Wednesday, December 10, 2014

House Broken

TITLE: House Broken
AUTHOR: Sonja Yoerg
RELEASE DATE: January 6, 2015

FROM GOODREADS: In this compelling and poignant debut novel, a woman skilled at caring for animals must learn to mend the broken relationships in her family.…

For veterinarian Geneva Novak, animals can be easier to understand than people. They’re also easier to forgive. But when her mother, Helen, is injured in a vodka-fueled accident, it’s up to Geneva to give her the care she needs.

Since her teens, Geneva has kept her self-destructive mother at arm’s length. Now, with two slippery teenagers of her own at home, the last thing she wants is to add Helen to the mix. But Geneva’s husband convinces her that letting Helen live with them could be her golden chance to repair their relationship.

Geneva isn’t expecting her mother to change anytime soon, but she may finally get answers to the questions she’s been asking for so long. As the truth about her family unfolds, however, Geneva may find secrets too painful to bear and too terrible to forgive.

I received this book from Penguin First to Read and I thank them for the opportunity to read an advanced copy. This book wasn't really what I expected. I think I felt it would be a light-hearted contemporary and have some cute dogs in it - I mean, look at that cover. Of course, I can blame myself because I apparently didn't pay close attention to the synopsis. That being said, I am glad I didn't and truly enjoyed this novel.

This book is family dysfunction at its best. But not comical family dysfunction, dark and severely messed up dysfunction. Geneva clearly had a crazy childhood and it is a wonder she grew up and is as successful as she is. But Geneva got off lucky, because some of her family had it rougher than her.

I enjoyed getting to know the characters. None of them are extremely likable, and it takes some time to get used to Geneva's alcoholic mother, Helen. The book is told from duel perspectives which works extremely well for the story being told. There ARE some animals in it because after all, Geneva is a vet. The author did a great job of introducing a few dogs which end up mirroring characters in the book. It is a subtle symbolism, but it is there.

I am glad I picked up this book and I recommend it to anyone who is in the mood for a well written novel about families and all their goodness and badness. 

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