Sunday 7 May 2017


Finished May 4
Fractured by Catherine McKenzie, performed by Teri Clark, Scott Merriman, Amy McFadden, and James Foster

Suspenseful, this novel begins just as Julie and Daniel Prentice and their young twins move into their new home in Cincinnati. They've left Tacoma after having issues with a stalker, Heather, following Julie's first novel, The Murder Game, written under her maiden name, Julie Apple. Like the author, Julie went to law school in Montreal, at McGill University, and her novel is based on some of her law school experiences. Julie works off her stress by running, and as she returns from her first run, she meets her neighbour from across the street, John Dunbar, and his teenage son, Chris.
The novel goes back and forth from this time, and the months that follow, to a time nearly a year later after some sort of accident has occurred. The story is told by John Dunbar in the time after the accident, and by alternating voices of Julie and John in the months preceding.
Julie had friends in Tacoma, including a close friend she ran with, but somehow she seems to get off on a bad first start in her new city.
She works at home, writing her next novel while Daniel is at work and the kids at school. She and John sometimes run together, but his wife Hanna, a lawyer, seems to feel threatened by the relationship. There is a homeowners group on their street, started and organized by Cindy Sutton, a woman with definite ideas. Cindy organizes monthly get-togethers, and mans a website, and regular newsletters. At the first party the Prentices attend, at Cindy's house, they learn of the no alcohol rule, and witness her tyrannical and blaming nature. After that, Julie can apparently do no right in Cindy's books, and Cindy keeps making rules to shut Julie out.
With Julie feeling more and more ostracized, the tension in the neighbourhood is high, and, because as the reader you know something happens, the suspense as it leads up to the "accident" is high.
This is a story of inclusion and exclusion, of how it feels when you don't belong, and of the frustrations of that. It is also a tale of guilt and remorse, as characters look back on their actions with "what ifs".

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