Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Review: House Broken by Sonja Yoerg

Title: House Broken
Author: Sonja Yoerg
Format: Paperback
Publisher: NAL
Publish Date: January 6, 2015
Source: I received a copy from the author; however, this did not affect my review.

What's the Story?:

From Goodreads.com: "For veterinarian Geneva Novak, animals can be easier to understand than people. They’re also easier to forgive. But when her mother, Helen, is injured in a vodka-fueled accident, it’s up to Geneva to give her the care she needs.

Since her teens, Geneva has kept her self-destructive mother at arm’s length. Now, with two slippery teenagers of her own at home, the last thing she wants is to add Helen to the mix. But Geneva’s husband convinces her that letting Helen live with them could be her golden chance to repair their relationship.

Geneva isn’t expecting her mother to change anytime soon, but she may finally get answers to the questions she’s been asking for so long. As the truth about her family unfolds, however, Geneva may find secrets too painful to bear and too terrible to forgive."

My Two Cents:

"House Broken" is the story of Geneva, a mom who is trying to deal with her husband's crazy close-knit family, two wild teenagers, and her mother who seems to be hell-bent on destroying herself and the family. This is a story of family secrets and the strength that it takes to keep the family together when the family has gone through a dramatic event or two. I really enjoyed the story. It's a very realistic look at one family and their struggle to understand one another.

The book is told in the third person perspective from Geneva, Geneva's daughter, Ella, and Geneva's mother, Helen. I really liked how the author chose to give us the perspective of these three characters. Each of the characters has a really unique voice and a very unique perspective on what's going on in the story. I really feel like by having these three different perspectives that it pulled me further into the book.

The family drama at the center of those book was sometimes hard to read about. Geneva's family has never been close. Geneva is close to her only brother but the rest of the siblings almost never speak. At the center of this discontent are things that have been kept secret from Geneva and some of her siblings for decades. It's the unearthing of these horrible secrets that really are at the center of this book. Through these horrible secrets, we really get a good sense of what the family has been through and why some of the characters still seem to be so affected by events of so long ago. The intricacy of all of these family secrets really pulled me into the book as well.

I will start this next paragraph with a personal caveat: to me, a mark of a good book is when you are not ready to let go of the characters when the last page ends so take this next section with a grain of salt. This book has a very open-ended ending that has me pining for a sequel (please say there is a sequel!!!). I really wanted to know what happened to Helen and why even after everything that she and Geneva have been through why she still decided to do what she did. I don't want to give anything away so I won't give you any more detail but the way the book ended was very unsatisfying for me. I want more!

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I liked how realistic the family seemed. I especially think kudos go to the author for the character of Ella. I think teenagers can be particularly difficult to write; however, this author does it with panache. I would love to read more about Geneva's family sure or maybe another selection by this author!



  1. Sounds like a great book, but the open ended ending would probably frustrate me a bit. :)


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