Fixing Forever Broken begins grotesquely, which might turn some readers off. But after those first pages in the Prologue, it develops into a sincere love story and mystery that more than redeems itself. The story concerns lies and cover-ups which, in the end, seem somewhat justified.
The dramatic story begins in 2006 with twenty-eight-year old Abby visiting her parents’ home. The place is unlocked and eerily empty. The only sound — the ticking of a huge grandfather’s clock. She walks through the house searching for either parent.
Her search takes her to the second floor where she sees the door to the attic ajar. She climbs the steps in the torrent of summer heat to find her father dangling from a high joist with a rope around his neck. Of course she is shocked.
The story flashes back to 1985. Abby is a seven-year-old girl who runs off each time her fearful father becomes loud and abusive. He owns a law firm. Where obedience and respect are concerned, the man is harsh with his two young sons and strikes out at them physically. There are times when he treats eight-year-old Abby with the same punishing violent behavior. He is always staunch and formally dressed.
Once after mouthing off at her father to protect her brother, Abby runs down the street to interact with a new playmate, Eli, who is moving in. To Abby, Eli’s father is the epitome of what a dad should be. He welcomes her into his home. He appears relaxed and dresses in jeans and T-shirts.
Throughout the book, Fixing Forever Broken develops along two themes:
1) Abby’s life in the present during and following her father’s suicide, funeral, and adjustment thereafter;
2) Abby’s life as she grows up with Eli — her best, trusted-forever friend — at her side.
Both themes are clearly and cleverly developed. The reader learns about hidden family secrets that inevitably lead to the suicide of Abby’s father. Although Abby’s psyche toward that man had been forever damaged as a youth, she learns from her mother that in his later years, her father often spoke of his children with warmth and love, particularly toward Abby.
After a lifetime of profound, unrelenting friendship, Abby and her boyhood friend Eli become romantically involved. They pledge themselves to honor one another and look toward a day when they can always be there for one another as husband and wife.
But a single thoughtless act by Abby later in life, proves more deadly to her than her father’s suicide ever will. It kills the love and warmth Abby has sought all her life: she and Eli part for many years. Shattered now, Abby is left to face life alone. All seems so hopeless and empty.
Because of the nature of this dramatic tale, readers will feel incomplete until they reach the last few pages. Why would a wealthy man who owns a law firm take his own life? Are family secrets that dreadful? Can Abby find meaning in life without the man she has loved since she was seven-years-old? Once something is broken forever, can it be fixed?
I would recommend this story as an extremely dramatic love story filled with mystery. It is heartwarming and in spite of suicide at the onset, the fervor of the love story that develops between Abby and Eli carries the story to a wonderful conclusion.
Characters are well developed. As such, I stood, hateful, with Abby at her father’s gravesite; I saw her look askance to see broken-hearted Eli standing behind the crowd of mourners. I guarantee that all who read Fixing Forever Broken will enjoy this powerful drama as much as I did.