Shattered Wings

Shattered Wings

by Bryan Healey

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781456398354
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 04/19/2012
Pages: 264
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.55(d)

About the Author

Bryan Healey studied Computer Science at Northeastern University before becoming a technology leader, specializing in start-up development. He holds an additional BA in English and an MBA in Project Management. He has technical expertise in machine learning, data science, web development, and system scale; he has literary expertise in fiction and essay writing. Bryan lives in Boston with his beautiful wife.

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Shattered Wings 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
shelleyrae More than 1 year ago
Despite the slow signs of recovery, the Global Financial Crisis continues to impact heavily on society. While unemployment and the subsequent financial pressure may be the immediate consequence of the credit crunch, it is the long term individual repercussions that continue to reverberate. In Shattered Wings, John's unexpected 'downsizing' triggers a spiraling descent into depression and alcoholism. The main breadwinner for his family that includes stay at home husband Charlie and daughter Cassie, John is initially confident he will find a new position quickly and hides his unemployment as he searches for work. As the days and then weeks pass, his optimism fades and as his stress levels mount John reverts to old patterns of coping - alcohol and denial. Eventually his secrets are revealed and John risks losing much more than his career. Shattered Wings is an emotionally hard hitting novel, brutally demonstrating the destabilising effects of unemployment in our financially troubled times. It is not just the the loss of income that affects the individual, the impact on self esteem, identity and sense of security is equally as devastating, particularly for the main breadwinner who has a family who relies on him as John does. I was very sympathetic to John's shock at being made redundant and his hurt and frustration as it became obvious that he was unlikely to find employment again quickly. The author skillfully illustrates John's devolving confidence and increasing desperation. As we are shown through a series of flashbacks, John was already vulnerable to stress, he had had issues with alcohol that had previously jeopardised his relationship with his husband and like many alcoholics was under the delusion he could control it. When he begins drinking again after being made redundant it contributes significantly to the disintegration of his relationship. The drinking also robs John of his motivation, his common sense and eventually his sense of self preservation resulting in a shocking climax. This is a well written novel, told in the first person through a series of flashbacks and the current agonies of his circumstance. While the division between the past and present is made clear in the narrative, the formatting in my e-version could be improved to define it more clearly. Shattered Wings is a powerful story with timely relevance. Thought provoking and poignant this novel is sure to have an emotional impact.
penandtome More than 1 year ago
Love fails in light of job loss and depression. *** The real agony felt when one loses a job and its devastating effects on his or her family is too often a common story in these difficult times. Author Bryan Healey traces John's spiraling downfall from his job loss, drinking problem and failure to communicate with those he loves. This story shows the real life agony from the choices John made and his actions and interactions as a son, as a father to Cassie and as a spouse to Charlie. This story isn't just about being unemployed, gay, alcoholic, or suicidal; it is a clear, careful description that shows when people make choices in life, it affects those around them. In hindsight, there is always a way to step aside and make a different choice away from the destructive path, but a person may fail to see possibilities or simply choose not to take the first step.
onyx9 More than 1 year ago
Overcoming so much in his life, John had finally found happiness with his partner Charlie and their adopted daughter Cassie. Having already put his life back together from drinking once, being laid off from his job, a job he loved and did well, led John to make bad decisions. Not telling Charlie that he was laid off, John was convinced that he could get another job before his severance pay ran out. Leaving everyday like he was heading out to work when in reality he was spending most of his time looking for a job. As option got less and job offers got even worse, John found other ways to spend his time. Even after Charlie found out what had been happening, John continued to make a string of poor choices that led to fewer options, for them all. *** While I did have a difficult time getting into this story (don't really know why), I liked the character interaction and even the flashback type sections that gave the story of how his life had progressed and how he had come to be in a good place. To bad he couldn't realize that he had more options from the beginning. There wasn't' enough of Charlie for me, and some of the decisions that John made actually annoyed me but for a time the loving relationship was nice to see (I prefer the happy every after stories). The end was not shocking to me, it probably was suppose to have been, but I could kind of see it coming.
Jennmarie68 More than 1 year ago
This one I thought would be a bit difficult for me to read. So many of us right now are struggling with losing our jobs, not having the money to make ends meet, and all the other stresses that come along for the ride. It's a difficult subject to talk about, let alone get emotionally attached to in a story (as I almost always get emotionally attached to the stories I read). My fear was that I would be emotionally drained after reading this. Healey masterfully pulled off a story that let me get attached, but didn't drain me, and actually let me wanting to keep reading. The character development was so great in this book. John comes off as a bit of a jerk (sometimes a lot of a jerk) but he was still likeable. I really attached to him and even though I felt like he needed a swift kick in the you know what I still felt the pain and anguish that he was going through. I just wanted things to work out good for him. As the book progresses we are taken back through important moments in his life that give us a little more insight into how his life has progressed. We get to meet Charlie with him, we get to see him when his daughter is born, we get to see all the important events that have gone on in his life. Being privy to these moments really helped to form the bond that I built with John. I think it takes a great author to be able to pull of flashbacks in a story without making the story feel choppy. The flashbacks sometimes confused me, as I would get lost in the story and I wouldn't realize that I was in a flashback. I think that is my only criticism of this book, while the flashbacks didn't deter from the story I didn't always pick up on the fact that I had jumped into the flashback. But I think this is more due to my reading habits rather than an error on the author's part. But overall it was a great book. I really liked the characters, even when I didn't want to. There were some great twists that really made John's situation that much more desperate. The ending was great, I had part of it pegged, but the last twist really threw me for a loop. I was left with a few questions, but I didn't feel like I was left with an unfinished story. Enough was answered to keep me satiated, and enough was left unanswered to make the ending quite intriguing. A review copy of this book was provided by the author. This is not a paid review and is a truthful and honest review.
RonFritsch More than 1 year ago
Bryan Healey's novel, Shattered Wings, won me over completely. The descent of his protagonist, John, from his delightfully gay heaven-with a good job, an attractive and almost saintly lover, and an adopted daughter they both adore-to the hell his bigoted and yet knowing father had predicted all along (thus "shattered wings") is believable, intense, and tragic. John has a drinking problem. In order to keep his partner, Charlie, and his daughter, Cassie-his family-John stops drinking but struggles to remain abstinent. Then, apparently a victim of the recent economic crisis, he loses his job. The bookends to Healey's story seem quite right to me. The beginning immediately arouses dread. The ending boldly goes, in the confessional first person no less, where many writers would lack the courage to go. Reading Shattered Wings is like viewing an Ed Norton movie, where we're thinking, we love you, man; you don't need to do what you're doing to yourself. Does his character hear our plea? Of course not. He's on the screen in a magnificent fall. We're on our couch. Those of us who read and admire thoughtful, serious fiction know a John. We sometimes see him when we look in our mirrors. I readily gave him the benefit of every doubt, even as he refused to do what I wanted him to do. His struggle, emanating from his father's rejection, is too familiar and true for him not to capture our sympathy as if it were prey. Readers should know that Healey handles his "sex" scenes with admirable restraint. I found it good to know that, yeah, John and Charlie are very much in love with one another that way, too. But Healey wisely knows he doesn't have to provide a play-by-play account in this kind of story. He can let us imagine the details, or not, as we see fit. I'm looking forward to what Bryan Healey next has to offer his readers. I hope he continues to write realistic fiction. The horror in an honest and realistic depiction of the world as we know it, as in Shattered Wings, can far exceed the make-believe horror in the genre realms. Unlike the magical world, where anything horrific or beautiful can happen but invariably doesn't, since that world doesn't exist, the real world's horrors and beauties more thoroughly frighten or move us simply because they're real and can happen to us all. I'm keeping my eye on Bryan Healey.
Ravenswood_Reviews More than 1 year ago
"Shattered Wings," is the story of a homosexual man with a family and his struggle with alcoholism. It shows how the stresses of daily life can drag you so far down that it's hard to claw your way back up. After losing his job with a company he's served since his graduation from college, he tries hard to find another in the meantime filling in what he feels are the missing pieces of his life with alcohol. He keeps his lay-off a secret from his fiance' Charlie, and begins a downward spiral into an all-consuming darkness. It is a riveting tale as you catch glimpses into John's past and begin to understand just how hard his life has been, where his only light moments have consisted of those shared with his fiance' and their adopted daughter, Cassie. The ending is shocking! The author, Bryan Healey, has done an excellent job on this story as you can't help but to empathize with his main character. A very worthy read. -Kitty Bullard / Great Minds Think Aloud Book Club
Robert_Medak More than 1 year ago
Shattered Wings is a fiction tale about how one's personal life can spiral down out of control, and the repercussions of not having people in your life. We all need friends, family, or someone to confide in when life hits you with a dump truck full of lemons. Follow John's trip down his personal slippery slope. How does John handle his life when he loses what is most important to him? Why won't he talk about it to his roommate? What in John's life created his current way of handling things? Although this is a work of fiction, there may be many going through similar situations and not fairing any better than John is with his. Shattered Wings' tale could also be happening right in your own community. What resources are there for someone like John? Should John's lifestyle and longevity with one company be a detriment on someone's résumé in finding a job? There are many aspects to Shattered Wings than meets the reader's eyes. There could be many going through what John is in Shattered Wings. This reviewer found Shattered Wings to be an unusual read. The review copy that I received needs a great deal of editing before consideration for publication, until these changes are made, this reviewer awards Shattered Wings 3 out of 5 stars.
Valca85 More than 1 year ago
I'm still in a bit of a shock at the ending. I finished it a couple of hours ago after having spent yesterday reading the majority of the book, and let me tell you, this is one powerful book. So, John is a recovered alcoholic who seems to have everything figured out: he has a wonderful partner, Charlie, and an adopted daughter Cassie, who love him very much, a house, a job that provides for all of them well. And suddenly, it all falls to pieces. He loses his job and the downward spiral begins. We follow him as he makes one wrong decision after another, gasping at his choices, all the while asking ourselves "what would I have done?"The plotline sounds relatively tame, but I can assure you it is anything but. Some scenes are so thick with tension I actually had to put the book down and watch some meaningless tv show. The author has managed to captured the oppressed atmosphere that John is living in, and the reader also begins to feel trapped, begins to wait for a cell phone to ring that never does. The writing itself is good. There are some editing issues that could have easily been fixed, such as missing consonants, etc. but none of it should deter anyone from picking this book up. Just make sure you have something light to turn to when you start feeling overwhelmed.
bemislibrary on LibraryThing 7 months ago
Love fails in light of job loss and depression.*** The real agony felt when one loses a job and its devastating effects on his or her family is too often a common story in these difficult times. Author Bryan Healey traces John¿s spiraling downfall from his job loss, drinking problem and failure to communicate with those he loves. This story shows the real life agony from the choices John made and his actions and interactions as a son, as a father to Cassie and as a spouse to Charlie. This story isn¿t just about being unemployed, gay, alcoholic, or suicidal; it is a clear, careful description that shows when people make choices in life, it affects those around them. In hindsight, there is always a way to step aside and make a different choice away from the destructive path, but a person may fail to see possibilities or simply choose not to take the first step.
onyx95 on LibraryThing 7 months ago
Overcoming so much in his life, John had finally found happiness with his partner Charlie and their adopted daughter Cassie. Having already put his life back together from drinking once, being laid off from his job, a job he loved and did well, led John to make bad decisions. Not telling Charlie that he was laid off, John was convinced that he could get another job before his severance pay ran out. Leaving everyday like he was heading out to work when in reality he was spending most of his time looking for a job. As option got less and job offers got even worse, John found other ways to spend his time. Even after Charlie found out what had been happening, John continued to make a string of poor choices that led to fewer options, for them all.While I did have a difficult time getting into this story (don`t really know why), I liked the character interaction and even the flashback type sections that gave the story of how his life had progressed and how he had come to be in a good place. To bad he couldn¿t realize that he had more options from the beginning. There wasn¿t¿ enough of Charlie for me, and some of the decisions that John made actually annoyed me but for a time the loving relationship was nice to see (I prefer the happy every after stories). The end was not shocking to me, it probably was suppose to have been, but I could kind of see it coming.
angieanzaldua on LibraryThing 7 months ago
This is a great book . I loved the story, the struggles are,real. The alcoholism and the loss of income are true stuggles and the author caputured it beatifully and authenticlly. Its a must read I loved it
aparna_sethuraman on LibraryThing 7 months ago
I got this book through the Library Thing Member Giveaway and loved it!!! I havent finished reading it yet but wanted to comment on it anyway! The story revolves around a gay couple John and Charlie. They have adopted a daughter Cassie. John has everything he could ever hope for.. a partner he loves, a daughter and a nice job. Until one day he gets laid off. He is scared of telling his family about what happened and starts living a lie. He starts drinking and ends up losing all he had. The story is written from John's point of view and switches back from the present to the past in flashbacks. It shows the challenges being faced by people who get laid off in the recession. Definitely a must read!!!
RonFritsch on LibraryThing 7 months ago
Bryan Healey's novel, Shattered Wings, won me over completely. The descent of his protagonist, John, from his delightfully gay heaven¿with a good job, an attractive and almost saintly lover, and an adopted daughter they both adore¿to the hell his bigoted and yet knowing father had predicted all along (thus "shattered wings") is believable, intense, and tragic.John has a drinking problem. In order to keep his partner, Charlie, and his daughter, Cassie¿his family¿John stops drinking but struggles to remain abstinent. Then, apparently a victim of the recent economic crisis, he loses his job.The bookends to Healey's story seem quite right to me. The beginning immediately arouses dread. The ending boldly goes, in the confessional first person no less, where many writers would lack the courage to go.Reading Shattered Wings is like viewing an Ed Norton movie, where we're thinking, we love you, man; you don't need to do what you're doing to yourself. Does his character hear our plea? Of course not. He's on the screen in a magnificent fall. We're on our couch.Those of us who read and admire thoughtful, serious fiction know a John. We sometimes see him when we look in our mirrors. I readily gave him the benefit of every doubt, even as he refused to do what I wanted him to do. His struggle, emanating from his father's rejection, is too familiar and true for him not to capture our sympathy as if it were prey.Readers should know that Healey handles his "sex" scenes with admirable restraint. I found it good to know that, yeah, John and Charlie are very much in love with one another that way, too. But Healey wisely knows he doesn't have to provide a play-by-play account in this kind of story. He can let us imagine the details, or not, as we see fit.I'm looking forward to what Bryan Healey next has to offer his readers. I hope he continues to write realistic fiction.The horror in an honest and realistic depiction of the world as we know it, as in Shattered Wings, can far exceed the make-believe horror in the genre realms. Unlike the magical world, where anything horrific or beautiful can happen but invariably doesn't, since that world doesn't exist, the real world's horrors and beauties more thoroughly frighten or move us simply because they're real and can happen to us all.I'm keeping my eye on Bryan Healey.
Justjenniferreading on LibraryThing 7 months ago
This one I thought would be a bit difficult for me to read. So many of us right now are struggling with losing our jobs, not having the money to make ends meet, and all the other stresses that come along for the ride. It's a difficult subject to talk about, let alone get emotionally attached to in a story (as I almost always get emotionally attached to the stories I read). My fear was that I would be emotionally drained after reading this. Healey masterfully pulled off a story that let me get attached, but didn't drain me, and actually let me wanting to keep reading. The character development was so great in this book. John comes off as a bit of a jerk (sometimes a lot of a jerk) but he was still likeable. I really attached to him and even though I felt like he needed a swift kick in the you know what I still felt the pain and anguish that he was going through. I just wanted things to work out good for him. As the book progresses we are taken back through important moments in his life that give us a little more insight into how his life has progressed. We get to meet Charlie with him, we get to see him when his daughter is born, we get to see all the important events that have gone on in his life. Being privy to these moments really helped to form the bond that I built with John. I think it takes a great author to be able to pull of flashbacks in a story without making the story feel choppy. The flashbacks sometimes confused me, as I would get lost in the story and I wouldn't realize that I was in a flashback. I think that is my only criticism of this book, while the flashbacks didn't deter from the story I didn't always pick up on the fact that I had jumped into the flashback. But I think this is more due to my reading habits rather than an error on the author's part. But overall it was a great book. I really liked the characters, even when I didn't want to. There were some great twists that really made John's situation that much more desperate. The ending was great, I had part of it pegged, but the last twist really threw me for a loop. I was left with a few questions, but I didn't feel like I was left with an unfinished story. Enough was answered to keep me satiated, and enough was left unanswered to make the ending quite intriguing.A review copy of this book was provided by the author. This is not a paid review and is a truthful and honest review.
tanyaj101 on LibraryThing 7 months ago
Let me start by saying, I liked this book. The author touched me with the story, so much in fact that I was weepy.With that said, I had a difficult time with the flashback style that the author uses to depict "remembering" for the character. It is one of my pet peeves when I am reading. I personally find it annoying.However, as I said, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I will read more from this author in the future.
RavenswoodPublishing on LibraryThing 7 months ago
BRYAN HEALEY'S "SHATTERED WINGS" (A REVIEW)"Shattered Wings," is the story of a homosexual man with a family and his struggle with alcoholism. It shows how the stresses of daily life can drag you so far down that it's hard to claw your way back up. After losing his job with a company he's served since his graduation from college, he tries hard to find another in the meantime filling in what he feels are the missing pieces of his life with alcohol. He keeps his lay-off a secret from his fiance' Charlie, and begins a downward spiral into an all-consuming darkness. It is a riveting tale as you catch glimpses into John's past and begin to understand just how hard his life has been, where his only light moments have consisted of those shared with his fiance' and their adopted daughter, Cassie. The ending is shocking! The author, Bryan Healey, has done an excellent job on this story as you can't help but to empathize with his main character. A very worthy read.-Kitty Bullard / Great Minds Think Aloud Book Club
lahochstetler on LibraryThing 7 months ago
Shattered Wings is a story of job loss and the destruction that follows. Recovered alcoholic John is an executive and is his family's breadwinner. When he is laid off in a corporate downsizing he finds that he can't cope. Getting a new job becomes more of a challenge than he anticipated, and John can't bring himself to tell his partner, Charlie, or his daughter, Cassie, about his job loss. Instead he leaves the house each morning and winds up in a bar. What follows is a downward spiral that ends in crisis. This is certainly a very timely book, and most people who've lost a job will be able to sympathize with John's feelings of helplessness, and his utter frustration at the state of job hunting. There were certain parts I found rather difficult to understand, especially John's inability to tell Charlie that he had lost his job. My main complaint with the book was that I found the constant back and forth from present to memory distracting. In all honesty, I didn't find John's past to be all that interesting. The present was the more intriguing part of the story. Still, this is a well-written and readable novel, that touches on issues of contemporary importance.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago