Book Review: Broken Homes and Gardens

Review for Chick Lit Central

I have to admit, I initially wanted to read Broken Homes & Gardens because I grew up in Salem, Oregon, located about an hour from Portland, where the story primarily takes place. I found myself feeling quite homesick. Rebecca Kelley is so incredibly descriptive, I felt like I was sitting right there with her, during the drizzly rains and evergreen landscapes. It’s that descriptive quality that brought forth Joanna and Malcolm, two characters who you immediately become attached to. So much so, you don’t want to stop reading, wanting to know where their journey takes them.

After Joanna meets Malcolm at a party, there’s an instant connection between the two of them. She finds herself in a bit of a situation with him, only to say goodbye as he heads off to the Peace Corps for two years. Even though they decide to date separately, no one else can ever measure up to what Joanna and Malcolm have. Even after he returns, and she’s moved on, neither of them can ever move on from one another. It constantly feels as though there’s unfinished business between them.

Malcolm never wants to get serious over someone, and Joanna is afraid to get too close. She’s a product of divorced parents, and doesn’t want to ever go through that again. It’s a lot easier to date someone until it runs it’s course. Malcolm doesn’t want to get tied down, either. What do you do when you find yourself in love, even when you don’t want to be in love? Often, these two run away from it, and hide from their true feelings. It’s safer, but it creates a lot of problems. Not to mention heartache.

My only gripe with “Broken Homes” was the ending. After reading the very last sentence, I felt disgruntled. It was beautifully written, like the rest of the book, yet it left me wanting more. Where do they go from here? What’s next? Hopefully, Rebecca Kelley has plans for Joanna and Malcolm, extending on their story. It’s an unconventional romance worth reading and falling in love with.

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