Book Review: It’s a story of what is; what could be and what will never be


 Perfectly Broken

By Robert Burke Warren

Unemployed musician Grant Kelly finds his life turning upside down. His landlord raised the rent of their New York City apartment forcing Grant, his wife, Beth, and their son, Evan, to take up the offer of their friend’s to live in the Shulz farmhouse. The catch- it is in rural St. Marie in the Catskills of New York. Forcing city dwellers to become country dwellers gives an entirely different adventure from the danger of darkened city alleys.

Perfectly Broken shows the life of a rock star is not all fame and fortune. It shows the nitty gritty of life after the amps are unplugged and the spotlights are turned off. When the future is uncertain, and past insecurities threaten the well-being of everyone involved, a multitude of compromising situations lead to revelations of secrets and indiscretions. It’s post 9/11 New York, with three families of friends that have links that connect them, but much more that sets them apart. 

Retired frontman of successful rock band, Six Ray Star, Paul Fairchild is Beth and Grant’s good friend and godfather to Evan. Paul and his wife Melora don’t have children which makes Paul adore Evan even more. 

Trip and Christa with their adopted daughter, Katie moved to the Victorian house on their 3 acre property shortly after 9/11. The Victorian, a farmhouse dubbed the Shulz house and a double-wide trailer all sit within the 3 acre plot. 

Grant takes that unavoidable path down mid-life crisis as he questions his abilities as a father, as a husband and as a friend. When he defines his life by his professional accomplishments or lack of, and he lets an innocent parenting mistake haunt him, he sinks down the rabbit hole of depression. If he doesn’t figure it out soon, he will lose everything that really matters to him.

As Grant and his family settle into their new life, a weekend brings all six adults and the two kids together. While a storm outside threatens their fun, it’s the storm inside as tensions and accusations boil over that ultimately threaten their lives. 

Perfectly Broken is raw in its emotion. As much as it is human instinct to gawk and rubberneck at a horrific auto accident, it’s the same when these fictional characters seem so real you can’t help but turn the page to see how the train wrecks. It gets down to the core that we all strive to have more or be better, but even those that have attained the dream aren’t always in bliss. As MTV has turned to reality entertainment, this Rock & Roll tale follows suit with literary panache. It is cool, hip and has just the right amount of sex, drugs and rock & roll, it lives the dream. 

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Be sure to visit The Story Plant to download 5 free MP3 songs inspired by Perfectly Broken at:
{Promotional Blur : His rock star days may be behind him, but stay-at-home dad Grant Kelly’s life is getting more interesting by the day. It’s the beginning of the post 9/11 era, and he and his wife and four-year-old son have traded a New York City apartment for a Catskills farmhouse, where ghosts from the past, worries for the future, and temptations in the present converge to bring about drastic changes in their marriage, their friendships, and their family. 

A gorgeously nuanced novel with unforgettable characters, Perfectly Broken is a story of human frailty, the endurance of the heart, and the power and possibility of forgiveness.

Robert Burke Warren is a musician and writer whose work has appeared in Paste, Salon, The Bitter Southerner, The Good Men Project, The Rumpus, The Woodstock Times, Texas Music, Brooklyn Parent, Chronogram, The Weeklings, and the Da Capo anthology, The Show I’ll Never Forget. He lives in the Catskill Mountains with his family. This is his first novel.} The Story

FTC Disclaimer: I was given an ARC of this title by The Story Plant for review purposes only; no other compensation was awarded. 


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