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Book Review: Shattered Wings by Bryan Healey

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Shattered Wings tells the story of a family, John, Charlie and their little girl Cassie.  It tells how one change, the loss of John’s job, can break the family into pieces and drive John to do things he never thought possible or that he was capable of. 

This is a powerful book.  It shows the power of love and how love is not always enough.  It introduces us to a family who went from being so happy to slowly falling apart when John’s depression over not having a job drives him back to drinking, which he tried to hide from Charlie with no success. 

Charlie has seen him at the bottom before, has walked away from him until he got clean and sober and who now refuses to allow Cassie to grow up with a father who is drinking and coming home drunk.  Charlie makes the choice to take their daughter and leave, which only drives John closer and closer to his edge.

My heart truly broke for John.  He was a good guy who was dealt a bad card with getting laid off. He tried to find work but it just wasn’t coming.  He was a high paid manager and times are tough, while interview after interview led to nothing and he was ashamed of himself and embarrassed that he was not able to take care of his family the way he should.  What I didn’t understand is why he never told Charlie from the beginning about getting laid off.  He chose instead to hide it from him and act like he was going to work until the money ran out and he had no choice but to tell him.  

I could relate to Charlie as well.  He was working from home to be able to take care of their daughter during the day and his income was not as good as John’s.  Charlie tried his best to be there for John in all ways but John pushed him away.  As much as he loved John, his first priority had to be Cassie and her well being.  I could feel his struggle when he made the decision to leave.

There are no chapters in Shattered Wings.  It just starts and continues until it is finished.  I found this very interesting and thought the book flowed extremely well.  John narrates the story and jumps back and forth from today to the past — his growing up, meeting Charlie, going through the adoption process, the day Cassie was born, his past alcohol problems, and more.  We got a very in depth look into his life and I came to care about him very much.

The end blew me away.  Part expected and part totally took me by surprise.  Shattered Wings was a very hard book to put down and at times a very hard book to read.  It is one that I will continue thinking about for a very long time.

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