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Broken for You | [Stephanie Kallos]

Broken for You

When we meet septuagenarian Margaret Hughes, she is living alone in a mansion in Seattle with only a massive collection of valuable antiques for company. Enter Wanda Schultz, a young woman with a broken heart who has come to Seattle to search for her wayward boyfriend. Both women are guarding dark secrets and have spent many years building up protective armor against the outside world.
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Publisher's Summary

When we meet septuagenarian Margaret Hughes, she is living alone in a mansion in Seattle with only a massive collection of valuable antiques for company. Enter Wanda Schultz, a young woman with a broken heart who has come to Seattle to search for her wayward boyfriend. Both women are guarding dark secrets and have spent many years building up protective armor against the outside world. But as the two begin their tentative dance of friendship, the armor begins to fall away, and Margaret opens her house to the younger woman.

This launches a series of remarkable and unanticipated events, leading Margaret to discover a way to redeem her cursed past and Wanda to learn the true purpose of her cross-country journey.

Exuberant, heartbreaking, and alive with a potpourri of eccentric and irresistible characters, Broken for You is a testament to the saving graces of surrogate families and shows how far the tiniest repair jobs can go in righting the world's wrongs.

©2004 Stephanie Kallos; (P)2004 Blackstone Audiobooks

What the Critics Say

"Well-crafted plotting and crackling wit make this debut novel by Seattle author Kallos a delight to read and a memory to savor." (Booklist)
"[A] dreamy, powerful tale of familial warring, secrets, and redemption....This haunting, memorable debut is reminiscent of early Atwood, peopled by lovably imperfect and eccentric characters." (Publishers Weekly)
"A dazzling mosaic of intersecting lives and fates...[A] multi-layered rhapsody....Kallos has a rare, deft way with whimsy, dream sequences and hallucinations. Comparisons to John Irving and Tennesse Williams would not be amiss in this show-stopping debut." (Kirkus Reviews)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (392 )
5 star
 (148)
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Overall
4.0 (87 )
5 star
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Story
4.1 (87 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Barbara Pullman, WA, United States 12-06-04
    Barbara Pullman, WA, United States 12-06-04 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    93
    ratings
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    106
    19
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    "Wonderful story of mending and redemption"

    While this novel started out a little slowly, I was entranced within the first hour. It's a novel about all the ways we're broken and the ways we can heal by opening up to the people around us. The ending was a little predictable, but the story was wise and funny and well written. The narrator was wonderful. I enjoyed this selection more than anything I've listened to in months.

    21 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cynthia New Orleans, LA, USA 01-11-05
    Cynthia New Orleans, LA, USA 01-11-05 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    40
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    93
    3
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    2
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    Overall
    "One of the best I've enjoyed with Audible"

    "Broken for You" is original on many levels, fresh in concept, looking at a theme rarely examined in fiction: the question of how to live with an ill-gotten legacy. The prose is well crafted and the plot is vibrant, with characters who are both flawed and sympathetic. I found it difficult to put this story aside and replayed portions of it several times.

    The reader is wonderful, with a pleasant, clear voice for the narration and a strong delineation between the characters. I've enjoyed her reading in other works as well. I highly recommend this book.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Everett Leiter New York, NY 06-16-08
    Everett Leiter New York, NY 06-16-08 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    301
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    REVIEWS
    118
    49
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    10
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    Overall
    "Flawed - but a very entertaining read"

    This was a story that briskly moved along. The main characters were likable and interesting, while some of the other cast of characters were two-dimensional. The unfolding of the plot was at times original and suspenseful...at other times quite predictable. In the end, the originality of this story won out for me. Months after reading it, I can still vividly remember characters, situation, and plot.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Douglas Los Olivos, CA, USA 07-27-05
    Douglas Los Olivos, CA, USA 07-27-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    1
    1
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    Overall
    "One of my favorites from a long-term listener"

    This is a book that will grow on you. It is exceptionally well read and perfectly suited for listening. If you like books that weave stories together that are touching and heart warming, this is the book for you.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diane Mount Vernon, NY, United States 12-23-10
    Diane Mount Vernon, NY, United States 12-23-10 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    59
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    Overall
    "Broken For You"

    I actually got into this book and enjoyed it. Usually I listen while driving or cleaning. This one made me sit down and listen. I usually do not do that. In a way, it is the usual "old age and values" vs. "what happens next." But it is sweet ... not candy coated, just sweet. Yes, fantasies, but I have learned, they do happen.
    This was a good listen and I do recommend it.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dorothea Chicago, Israel 06-12-07
    Dorothea Chicago, Israel 06-12-07 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    111
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    38
    21
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    4
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    Overall
    "A voyage"

    This is a very well written book, full of humane and caring characters, who are also not without some major faults, to say nothing of eccentricities.

    The narration is very fine, as well.

    Highly recommended.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joyce hendersonville, NC, USA 10-31-06
    Joyce hendersonville, NC, USA 10-31-06 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    72
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    Overall
    "great writing, weak plot"

    Despite some beautiful writing, this book falls short for me.

    The writer attempts to use the breaking of china as a metaphor for forgiveness and redemption. She presents us with well develped characters, all in pain and in need of healing. They are sad and funny at the same time. Mostly I liked them very much. They suffer, however, from a plot that is contrived and unrealistic. I knew exactly what was going to happen halfway through the book and was not surprised at the 'happily ever after' ending.

    The writer is talented. She demonstrates her skill describing the characters in wonderful detail. Her dream sequences are magnificent. If only she had given more attention to using her skills to tell a good story.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary Washington, DC, USA 11-17-05
    Mary Washington, DC, USA 11-17-05 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    14
    3
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    Overall
    "Sometimes its even better to listen than to read"

    I am a long-time listener with Audible and this book ranks up their with the best. Its moving; its funny (listening to the narrator track a conversation between an old jewish lady and a middleaged Irishman is hysterical)and the characters are those I wish I could revisit. Its a lovely story about redemption. I don't usually write reviews but this book will remain one of my favorites along with the Time Traveler's Wife.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bruce M. Anderson Houston, Texas United States 09-12-05
    Bruce M. Anderson Houston, Texas United States 09-12-05 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
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    31
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    Overall
    "Highly Recommended"

    Reader is excellent. She almost acts out the story. Compelling story that kept my interest throughout.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Salem, OR, USA 04-18-05
    Linda Salem, OR, USA 04-18-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    1
    1
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    1
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    Overall
    "Don't miss this one"

    This is a keeper! I will share the news with my friends and book group. Not only a fantastic story with many levels of emotions and entertainment, but very well read by a narrator with a gift for many voices.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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