I have to say that I found the title off putting at first – Broken Pieces does not sound like a very inspirational read. It sounded depressing, as though the traumas that she went through somehow gained victory over her.
Thankfully that couldn’t be further from the truth. In my view (and of course each reader perceives a story in their own way) the title is ambiguous. It partly refers to the disjointed style of her story and partly to the fact that she did indeed feel broken or shattered by her experiences – emphasis on the past tense.
The way she presents each piece gave me a nice impression. It feels like the reader has been given a bird’s eye view into the mind of a daydreamer sitting on a porch on a wet afternoon. But rather than being a catalogue of idle reminiscence she is analysing how she became the person she is today – how the broken pieces all came together as one to make the whole that weathered the storm.
For me the backbone of this book is about learning. Learning to make sense of her feelings and responses. Learning to acknowledge them no matter how difficult and at times you sense it may have seemed much easier to deny them but life has taught her the folly of that. She learns the way of the world and learns that she as well as the rest of us are still learning in one way or another and always will be – which is surely in part why she wrote this.
Her reflections cover a variety of subjects both random and sometimes disturbing. But instead of dragging the reader into a morass of emotional outpourings she handles these ‘pieces’ or ‘essays’ with the authority of someone who is firmly in control of the past and has a healthy respect for it. It is the vehicle that has bought her to where she is today.
There is rawness to Broken Pieces that will give you shivers. This comes from knowing that she has given so much of herself in sharing her story. As a famous writer once said “writing is easy. All you have to do is sit down at the keyboard, open up a vein and bleed.”
Because of this Broken Pieces will not be everyone’s cup of tea. It is not a fluffy read, but it is I promise you a deeply stirring read (pardon the pun) and one you will remember for sometime to come.