My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - on and off over 3 days
Pages - 294
Publisher - Hideaway Fall
Blurb from Goodreads
'Family curses don't exist. Sure, some families seem to suffer more pain than others, but a curse? An actual curse? I don't think so.'
A family tragedy was the catalyst for Ian Perkins to return to the isolated cottage with his wife and young son. But now they are back, it seems yet more grief might befall the family.
There is still time to act, but that means Ian must face the uncomfortable truth about his past. And in doing so, he must uncover the truth behind the supposed family curse.
Ian Perkins family has a curse, it has plagued the family for many years and yet the family are reluctant to talk about it. With pressures from work hanging over his head, his relationship falling apart and strange happenings at home Ian is going to get to find out the truth about the curse once and for all.
This is for sure a different read, the authors voice is unique in that I can say I haven't read a book like this before. Shrouded in secrecy, hints throughout that something is not quite right, domestic unrest and even some paranormal echos Broken Branches keeps the reader engaged page after page. I think if the chapters had been dated or named it would have made for more enjoyment, we flip from Ian's present life to years back with his family life as a child. We learn more of the house's history and snippets of the curse. Ian becomes obsessed with uncovering and proving the curse exists, having to face some harsh truths about his life and family.
The book covers a fair few themes, suicide, family dynamics, relationship breakdowns, loss, love and marriage to name just a few. At times the pace is slow going but the claustrophobic tense atmosphere remains almost throughout making for a gripping read. You know something isn't right, you just don't know what. Is it the curse, is someone messing with Ian, just what has happened to his relationship and will the curse actually be revealed?
I think the themes have been written well and some so subtly it isn't until you finish the book entirely you appreciate what certain parts where about. The past and present flip comes together too but for a wee while you are, well I was, a bit lost to what was happening. It is well written and all becomes clear, an emotive and atmospheric read. As always, I love having short chapters, especially when you are reading in between shifts and busy days, Broken Branches offers this making it easy to dip in and out.
I wasn't sure whether to 3.5 or 4 star this one, I have gone with 4 stars as the last quarter pulls it all together and despite having an inkling to where the story was headed I still got the wind knocked out of me a little. This is my first dance with this author and I will certainly read more of his work. Thanks so much to Hideaway fall and Book Connectors for putting this author on my radar, 4/5 for me this time. Broken Branches will be out to buy from 27/7/2017 so you only have to wait 5 days before you can read it too.