All The Broken Things, Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer

This was a honey of a book, a real gem. I don’t have much to say besides, read this book! When I first read the synopsis, it was strange: agent orange, Vietnamese refugees, wrestling bears, and freak shows. Those things intrigued me enough to take a peek, but the writing is what kept me engaged.

It is beautifully written and I am pleased to see that it has made it onto the Canada Reads 2016 long list. The characters are fleshed out, yet dreamlike. I wanted to hug Bo. I wanted to hold his sister, Orange, and soothe her. I don’t want to give too much away, but this was the first Bookstravaganza pick that made me cry this year. Each time I picked it up, I became fully engrossed in the beauty and sadness of the story and family.

There is a strong theme of communication throughout. With so much that is said and not said, it makes the story feel real, yet timeless and magical. Maintaining a magical quality is quite masterful, considering the amount of brutality and horror that take place throughout.

Okay, now someone else please read the book and tell me what you think. Even if we just nod, smile and say, “Yeah, I know.” And maybe a hug, I’ll take a hug too.

Music Corner:

  1. Music Box Dancer– Frank Mills- This story takes place in the late 70’s/early 80’s, as does this song. Also, can you not see a bear in a tutu dancing to this?
  2. “Creep”– Radiohead- Read the book, it will make sense.

Books Read: 9

all the broken


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