The Beauty of Broken Things

The Beauty of Broken Things

by Victoria Connelly

3.5 out of 5

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?

When he loses his wife in a terrible accident, Luke tries to find closure, by helping Helen's mysterious online friend. Orla has done a good job of hiding herself away from the world; so good in fact, that she may never have to see another person again.

I received a free copy from the publisher and Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

After he loses his wife Helen in a train accident, Luke struggles to go on. He feels smothered by everyone's pity and good intentions; and plagued by the thought that Helen wasn't as happy as she made out.
After discovering that her passion for photography had grown from a hobby to a professional ambition, one that was sadly never achieved; Luke decides to reach out to the mysterious BB, Helen's online friend and fellow-photographer.

Orla is a hermit, hidden in a remote castle. Since she moved there two years ago, she's hid behind the walls and refused to see anyone. Scared of people in general after a horrific incident, she finds beauty in broken porcelain, and has quite the online following.
When Luke shows up on her doorstep, she begrudgingly starts to accept the outside world; and in return she can hopefully help heal Luke.

I loved the setting in this book - the castle and the Suffolk countryside are as important as any character in the story.
It really is beautifully written and easy to read, despite the dark parts of Orla and Luke's history being the factor that brings them together.
I liked Orla's passion for photography, and her interest in how damage gives a history to delicate and beautiful porcelain.

There is a real emphasis on the importance of friends. I thought it was refreshing that the story remained focussed on the pure friendship that existed between Orla and Luke, and the rest of the villagers.

The not-so-good.
Unfortunately, I wasn't a fan of Luke. As someone who is a complete introvert, and struggles to deal with social situations, I personally thought he was a bit of a dick in how he kept pushing Orla and not taking no for an answer.
Luke is using this jaunt away from home to hide from reality, so I thought he should have some empathy for Orla. He's constantly trying to push her to make huge leaps, because he knows best. I honestly wanted Orla to throw a teapot at him.

Overall, this was a 3.5 out of 5 for me. I liked the author's writing and would be interested in reading more of her work.


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