
It is skilfully written as the story unfolds through each character being gifted their own chapters. Families are complex, especially large ones, and the web of secrets hidden within this one highlight that. Cudney describes how each family member's story is edited for other members of their family. Fear, lies and deception hiding layers of secrets and, as the carefully crafted facade of Olivia the family's matriarch, disintegrates through shock and grief, then other facades within her family crumble.
'Watching Glass Shatter' is the perfect title and I am looking forward to reading more from this talented author's imagination and pen.
As all the boys are grown up and have moved out of the family home, Olivia makes the decision to spend a week with each one of them in an effort to find out for herself which is not her real son. Surely something would give him away now that she knew what she was looking for. But on her visit to each of their homes, she is shocked to learn that each one of them is hiding a secret of their own.
To give anymore away at this point would only spoil it for those who are planning to add it to their reading list. If you aren't, then you are missing a really good read. The book is well written, the characters are well developed and author James J. Cudney well deserves the 5 stars I am awarding him here. I was glued to my chair from the moment I started reading. Don't miss this outstanding book.
It is strange really, like I said I have five children, all brought up the same but not two of them are a like. They all have different careers, different friends and different life styles, Olivia’s children are just like mine. After her husband dies she knows that things are never going to be the same, especially after reading the letter. She is a little like Eve taking a bite from forbidden fruit, the rose-coloured spectacles are off and reality is more than thorny than she had ever thought possible.
Olivia goes on a bit of a quest to spend one week with each of her children before sharing the contents of the letter. It had been years since they had all been together and on the whole they have all drifted away from each other, getting on with their own lives. Olivia and Benjamin content in their own minds that their kids were all settled. The reality is far from that with each of them holding secrets and living lies.
I totally connected with the characters in the book, from the mum wanting the best for her sons, to the sons who can’t live up to fairy tale expectations. I loved getting to know the real family even though they weren’t perfect. Each of their stories is unique and with each visit Olivia begins to scratch the surface of the men her sons have become.
What comes over more than anything in this story is having the courage to talk with each other no matter how heart breaking it is or how badly someone may react to something. I hated Benjamin Glass to begin with but what terrible grief he boxed inside him. At the end of the book I wept for this man because he couldn’t share his sadness with anyone.
Having lost their patriarch, his wife Olivia seeks to heal her broken family whilst also dealing with the grief of his sudden loss. As we delve deep into the psyche of the Glass family, we unearth a series of earth-shattering (pardon the pun) secrets which has the potential to change their family forever. As Olivia grapples with the extraordinary revelations of her late husband's will, we observe her changing perspectives of her picturesque New England family.
While packed with emotion and turmoil, the book remains at its core a page-turning mystery - enticing and exciting with a little bit of romance and raunch. Author James J Cudney has crafted a beautiful and insightful debut novel, and I'd encourage everyone to pick up a copy - you certainly won't regret it.
As she sets out to visit each of her sons in turn Olivia discovers Teddy, Caleb, Matthew, Ethan and Zach are hiding their own secrets. She also has to face her own demons as the truth unfolds...
The author has created a wonderful cast of characters in a riveting plot, that is both poignant and at times incredibly humorous.
It kept me spellbound until the last page.
This is James Cudney's debut novel, and what a wonderful debut it is!
I would advise buying this book without delay. If there were more than 5 stars then I would not hesitate to give it 100. A wonderful read!