Watching Glass Shatter by James J. Cudney

So, this marks my first official read for 2018.  It also helps me check off W in my AtoZ Reading Challenge as well as the US in my Read Around the World Challenge.  And boy, what a way to kick off all of this at once.

Olivia Glass has just buried her beloved husband, Ben, to find that he kept a secret about one of their five sons from her during their marriage.  In an attempt to learn more about each son as she unravels this mystery, she pushes herself to visit each of them on their terms.  She learns that her husband wasn’t the only one with secrets and that she has a lot to learn in life if she wants to keep her family together.

I’m not sure why I thought there was going to be more mystery novel in this, but I did a little bit going into it.  Fair warning, friends, it’s not a mystery novel, but that’s not a bad thing.  I also thought it was a tear jerker.  I don’t know that I’ve cried that hard at a book since I discovered Nicholas Sparks and read A Walk To Remember.  But, I’m also an easy crier, so maybe not everyone will react quite that strongly.

Ok, a couple things I didn’t love…

  • I was a little frustrated that there wasn’t a ton of background on the history between Olivia and her sons.  The boys feel very much disconnected and almost distrustful of their mother when it comes to their lives and feelings.  Without having lived life with her, it was a little difficult for me to just jump on board with the negativity when it felt like she was trying.

  • The descriptions of people did help me play my “book movie” in my head, but frequently focused on the body more than the face.  With such an emotional story, I found myself longing to read about what their eyes conveyed as a character said or heard something.

Now, a few things I did love…

  • Each chapter is like a little vignette.  The book follows a linear story line, but it skips a lot of the details.  At first I thought “Gah, this is driving me crazy,” but I eventually let go of my expectations and really enjoyed the snapshots of life in the Glass family.  I know this isn’t The House on Mango Street, so they’re not true vignettes, but it had that feel, and I liked it.
  • There was true character growth.  Not just in one character, but in several.  I think all too often the focus is on the main character and the others are just there to move the story forward.  This didn’t do that, and I appreciated that all of the characters in whom the reader invests got moments to shine.
  • The decisions at the end were the right ones.  We all have our own thoughts on how stories should end or how we think they will end.  I think this fit both of those for me, but not in a way that felt contrived.  It felt appropriate.  Some decisions are brutal.  Some of those are in this book.  Even through my tears, it felt oddly uplifting.

So, what do I think you should do?  Give Watching Glass Shatter a read, friend.  It’s not Fantasy or Sci Fi; it’s not Romance which we know I love, but it’s a good read.  It takes you on a journey that leaves you feeling fulfilled.

16 thoughts on “Watching Glass Shatter by James J. Cudney

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