Friday, August 15, 2014
Book Review: The Fragile World by Paula Treick DeBoard
Author: Paula Treick DeBoard
The Kaufmans have always considered themselves a normal, happy family. Curtis is a physics teacher at a local high school. His wife, Kathleen, restores furniture for upscale boutiques. Daniel is away at college on a prestigious music scholarship, and twelve-year-old Olivia is a happy-go-lucky kid whose biggest concern is passing her next math test.
And then comes the middle-of-the-night phone call that changes everything.Daniel has been killed in what the police are calling a freak accident, and the remaining Kaufmans are left to flounder in their grief. The anguish of Daniel's death is isolating, and it's not long before this once perfect family find themselves falling apart. As time passes and the wound refuses to heal, Curtis becomes obsessed with the idea of revenge, a growing mania that leads him to pack up his life and his anxious teenage daughter and set out on a collision course to right a wrong.
An emotionally charged novel, The Fragile World is a journey through America's heartland and a family's brightest and darkest moments, exploring the devastating pain of losing a child and the beauty of finding healing in unexpected ways.
Wow. Wow. This book was amazing; it was emotional, intense, surprising, even uplifting. This book walked a long, sad road, and I was led by every word to redemption.
Last year I read DeBoard's book, The Mourning Hours, and was blown away, and with this book DeBoard does it again. This time, the story begins with a death. Daniel Kaufman is a golden boy, talented, smart, kind. Everyone loves him, especially his family. Then one night the Kaufman family world is rocked, when Daniel is killed in a freak accident while away at school. Life as they know it is fractured, how do they go on in the depths of this tragedy? The family is splintered, each member of the family finding their own way to deal with the loss of Daniel. It finally culminates into a journey across the country, when Curtis packs up Olivia to embark on his own salvation. This is where the story really gets good. You are rooting for these characters, wanting them to heal, become whole, turn away from their chosen roads.
Olivia is my favorite character by far. Consumed with anxiety, she breaks your heart with her myriad and numerous fears, and you desperately want her to overcome her demons. Whether she does or not, I will leave you to find out for yourself.
I don't want to give much away, so that is all I am going to say about this book. I loved it, I was riveted, I was involved in this story, and I think it is a book anyone would enjoy.