Saturday, January 03, 2009

Broken WIng by Judith James

Broken Wing by Judith JamesOK, finally hopping onto the bandwagon here... I read Broken Wing and here are my thoughts on it.

I really liked the first half of the book. I thought the way that the love story was written, the burgeoning feelings, the late night talks... all well done. I did feel as though Sarah's brother was far too schizo in his dealings with and feelings about Gabriel. One minute he was all about supporting him, and the next minute he was calling him a whore. Also, James, the young brother at the crux of the entire storyline immediately disappeared the moment he was found, save for a few stray thoughts from Gabriel on how James didn't seem to need him anymore. He felt like simply a plot device to get Gabriel into Sarah's home.

I enjoyed the epic style of the writing... for a while. Once Gabriel left, I became completely disinterested in the entire story; felt that it dragged on far too long and lost any of the sparkle that it previously held for me. I foresaw that it was deSevigny long before that tidbit was revealed. I was over the angst already.

I had mixed feelings about our heroine as well. At first, I thought it was really terrific that she would be so understanding of Gabriel and that she was so forgiving. I admired her support and caring in bringing him out of himself and making him recognize his own worth as a person. After a while, however, I felt like shouting at her to grow a backbone. She never seemed to lose her cool or get upset with this guy no matter what he did. She never seemed to hold him responsible for his actions no matter what. After a while, he needed to take a little responsibility for his own actions. Seriously.

And the hero. Gabriel. I liked him a lot. I admired the way he fought to open himself up to Sarah, and to fight to learn to like himself. Obviously, he still had a way to go by the time he was lost at sea. His actions were understandable in terms of self-preservation, but all the talk of 'I'll love you forever', and 'I'll wait for you forever', and he immediately thinks she's gone and married someone else already? What was that about?

Probably the most disjointed, stream-of-consciousness type review I've written in forever, but obviously I'm conflicted about this book. It's written very much in the old-time, sweeping, epic style, but it faltered in keeping my interest as soon as Gabriel left for his adventures. If the book had ended with their marriage right there, I would have been more satisfied. He wouldn't have had his 'satisfaction' in killing deSevigny, but I also feel like he wouldn't have needed it quite so much either. See? Still conflicted, still mired down in stream-of-consciousness and unable to bring this damn review to a close.

Anyone else out there besides Nikki and Wendy have the conflicted feelings about this book? Or did everyone else just love it to bits?


  1. Hey Lori, I read this but haven't reviewed it yet (I'm waiting for someone else to finish it :P) but you make some good points.

    Although Sarah didn't get on my nerves. And I enjoyed reading about Gabriel's exploits. His friend was interesting too.

  2. I'm still planning to read this title, but damned if I can find it. While downstate in December, I searched both B&N and Borders. No luck. I WILL read it though, despite mixed reviews and then reviews that are mixed. *g*

  3. Jen, I just sent this off to Tracy, but I'll have her send it to you when she finishes. I'll tell her to move it up to the top of this list...

  4. Ah, welcome to The Dog House Lori! I was just going to speak with Nikki about the possibility of setting up a martini bar. Hey, and if we get a few more members, maybe we can see about live music on Friday nights? LOL

  5. I didn't write a review, but I definitely didn't love this. Like many, I couldn't warm up to Sarah. I also didn't like many sections where there was too much telling, not enough showing. Also, I don't mind time jumps, but they could have been done better. This is JJ's first novel, right? I assume much of this will improve over time. I hope so anyway. For sure this was an unusual story and I think JJ has great imagination. I'd pick up another book by her. But love this? Nope, not me.

  6. LOL Wendy! I'm sure I could get Bob to play on the cheap.

    And Phyl, I agree, I'd be willing to read another book by her. There was a lot I liked, but I think she tried to do too much here.

  7. I didn't read this review because I'm going to start this book pretty soon. I'm looking forward to reading this one. =)

  8. Wendy - you silly girl - there is no dog house *laughing* But I do hope I'm invited to the martini bar!! I posted a real long ass reply at Breezing Through on why the second part worked so well for me - twice *g*. But I think Sarah was pretty ticked off at Gabriel at the end - though she did come round to understanding his reasoning on why he avoided her.
    And unlike others, who aren't in any dog house that doesn't exist though I will go for martinis - heh, heh, heh, I did really enjoy the second part just as much as the first part - all five times I read it.
    What can I say *g* this one just kicked me in the gut.

  9. Kristie, I agree with what you said about Gabriel over at Breezing Through, that he shouldn't have had to grovel (I personally dislike groveling), but I did feel like Sarah shouldn't have accepted him back no questions asked (granted she asked a couple, but there was pretty much no accountability). I think there's a difference between the two - and that was my quibble, really.

    And dang, I meant to mention that he was a cutter, but I forgot. But it made total sense.

    I would have liked reading about Gabriel's story, but I think the writing style didn't hold up for me during that section, and that's why it didn't hold my interest as much. That's the feeling I get from others as well. But it's a first book, so that's something I think she'll grow into. Like I said, I'm willing to give her the benefit of another read.

    And you can sidle on up to our martini bar any old time *g*

  10. Great review! I agree totally. I'm glad I read this book. I liked this book but it was too long. Gabriel should have stayed home where he belonged.

    Wendy, even though there is no dog house--I still vote for a martini bar!!!LOL!!


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