"One of the best literary books I've read." - Cathleen Townsend, author of 'Twelve Tales Of Christmas'
After 40 years of marriage, Olivia Glass thought she could handle the unexpected death of her husband. But when Ben's will reveals a life-altering secret, she suffers a blow no widow should ever experience.
Olivia learns that she gave birth to a baby who later died in the nursery. Instead of telling his wife what happened, Ben switched the child with another. And as if that's not enough, Ben's will doesn't reveal which of their five sons is truly not hers.
While an attorney searches for answers, Olivia visits each of her sons to share a final connection before facing the truth that will change their family, and discovers that each of them has been harboring a painful secret, just like their father.
Olivia challenges herself to re-assemble and save their relationships. But will the secrets destroy their family, or bring them closer together?
Praise from readers:
★★★★★ - "Cudney's début novel is both atmospheric and contemplative, and delivers a gut punch of family angst, devotion, and heartbreaking love."
★★★★★ - "The plot is well-thought out and intricately and methodically crafted. The execution is great, especially the last several chapters are stunningly beautiful. An astounding read."
★★★★★ - "A wonderful debut novel that i highly recommend to anyone."
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Every once in a while a book comes along that just resonates deep in your bones, it grabs hold of your imagination, your mind and your heart. James J. Cudney’s WATCHING GLASS SHATTER is that book for me. Contemporary family drama unfolds under duress after the death of the Glass family patriarch and the reading of his will. Secrets held for decades will rock the foundation of one wealthy family, but from the ashes new beginnings will be born. Grief among dysfunctional relationships and a revealing letter from the grave will force one mother to reassess her own role in the lives of her five sons. As she takes time to get to know each one, she will find the true meaning of motherhood and of being a “Mom.” Powerful writing, richly drawn characters and razor-taut emotional tension throughout have created a stirring family saga that is both remarkable and memorable as we hold witness to both the implosion and healing of one family who appeared to have it all. It took a loss to give them the pieces they were missing and truths to define them as whole. Keep some Kleenex handy, hold your anger in check and prepare to walk away from James J. Cudney’s writing with haunting memories and a feeling of awestruck wonder. THIS is the book I will remember in years to come.
If you like the show This is Us, you will most likely love this book as much as I did! It is family drama that literally "shatters" the Glass family when patriarch, Ben dies unexpectedly and his wife must deal with a secret he has kept from her--only to be revealed upon his death. With five grown sons who have families--and secrets of their own--Olivia is left to grapple with this shocking news as she attempts to get closer to her children before revealing the truth that has been buried for so long. It is both heartbreaking and beautiful as we witness their losses and their hostilities as they attempt to mend the cracks in their family structure in the face of tragedy. I felt a range of emotions reading this novel; I laughed and I cried at the end. Dealing with themes of love and loss, betrayals, and forgiveness, it is a book to read and to savor as you will never be the same after meeting the Glass family!
Reviewed by Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers' Favorite Watching Glass Shatter by James Cudney is the moving yet thrilling tale of one woman’s quest for answers and a way to put her family back together. Olivia Glass has everything, or so she thought. Married for forty years, when an accident takes her husband’s life, she tries hard not to fall apart for the sake of their five sons. But when the will is read, an earth-shattering secret is revealed. One of Olivia’s sons died at birth and her husband switched the baby with another without telling anyone, and he won’t reveal which one it is. Their attorney sets off on the trail to find the answers, and Olivia spends time with each of her sons and their families in turn before she is forced to reveal what could change things forever. It is then that she discovers each one of her sons has a secret of their own, and Olivia decides to pull herself together and save them. Secrets are never good, and some have the power to destroy. As the blows just keep on coming, can Olivia pull her family back together or is everything destroyed forever? Wow! Watching Glass Shatter by James Cudney is an experience not to be missed. Page 1 drew me straight into the story and from there it was hard to put it down. I loved the way each chapter surrounded separate characters, rather than the story being jumbled together; it made it much easier to follow and it also allowed each character to be developed individually as well as part of a family. They say the devil is in the detail and, Mr. Cudney, you nailed it! I was left in no doubt as to who these people were, what each of them was battling against, and the development of both characters and story together allowed me to identify with each one. I absolutely loved this book. It’s the kind of story that makes you realize that what you see isn’t always what you get, that everyone has the potential to be hiding some deep and painful secret, and that you really shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. Fabulous, looking forward to more from James Cudney.
Watching Glass Shatter is a page-turning family drama by James J. Cudney. It is an amazing debut book. I have to say, when I started, I though okay, but after a few chapters, I was sucked right into this family and all their issues. The patriarch of the Glass family, Ben, died in a tragic car accident. At the reading of the will, the lawyer presents Olivia with two mysterious letters that puts everyone on edge. Olivia, Ben's widow and matriarch of the family, realizes that she needs to spend time with each of her boys. She has been so busy with her own life, that she has lost touch with them. The secrets that she uncovers causes the family to shatter, and now she has to put tit back together. I loved the way this book was written. Each chapter was about a character, or two characters interacting. It gave us the opportunity to really get to know these characters, their issues, hopes, dreams and demons. We are able to see the relationships in the family between Olivia and her sons, the brothers with each other, and the couples together. It is interesting to see how different each of the brothers are as well as how they grieve. It is obvious they all loved Ben very much, but there were issues with Olivia. As time passes, we see them grow, admit their mistakes, follow their dreams and mend those family relationships as best they can. There were twists along the way as revelations were made and that made the story even more interesting. This book is so realistic. It could and does happen to families all the time. Sometimes it is too late or people are too ingrained in their feelings and behaviours to mend families, but it was nice to see this one could. Characters were laid bare and it was easy to get emotionally involved in this story. I think every reader would be able to identify with someone in this book. Olivia has the biggest transformation in the story, but once that starts, it snowballs with the rest of the family and they try as well. If you enjoy a good family drama, you need to read Watching Glass Shatter.