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Review – David Allan Sturman’s The Broken Son

The Broken Son 1

the broken sonThere is a line in the “About the Author” section of The Broken Son that, once you’ve read book, will break your heart. “All of Sturman’s stories walk along the path of truth and are occasionally joined with a bit of fiction.”

The first book in the trilogy of young adult novels starts with a story about a clown painting in the boy’s bedroom that seemed to come alive before falling on the floor and breaking, and the harsh beating from his father and cruel treatment which followed from his mother, was hard enough to read. But it goes on. The boy gets a beating for being too creative, imagining stories while sitting at his desk and staring at a blank wall, gets stripped and beaten for a bad report card, he even tries to get caught stealing a watch from the supermarket so that he can go to prison rather than face life at home. He dreams about death as he sleeps on a bare bed, never knowing when his next beating will be. Through this, he hallucinates the evil clown from the painting, who tells him that he must kill his parents, or be killed by them. At least he thinks it’s a hallucination, at times he is not sure, like when he is watching the A-Team secretly on his parents’ bedroom TV and the clown takes the watch the boy stole and throws it to distract Mother until the boy escapes back to his own room.

All art should provoke a reaction, positive or negative, otherwise it is not good art. This book shocked me. This is very, very good art but it is also a very emotional read. Never having experienced such horror myself, this really brought it home to me how truly awful it is and I really felt for the boy. The descriptions, of places, things, people and actions, were done in such a focused way that you just know, despite what the disclaimer says, that this is essentially a work of fiction, these were real at some point. The descriptions were not overly fussy but certain details were covered with such depth and accuracy that you know the boy concentrated on those particular items to make the rest go away. I don’t know if I would give this book to young adults, especially if they are impressionable. It gave me nightmares. Having said that though this is the absolute best way to get across the horror of child abuse and let people know the signs.

Not a book for the faint-hearted nor a book if abuse is a trigger for you but just remember the pain of reading about it is not nearly as bad as the pain of experiencing it. As horrifying as the story and the subject is, I feel compelled to read the next two books. The boy has to get out. He just has to…

**** 4 Stars!!!



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