Title: Broken Things to Mend
Author: Karey White
Publisher: Orange Door Press
Release Date: January 2016
Length: 262 pages
Series?: Broken Things to Mend #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Celia is in desperate need of a change–a change of scenery, a change of pace, and a complete redo of all relationships. Not knowing what else to do, she opens a map, closes her eyes, and lets fate decide her future. Then she packs her meager belongings and buys a one-way ticket to a little town on the fringes of Oregon’s Deschutes National Forest called Sisters. She’s wanted a family for years. Will she find one in Sisters?
What Celia doesn’t plan to find is a strange Chinese woman whose meddling ways keep throwing her in the path of a handsome, but reserved, forest ranger. But no matter how kind or dependable Silas seems to be, there are some things in Celia’s past that neither of them can escape, and this time, the damage might be too much to mend.
***** Review *****
Pearl has a way with people. She knows how to bring them together to start that spark, and that is exactly what she does with a wonderful couple. And then she does the same for their grown son.
Silas is a dependable but reserved man. He carries his share of shame and embarrassment. He has taken up the post of forest ranger since it allows him a lot of time to work in solitude. But his quiet little world gets shaken up when Celia Edwards strolls into town…or rather, breaks down where a little old Chinese woman directs him to.
Celia is running from her own demons and desperately needs this change of pace and change of life. She grew up with too much change, so she isn’t looking to hang around until Pearl works out an arrangement for boarding with none other than Silas’s aunt – the very woman who raised him.
Unfortunately, there are always consequences for one’s actions, and Celia can’t keep all of her secrets for long.
- Pearl – the little old Chinese lady matchmaker
- Celia – a young woman on the run who ended up in Sisters, Oregon
- Silas – a quiet forest ranger orphan with a stutter, keeps to himself
- Nancy – Silas’s aunt, who took him in as a child; she boards Celia
Since she was bearing false witness against her neighbor, would God give her a pass? Probably not.
Even though Celia was a determined girl, she seemed broken and fragile, like a china cup that’s been dropped and repaired too many times.
The Highs and Lows
- + Setting. Sisters, Oregon. As Celia made her choice to go to Sisters after her teardrop fell on its name on the Oregon map, it does indeed sound friendly and welcoming. The town has that small-town feel full of good people.
One thing she knew for certain. She would never go back to Chicago. She’d had enough of sorrow and disappointment and rejection and brutality. In one day she’d been shown more kindness than she’d experienced since the Hundleys.
- + Emotional connection. More toward the latter half of the book I was booked up tight with earlier chapters when other ideas were buzzing around.
- Pearl. She is an amazing matchmaker. I like how she didn’t get it perfect and just right the first time, or even the second time. I feel this made her more authentic. Even though she knows, it is ultimately left up to fate.
Every once in a while there was something about a match that stayed with Pearl and ate at her like a flat-headed borer beetle gnawing away at the leaves of a sycamore.
Not every couple she matched stayed with her. Pearl knew some stories from the day they met until the time they died. Others she barely knew their names. Most often, Pearl worked her magic then moved on. There were so many who needed what she had to offer.
- + Celia’s bravery. Celia is a very brave young woman. She tries not to depend on others as it has burned her in the past. With the most recent events, on the run with virtually no money, fleeing the depths of Chicago, Celia maintains this courage that holds her together.
Everything about her looked young except her eyes. There was something about the far-off cage that spoke of loss and sadness and something else. Silas wasn’t sure what it was, but her eyes triggered something inside him and he wanted to know what lived behind their sorrow.
- + Silas. He is so kind and gentle. I almost pictured him like a tall, lanky giant. He’s a forest ranger, and very used to fighting the notorious fires in the western United States.
Silas had spent his life avoiding connections with people. It was easier to be a loner than to watch the discomfort and pity people felt when they were talking to him. If he steered clear of others, he could avoid most of the looks of curiosity or confusion or pity.
- + Nancy. She is kindness itself. The woman takes Celia on as a boarder, in exchange for helping with her annual garden. Nancy was such a thoughtful, caring woman. I was incredibly proud of her character. She is just what Celia needed.
Celia reached up her hand and Nancy took it. when she spoke, her voice was shaky and uncertain. “Nancy, I really need a friend.”
Nancy knelt down beside her and held Celia’s hand between both of hers. “Oh sweet girl, I know you do. Do you mind if your friend is an old woman?”
- + The poignant writing style.
As the morning sun rose, the streets became more crowded and energetic and lively. Celia moved unnoticed among the people who moved toward work and opportunity and success. She seemed to be the only person who didn’t know where they were going.
His fingers were long, the knuckles a little knobby and the veins raised over their surface like a mountain range on a map.
The part I enjoyed the most was the reference’s to the three mountain peaks near Sisters. They are named Hope, Faith and Charity. Silas and Celia make up a legend for the three mountains as they take a drive for ice cream. The banter and the sweetness underlying anything between Silas and Celia is refreshing.
Recommendation – Buy, Borrow or Skip?
***** About the Author *****
Karey White grew up in Utah, Idaho, Oregon, and Missouri. She attended Ricks College and Brigham Young University. Her first novel, Gifted, was a Whitney Award Finalist.
She loves to travel, read, bake treats, and spend time with family and friends. She and her husband are the parents of four great children. She teaches summer creative writing courses to young people and is currently working on her next book.
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