Broken Branches Review

Wednesday, 31 May 2017


Rating: 4/5
Source: ARC from Hideaway Fall

Family curses don't exist. Sure, some families seem to suffer more pain than others, but a curse? An actual curse? I don't think so.
A family tradgedy was th catalyst for Ian Perkins to return to the isolated cottage with his wife and young son. But now they are back, it seems yet more grief might befall the family. 
There is still time to act, but that means Ian must face the uncomfortable truth about his past. And in doing so, he must uncover the truth behind the supposed family curse. 
First I want to take a quick moment to commend what a friendly and blogger supportive publisher that Hideaway Fall is. Earlier this year they trusted a new blogger (that's me!) with the task of joining their team to review books as they come out, they did this by sending out dozens of blogger packs that included tea, candles and survival gear (following the cabin in the woods theme that they have established, it's not totally random). 

Broken Branches is the first book they have sent out since I received my blogger pack, so on with the review of M. Jonathan Lee's latest book!

I haven't read anything by this author before but I know of his work from reading the Hideaway Fall website. Broken Branches is a thriller, shrouded in mystery in the form of a curse that no one really believes in; except that they do and are quietly terrified by it. 

I was a little confused at the beginning of the novel, you get a lot of information very quickly and I almost felt like I missed a chapter because we very casually hear the gruesome nature of a family members death but after rereading it seems that the one sentence is all we would be getting for the being. Although I put two and two together from what was written, we don't explicitly hear about what happened for around two hundred pages, which did build suspense leading up to the inevitable moment that we learn how said person died, but I was confused very early in the book. I'm very glad I powered through to the end. 

This was another one of those books where I thought I knew what was going on but really I had no clue. Ian thinks the home he has moved his family, wife Rachel and son Harry, into is cursed and believes the only way to protect them. His marriage is on the rocks but still Ian dives into the research about his family history. 

I really like Ian. He's had a tough life and seems to be focussed on the wrong things but he isn't a bad guy. He loves his wife and his son and just wants to make sure they're safe. There's a lot of creepy things going on and when Rachel leaves with Harry things only get worse and some of the creepier moments left me holding my breath as I read. Rachel I didn't connect with, but reasons for that unfold as you read, not wanting to spoil anything, you will have a lot of questions answered.

There are some questions that still remain. About Ian's mother, his relationship with his brother and father. A lot of it seems to have been left very open, we know Ian goes off to university and leaves them behind, but what is unclear is why they chose to so actively to not speak to Ian at the few family events he attended to save face. That's just nit picking as it doesn't effect the overall story not knowing these things, Broken Branches has just left me wanting to know more about the research Ian did about his family history. 

There's a twist towards the end and this is not really a spoiler, but you will cry. I had to stop the book with less than ten pages left because I was crying real tears and couldn't see my book. Read this book at your own discretion, there's some sensitive subjects in this book regarding grief and dealing with it, so be warned that this may not be the book for you. That being said, there's something tragically beautiful about the ending, if this sounds like the book for you I doubt you'll be disappointed by the conclusion. Thank you for a great read Jonathan and the team at Hideaway Fall, I'm looking forward to what comes next.  


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