Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Broken by Megan Hart

PAGES: 378
SETTING: Contemporary
TYPE: Erotica
SERIES: No (some characters from Dirty make an appearance)
SENSUALITY: Burning hot.

REASON FOR READING: Lots of intriguing reviews on blogs that gave this book excellent grades

My name is different every month—Brandy, Honey, Amy…sometimes Joe doesn't even bother to ask—but he never fails to arouse me with his body, his mouth, his touch, no matter what I'm called or where he picks me up. The sex is always amazing, always leaves me itching for more in those long weeks until I see him again.

My real name is Sadie, and once a month over lunch Joe tells me about his latest conquest. But what Joe doesn't know is that, in my mind, I'm the star of every X-rated one-night stand he has revealed to me, or that I'm practically obsessed with our imaginary sex life. I know it's wrong. I know my husband wouldn't understand. But I can't stop. Not yet.

You may be able to tell from the blurb above that this book is written in first person. This is Sadie Danning's story. On the first Friday of every month she has lunch on a park bench with a man she only knows as Joe. Each month Joe tells her an erotic story about a sexual encounter while Sadie imagines herself as the woman in the story. But Sadie is married.

In a strictly definitive sense she is cheating on her husband but I can't condemn her for it. This is not a story about infidelity. Sadie deeply loves her husband Adam. But a serious accident has left him a quadriplegic. Adam is bitter and angry and has emotionally withdrawn from their marriage. Sadie is a therapist so during the day she is helping her patients and in the evenings and on weekends she is taking care of her husband's physical needs. But no one is taking care of Sadie. She doesn't want to cheat on Adam (and doesn't in the physical sense) but these once a month lunches with Joe are an emotional release where she can feel like a woman. I'm convinced that all people need love and they need to be touched. Without it something detrimental happens to their emotional and mental well-being. There is a powerfully emotional scene when during a massage Sadie realizes it has been a very long time since she has been touched and she has an emotional breakdown. It was heart wrenching and I cried along with her. The amazing thing was that the masseuse just continued on and said it happens all the time. I can believe this. Touch is a powerful thing.

At first I wanted to hate Joe for his easy sexual conquests and one night stands, but gradually I became convinced that Joe was actually falling for Sadie and was in a way seducing her. In fact at one point I started to think he was making these stories up for her sake. That's my opinion, others may see something else.

Broken is not a romance but there is love here and hope and I read the last page with a sense of optimism for Sadie's future happiness. I couldn't stop thinking about it long after I had closed the book. Sadie's inner dialogue is compelling and her loneliness especially painful to read. The book is dark and pushes the boundaries of morality and I found it moving. Broken might make some readers uncomfortable but I loved it. It's about real imperfect people with real faults and problems.



Rosario said...

This is one book that doesn't sound at all like something I'd like, but seeing all the good reviews on the blogs has convinced me to try it anyway.

Rosie said...

I just commented to someone the other day how great it is when you read that a book got a similar reaction from another reader. Ms. Hart was a new to me author in 2007 and her two books DIRTY and BROKEN are among my best reads for the year so far.

Compelling and thought provoking. I couldn't put them down.

ReneeW said...

Rosario: Oh, you must try it. I'm pretty sure you will like it. I was skeptical at first but the number of accolades about this book finally convinced me and I'm glad I read it.

Rosie: I agree 100% and I think your review was one of many to convince me to read it.

Anne said...

VERY well said. Broken and Dirty are two of my best of 2007 reads. Wonderful.

Kristie (J) said...

I've been very tempted by this one too.
Nobody's giving away the ending though :(
If you could email me with the ending - that would be ever so lovely. I'm an end reader and I'd like to know this one before I put the 'higher than I normally pay' money down.

ReneeW said...

Anne: Thanks! I'm know it will be up there in my top reads of the year too.

Kristie: I would be happy to! I was the same way. I got this one from the library because I didn't want to shell out the cash but now I'm going to buy my own copy.

Chantal said...

I also thought about this one for a long time after I finished it.
It made me think, thats for sure.

ReneeW said...

Chantal: I did the same thing. In fact I still think about it quite a bit. Great book.

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