Customer Reviews for

Half Broken Things

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2009

    Sympathetic Criminals

    Despite their weak character traits and actions that range from mildly careless to downright horrific, Morag Joss is amazingly successful in making the three main characters of this story--Jean, Michael, and Steph--sympathetic to the reader. Each of them comes to Walden Manor with some baggage, a history of being or at least feeling unloved and unwanted, and that past shapes their behaviors, sending them down a dangerous path of destruction in their desperate desire to hold onto the Eden they have created for themselves. Each have long-established coping mechanisms to shut out the reality that is bubbling below the surface, but there will come a point when it can no longer be ignored. An excellent story that builds suspense.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    A gritty thriller

    Town and Country Sitters sent the letter to subcontracted house sitter Jean that after she completes the current nine-month assignment at Bath¿s Walden Manor, she will receive no further work because she will have turned sixty-five and cannot obtain insurance. Melancholy, Jean has lived alone even as an adopted child as her new parents never showered her with love. Over the years she made up imaginary relatives like her niece Jenny who cared what happens to her.................... In Walden Manor, Jean accidentally shatters a teapot containing a set of keys that enable the lonely woman to open the upstairs lock rooms and her imagination as a resident of Walden Manor. She creates a grown son that years before she was forced to give up for adoption and advertises in a magazine pleading for his return. Con artist Michael responds accompanied by a pregnant woman, Steph, whom he just met as she flees from her abusive boyfriend. The trio forges a happy home though the end state countdown begins when Steph¿s baby is born but inexplicably dies and a country curate who is visiting recognizes Michael as a thief.................... Even without Sara Selkirk appearing, Morag Joss is a brilliant virtuoso playing a dark concerto that grips the audience as few novels can. The lead trio is damaged goods that society ignores each finds solace in the loving family unit they form together leading to the audience to wonder how far any one of them or as a ¿mob¿ will go to protect what they now believe is theirs. Though British, fans of deep family dramas will appreciate this gritty thriller that recolor ¿values¿ from red to blue.................... Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2006

    Beware of the house sitter

    Half Broken Things was the first book by Morag Joss I've read, but I look forward to reading her other works. Like Rendell, Joss creates seemingly regular people with their own special problems and sets them in a relatively comfortable and safe evnironment, but it all slowly goes terribly wrong. However, since we the readers have come to relate to her characters, we want to overlook their malevolence, thus the psychological quandry. A good read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2009

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