Outskirts Press (2015)
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (11/15)
“The Ashes of a Broken Life” by Roberta Kennedy tells the story of love and loss, family and friends, deception and betrayal. Flannery and Derek ended their engagement several years ago when Flannery’s half- sister Chloe led them to believe that Derek had gotten her pregnant. Chloe was actually pregnant from Derek’s brother and continued her affair with him during the entire six years of marriage to Derek. When Chloe’s abhorrent behavior reaches the point that Derek can no longer stand it, he divorces her. In addition to her infidelity, she has become neglectful and abusive to their two young children. She has also developed an addiction to drugs, which only made matters worse.
While Derek is trying to piece his family back together, Flannery appears. Their relatives have always wanted the two of them together and know that the relationship should never have ended. With Chloe’s deceptions out in the open, Flannery and Derek turn to focus on each other and his children. In addition to working on their new relationship, they both have to heal the wounds from their past. Some of these wounds were caused by things that happened while they were young and in love. While all of this is happening, Chloe has disappeared and is plotting her revenge on the couple.
The family greatly relies on their faith to heal from the past and move on. Derek is also finally able to forgive his brother. When Chloe’s vengeance reaches the point of no return for her, they have to work on forgiving her and the people involved with her diabolical plan. This helps them move forward in their relationship and deal with some wonderful surprises.
“The Ashes of a Broken Life” by Roberta Kennedy tells a very complex story. The characters show a great deal of depth and growth as the story evolves. The plot has some interesting twists, which add to the novel. Unfortunately, the book needs a great deal of editing to clean up numerous grammatical and typographical errors. These errors were greatly distracting while reading because they interrupt the flow of the events that are taking place. Overall, I think this is a very good book and if the errors are corrected, it can be a great one.