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  • The Beauty of Broken Things

  • By: Victoria Connelly
  • Narrated by: Jan Cramer
  • Length: 8 hrs and 57 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (35 ratings)

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The Beauty of Broken Things

By: Victoria Connelly
Narrated by: Jan Cramer
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Summary

United by tragedy, can two broken souls make each other whole?

After the tragic loss of his wife, Helen, Luke Hansard is desperate to keep her memory alive. In an effort to stay close to her, he reaches out to an online friend Helen often mentioned: a reclusive photographer with a curious interest in beautiful but broken objects. But first he must find her - and she doesn’t want to be found.

Orla Kendrick lives alone in the ruins of a remote Suffolk castle, hiding from the haunting past that has left her physically and emotionally scarred. In her fortress, she can keep a safe distance from prying eyes, surrounded by her broken treasures and insulated from the world outside.

When Luke tracks Orla down, he is determined to help her in the way Helen wanted to: by encouraging her out of her isolation and back into the world. But Orla has never seen her refuge as a prison and, when painful secrets and dangerous threats begin to resurface, Luke's good deed is turned on its head.

As they work through their grief for Helen in very different ways, will these two broken souls be able to heal?

©2020 Victoria Connelly (P)2020 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

What listeners say about The Beauty of Broken Things

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Couldn’t finish listening

I always enjoy Victoria Connelly books, which made me choose this audible title. However, the narrator’s voice is sadly driving me crazy, another reviewer who felt the same, described it as ‘sing song’ and they are right! People just don’t speak in that way in real life and having listened to about half the book I’ve decided to read it for myself as I can’t bear to listen any longer.

1 person found this helpful

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brilliant

an excellent story filled with an assortment of emotions which kept me enthralled to the very end. very well written and beautiful told by the narrator.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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could not finish this book, the storyline was unbe

could not finish this book, the storyline was hard to believe and I found the narrator grating,

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

okay story

story very far fetched but a bit of escapism the narrator was awfal shouting and putting mad inflections in her voice which took away from the enjoyment of the book.

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Uplifting reading about healing & second chances

United by tragedy, can two broken souls make each other whole?

Helen Hansard is happiest when she’s not shackled to her 9 to 5 administrative job. Instead, she prefers spending time on her favourite social media site, Galleria, as it gives her a platform to express her love of photography.

One night while travelling home from work, Helen contemplates giving up her tedious admin role and instead resolves to take up photography full time. She smiles as she takes a photo of a stunning oak tree from her window. It turns out to be the last one she’ll ever take. The train she’s commuting on, crashes shortly after.

Several weeks pass and her widowed husband Luke struggles to come to terms with his loss. When he happens upon a gift that Helen had purchased for an online friend a few weeks before her death, Luke resolves to track her down and deliver it personally along with the news of Helen’s death.

Tracking down Helen’s mysterious friend proves to be no easy feat, however - particularly as they don’t want to be found.

Orla Kendrick lives alone in the ruins of a remote Suffolk castle, hiding from a troubled past that has left her physically and emotionally scarred. In her fortress, she can keep a safe distance from prying eyes, surrounded by her broken treasures and insulated from the world outside.

When Luke tracks Orla down, he is determined to help her in the way Helen wanted to: by encouraging her out of her isolation and back into the world. But Orla has never seen her refuge as a prison and, when painful secrets and dangerous threats begin to resurface, Luke’s good deed backfires in unexpected ways. As they work through their grief for Helen in different ways, will these two broken souls break free from their cycle of grief, fear and despair?

The Beauty of Broken Things is a poignant, heart-warming and emotional tale about courage, loneliness, heartbreak, and hope that is guaranteed to resonate with readers. It's a novel about healing, facing up to one’s past and finding the inner strength to embrace second chances.

I did fear at one point that the author was straying in a romantic direction with both characters which I felt would have taken away the overall message of the book. I needn’t have worried however and I was satisfied with the way the book ended.

The writing style was fluid and despite some of its dark themes such as death, grief, obsessive love disorder, stalking, agoraphobia, social anxiety etc - Luke’s crippling grief and Orla’s palpable fear of strangers and venturing outside comes to mind - this is nevertheless an uplifting story infused with a great deal of heart and hope as well as community and the importance of friendship.

The setting of the book off the Suffolk coast was a definite highlight. The sense of history that surrounded the ancient castle and the seaside village with its charming bustling community - I could practically hear the sights and sounds of the remote windswept beach where Orla walked her dog One Ear.

This is a pensive, tender and evocative tale that reminds us that while life sometimes throws us curveballs, it’s our capacity to find the hidden strength within ourselves to overcome those highs and lows that makes all the difference.

Victoria Connelly's writing seems to go from strength to strength and I look forward to delving into other works.

Jan Cramer’s narration was clear and concise with excellent pacing. I felt that her voice was perfect for the tone of the novel.

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  • WEC
  • 30-06-20

Goodness of humanity

Refreshing storyline illustrating how two people can help each other without romantic interest. Some parts were narrated with a little too much drama, but overall a great and uplifting story.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Patricia Letarte
  • 23-11-22

Wonderful book

Truly enjoyed this story. An extremely surprising twist on the title. The word “broken” has many definitions throughout.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Tera
  • 09-10-20

Great Read

I loved this book. I have never read any books from this author, and I really liked her writing style. Easy to read, easy to follow and she really got the feelings of the characters accross in her writing.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • RN reader
  • 19-06-20

Narrator

Jan Cramer did a pretty good job of narrating until she would lapse into a “sing-songy voice that really irritated me. It was a pretty good story - kept my interest.