Sonja Yoerg: House Broken

I would like to thank the author for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review House Broken is a very strong debut novel by new author Sonja Yoerg Though the cover and the title suggest an animal story this book is an exceptionally well written account of a broken family and how the family members go about trying to fix it The story is told in third person narrative with multiple points of view Sometimes this can be confusing but not in this book it was easy to tell whose POV was being described as each chapter was titled with a character name I liked that Ms Yoerg used this techniue as it allowed the reader to get in the head of all the major characters which I believe added richness and depth to the tale There were uite a few cast members but I found it easy to eep them straight and none seemed superfluous I thought the people in this story were truly believable they could easily be your neighbors or my neighbors Their plights were true to life and I felt the author did a fine job in how her characters handled their situations and how things turned out The ending was not entirely as expected and I give Ms Yoerg major props for making it very realistic More often than not plots of women s fiction novels are tied up in a neat bow at the end like a Hollywood movie Life is not usually like that I also want to mention Ms Yoerg s sense of humor Her writing is laced with an undercurrent of subtle humor which I liked a lotI very much enjoyed this book and eagerly look forward to Ms Yoerg s next novel I recommend House Broken to anyone looking for a good house broken story A special thank you to the author and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review Don t be fooled by the adorable dog cover loved the cover hats off to the designer as between the pages of Sonja Yoerg s brilliantly written and remarkable character driven debut novel HOUSE BROKEN is an intense and compelling grown up adult novel Tackling highly charged topics multi generational dark family secrets and complexities mixed with humor and wisdom for a bittersweet Must Read of love and forgivenessDr Geneva Novak is a local veterinarian married to Tom for eighteen years owner of a wood working shop he comes from a large lovable supportive family and they have two teenagers Ella and Charlie As the books moves on we learn Ella and Charlie have secrets from their parents as does their Nana Trying to protect one does not always work in the big scheme of things Geneva the youngest of a family of four Riley children comes from a dysfunctional an 45 stars House Broken is the story of Geneva a mom who is trying to deal with her husband s crazy close A Heart of Stone knit family two wild teenagers and her mother who seems to be hell bent on destroying herself and the family This is a story of family secrets and the strength that it takes toeep the family together when the family has gone through a dramatic event or two I really enjoyed the story It s a very realistic look at one family and their struggle to understand one anotherThe book is told in the third person perspective from Geneva Geneva s daughter Ella and Geneva s mother Helen I really liked how the author chose to give us the perspective of these three characters Each of the characters has a really uniue voice and a very uniue perspective on what s going on in the story I really feel like by having these three different perspectives that it pulled me further into the bookThe family drama at the center of those book was sometimes hard to read about Geneva s family has never been close Geneva is close to her only brother but the rest of the siblings almost never speak At the center of this discontent are things that have been ept secret from Geneva and some of her siblings for decades It s the unearthing of these horrible secrets that really are at the center of this book Through these horrible secrets we really get a good sense of what the family has been through and why some of the characters still seem to be so affected by events of so long ago The intricacy of all of these family secrets In this compelling and poignant debut novel a woman skilled at caring for animals must learn to mend the broken relationships in her family   For veterinarian Geneva Novak animals can be easier to understand than people They’re also easier to forgive But when her mother Helen is injured in a vodka fueled accident it’.

Eally pulled me into the book as wellI will start this next paragraph with a personal caveat to me a mark of a good book is when you are not ready to let go of the characters when the last page ends so take this next section with a grain of salt This book has a very open ended ending that has me pining for a seuel please say there is a seuel I really wanted to now what happened to Helen and why even after everything that she and Geneva have been through why she still decided to do what she did I don t want to give anything away so I won t give you any detail but the way the book ended was very unsatisfying for me I want Overall I really enjoyed this book I liked how realistic the family seemed I especially think Language and Linguistics kudos go to the author for the character of Ella I think teenagers can be particularly difficult to write however this author does it with panache I would love to read about Geneva s family sure or maybe another selection by this author HOUSE BROKEN surprised me every step of the way and how many books are there about which you can say that As the story begins Helen a prickly alcoholic borderline impossible old lady moves in for recuperation after an accident with her very reluctant daughter Geneva a veterinarian with two difficult teenage children Helen makes everything worse dangerously so and what s EVEN worse seems to enjoy doing it But her presence sets Geneva off to investigate a troubling family mystery brilliantly laid out by Yoerg and by the end she comes tonow who her mother is and by extension who she is There s no Happily Ever After in HOUSE BROKEN the book is too wise for that And don t be fooled by the cute dog on the cover there is nothing cute about this book It s fearless even dangerous interested in telling the truth about complexities of behavior human and animal and not interested in being reassuring Yoerg like a dog in the book bites down and doesn t let go I very much admired her book Great read about family dynamics and how secrets can shape a family and who they all are Geneva Novak is a veterinary doctor who has always lived an orderly life and bases her decisions on logic The youngest of four she takes in her alcoholic mother after an accident leaves her unable to care for herself and her lavish live style has left her financially unable to pay for any in home care She and her mother have never gotten along since her father s death when she was young and taking her in makes her uestion what she has always believed are her family and how they relate to each After a series of events she begins to uestion her ideals as a parent and her role as a daughter Hoping to repair both she makes a drastic decision Sonja Yoerg creates a compelling tale of a family gone awry and the ultimate cost of maintaining shameful secrets HOUSE BROKEN is everything I love in women s fictionbeautiful writing strong characters a dash of mystery and the hope for redemption Oh don t be fooled by the sweetness of this little pup on the book cover There s a lot of bite and bark within Yes and some wow in the ol bow wow hereThe Novak family seemingly typical is hardly that at all Geneva Novak is a veterinarian with her own practice She and her husband Tom live with their two teenage Divertimento kids in the suburbs Geneva mends the broken bones of the animals in her care But there are broken and shattered bones of the past and present residing in the walls of the Novak houseSonja Yoerig addresses this so well The past wasn t a guest you could ask to leave when you tired of its company No the past put up its feet and meant to stayThis was a relatable book to some degree within the interactions of immediate and extended family But that s where the concentric circles widenedand ropin it all back in seemed like chasing felines in a cat rodeo You ll never get em all and those you do will be officially pissedThere are deep dark secrets here with those who sound like Scarlett O HaratomorrowI ll deal with it tomorrow But the secrets aren t waiting around for another sunriseThis was a good read from Sonja Yoerg I especiall. S up to Geneva to give her the care she needs   Since her teens Geneva hasept her self destructive mother at arm’s length Now with two slippery teenagers of her own at home the last thing she wants is to add Helen to the mix But Geneva’s husband convinces her that letting Helen live with them could be her golden ch.

Y liked her book The Middle of Somewhere That one really held onto me Keep em coming Ms Yoerg We are awaiting your next offering anxiously I first discovered Sonja Yoerg when her nonfiction book about animal intelligence Clever as a Fox popped up on Goodreads How interesting said the animal lover in me I was fascinated by this author s professional experiences and grew even so as I got to now her wit and charm through social media It goes without saying that I couldn t wait to dig in to her fiction debut House Broken to see how pieces of Yoerg s professional background fit into her fictional story She certainly did not disappoint and I m uite thrilled to have gotten an advance copyIt s clear in this story of family relationships and hidden secrets Yoerg understands the complexities of animal AND human behavior Told through the points of view of three characters Geneva her mother Helen and Geneva s daughter Ella we learn so much about the ways people misunderstand one another Family dynamics and dysfunction play a primary role in this story aided by the author s clever insertion of canine analogies and connections to the wildSays Geneva of her son Charlie s behavior Habits were hard to break a child cutting corners and bending the rules was the same as a dog with a habit of digging Look the other way and a hole becomes a tunnel and the dog is somewhere on the far side of the fence Through Geneva s recollection of childhood we see a remarkable human connection to animals and the natural world One summer morning she had been sitting on a log for half an hour when she detected a change in her surroundings A moment passed then a Cooper s hawk swooped down to snatch a warbler from the air At the time she concluded that the gravity of certain events ran slightly ahead in time If she paid close attention she could sense the subliminal shudder preceding something dangerous or spectacular While wildlife and nature lend a lovely backdrop to this story it is ultimately a tale about family and the poisonous effects of hidden secrets Despite the story s serious nature Helen s character provides some laugh out loud moments with her particular turns of phrase One of my favorites was the description of her husband going ass over teakettle as he fell into a bunker while golfingHelen may sum up the essence of this story best when she thinks to herself The past wasn t a guest you could ask to leave when you tired of its company No the past put up its feet and meant to stay If you enjoy introspective character driven women s fiction with smart writing that grapples with tough issues this is the book for you I m personally looking forward to the next story by this wonderful author I got my hands on an advance copy of House Broken and read it in one weekend Yoerg is a careful writer A writer who takes the time to get the characters story and words just right As I read I marveled at how artful the plot unfolds both in the present day stories and in the histories of the characters Yoerg was able to write about a topic that in the hands of a less skilled writer would make the reader cringe But the respectful and compelling way the Yoerg writes this book is thrilling Additionally she adds humor and turns of phrases effortlessly I recommend this book for readers who love a good read and values good writers along the way I was fortunate enough to get an early copy of this wonderful novel and what a treat it was Author Sonja Yoerg writes beautifully and her tale of veterinarian and busy mom Geneva hooked me from the start Geneva is faced with a dilemma many baby boomers can relate to caring for an elderly parent in this case an alcoholic mom who s nothing but trouble and whom Geneva not so secretly resents As mother and daughter teeter literally with the drunken momtoward a fragile truce Geneva also struggles to better connect with her two children who have issues of their own Yoerg s characters come to life and are totally relatable As is often the case in real life no one is bad just imperfect I look forward to novels by this author. Ance to repair their relationship   Geneva isn’t expecting her mother to change anytime soon but she may finally get answers to the uestions she’s been asking for so long As the truth about her family unfolds however Geneva may find secrets too painful to bear and too terrible to forgive CONVERSATION GUIDE INCLUDED

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