This week, I am sharing the five most popular reviews this year by visits to the blog. Thank you to all of you for visiting and supporting me, and the blog, but most importantly your support for all of the authors I’ve featured.
I was over the moon when I was going through the stats to find which reviews nailed the numbers for these posts and saw Watching Glass Shatter by James J. Cudney was number two. James is a good friend as well as being an outstanding author and to see that my review that I posted as part of his blog tour on 16 November was well-received really gave me a big smile. I also chose not to tell him about this post so… Surprise!
After 40 years of marriage, Olivia Glass thought she could handle the unexpected death of her husband, but when Ben’s will reveals a long-held, 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 the answers, Olivia visits each of her sons to share a final connection before facing the truth that will change the dynamics of an already grief-stricken family. During the visits, Olivia learns that each of her sons has been harboring a painful secret, just like his father.
Olivia challenges herself to re-assemble and save their relationships. But will the secrets destroy their family beyond repair?
Where do I start with this? I still weeks after finishing this novel get riled up with emotion just thinking about it. Olivia Glass, the matriarch of the Glass family has just lost her Husband Ben. At the will reading with her five sons (Five! Seriously who has five kids?!) a secret is revealed from beyond the grave to her alone via a letter. A second letter left for her to pass on to the one son that it pertains to when the time is right.
Her way of dealing with this is to follow Ben’s secretive instructions, keep the sons in the dark, and to visit them all over the next few weeks and spend some time with them, which totally backfires as she discovers, even more, secrets that they are keeping from the family. It’s a big potluck of secrets and lies in this family people!
So, I hated Olivia, seriously hated her. She’s a fantastic character, and she plays her part to perfection. But my God that woman drove me nuts. She’s a control-freak, her need to know everything about everyone and to be the one who decides everything for everyone was infuriating. I swear if my Mum was like Olivia I would disown her, I couldn’t deal with all that bossiness! Wowsers!
The sons though, they are a different story, lets talk about the sons for a bit shall we?
Teddy is the eldest, a lawyer who has worked with their Father. A very serious man and in a marriage that appears to be rocky from our initial introduction to him. I found him hard to connect with for much of the book but I kept thinking there were hidden depths that there were things we weren’t seeing, as his secret unfolds a different side of him unfolds and you see a bigger personality emerge.
Matthew is the character I felt a huge affinity with, I had a LOT in common with Matt and completely connected with the secret he held. I fought his fight with him and was willing him through his situation hoping for him to come out of it. He is a wonderful character and I spent almost every moment he was on the page wanting to wrap my arms around him.
Ethan is training to be a Doctor, he’s the youngest of the brood and came across as happy and loving. His secret is moving. I know someone who went through the same thing Ethan went through and I think that may be why I was so deeply moved by his storyline, it really hit me hard and reminded me of some difficult memories. Ethan has probably the hardest secret to deal with but also the most beautiful and the one most full of love.
Caleb, oh Caleb, I would like a Caleb please. He is adorable, sweet and kind and funny. He’s also been keeping a huge secret from his family for years. I think his secret is pretty darn special, and I wouldn’t mind keeping it for myself as well, but as it’s Caleb secret I’ll let him have it.
Finally, there is Zach. I really fell for Zach, with his tattoos, and Harley. He’s a DJ and just plain yum! His secret is probably the least explosive of all of them, it’s also the one that Olivia gets most hung up on (Mom’s!) He has a wonderful attitude, not taking any shit, with a daughter he loves to the ends of the earth and an ex who he is fighting for custody.
Be warned this is a sob-fest, I cried solidly for the last two hours of this novel, not gentle tears either these were big ugly sobbing tears. Every time I thought I was stopping I turned the page and bam they would start all over. This is an author who doesn’t give us a moment to compose ourselves before dropping another emotional bomb. It’s not all sad though there are moments where I laughed out loud, one scene sticks in my mind and can dissolve me into laughter even now and secured my love of two characters in particular.
Watching Glass Shatter is an absolutely outstanding debut, I couldn’t put it down, I sobbed most of the way through, and I wanted to keep half the characters for myself.
Book & Buy Links
Title: Watching Glass Shatter #1
Author: James J. Cudney
Genre: Family Saga, Mystery, LGBTQ, Romance, Mental Health
Publication Date: 8 October 2017
Review Format: eBook
Other Formats: Paperback
Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Book Depository