I am as slow a reader as one can be. So, when I received book 1 of James Cudney’s family drama series, I looked at the number of pages and said I would need at-least 10 days to read it. But it took me three! ‘Watching Glass Shatter’ by James Cudney is a page turner. If you love watching family drama on TV but you prefer reading then this one is definitely for you. It reminded me of the drama series ‘Chesapeake Shores and’ ‘Sweet Magnolias,’ on Netflix. Only this was far more entertaining. I couldn’t help sharing the story with my teenage daughters on my first day of reading. Over the next two days, the book became the subject of our lockdown tea-time conversation and they were as eager as me to know what happened to each of the characters in the book.
290 pages, a family full of real life characters, the story never gets boring or slows down. The author creates warm, realistic well-rounded characters who make mistakes and need help to fix it. It clearly shows the author’s understanding of human nature. Nobody’s perfect!
I enjoyed the descriptions in the book which made it easy to visualize the characters, places and the equations between them. The author manages successfully to bring out humor and sorrow making the reader smile and feel sad when he wants to.
The cover seems apt once you’ve read the story. Had I seen the cover on the shelf, I might have not picked up the book because I would have expected the story to be a thriller and I’m not into murder mysteries. Again, it might disappoint someone looking for a hardcore mystery. This is really about family.
About the story
It is about how a woman, Mrs. Glass deals with the death of her husband on learning a secret that he shares with her after his death by way of a letter. The contents of the letter have the power to shatter the family, hence ‘Watching Glass Shatter,’ The name is also symbolic for the manner in which Mr. Glass dies – in a car accident.
The story progresses with her connecting with each of her five children and her realizing that somewhere along the line their seemingly perfect family had got disconnected from each other even before the father’s death. Through his lucid writing, the author breathes life into each of the characters who come with their own little secrets and are battling their own demons. Despite the fact that each of the boys have their own journeys, at the end it is the strength of ‘family,’ that helps them in fixing their individual issues. As a mother and as a wife, there were so many parts in the book that I was able to relate to- giving up the career for the children, living in oblivion until life hits you on the head and you realize there’s a lot of ‘picking the threads’ that needs to be done.
The author manages to deftly handle issues such as death, sickness, financial breakdown, drugs, LGBT , adoption, betrayal, love, sibling bond and rivalry, family dynamics. James Cudney, gently steers the reader, taking him on a enjoyable journey free of bumps. The story is narrated by an omniscient narrator.
What the author says about the book?
The wealthy Glass family lost its patriarch, Benjamin Glass, sooner than expected. Benjamin’s widow, Olivia, and her 5 sons each react to his death in their own way while preparing for the reading of his will. Olivia receives a very unexpected confession from her late husband about one of their sons that could shatter the whole family.
Prior to revealing the secret to her children, Olivia must figure out which boy Ben refers to in the confession he left her in his will. While the family attorney searches for the mysterious Rowena Hector whom Ben says holds the answers, Olivia asks her sons to each spend a week with her as she isn’t ready to let go of the past. When Olivia visits her sons, she quickly learns that each one has been keeping his own secret from her. Olivia never expected her remaining years would be so complex and life-altering, but she will not rest until her family is reunited after Ben’s untimely death.
We all need family. We all want to fit in. We’re all a mix of quirky personalities. Will Olivia be able to fix them or will the whole family implode? What will she do when she discovers the son behind Ben’s secret? Check out this ensemble cast where each family member’s perspective is center stage, discovering along the way who might feel the biggest impact from all the secrets. Through various scenes and memories across a six-month period, you’ll get to know everyone, learning how and why they made certain decisions. Welcome to being an honorary member of the Glass family where the flair for over-the-top drama pushes everyone to their limits. (less)
I couldn’t give it anything less than a five star. I enjoyed reading the book. Its the perfect entertainer. It’s one of those books that could be made into a TV show but in the form of a book its even better because you get to see it exactly how the author wants you to see it. As the lockdown continues, the book managed to revive my sagging spirits. With the chapters devoted to each member in the family, it’s perfect for those with a shorter attention span. It’s a light read that will keep anybody who likes family stories gripped. While book 1 is complete in itself, James Cudney has written a sequel to the book and I’m looking forward to reading what happens next in the Glass family.
The book is available on Kindle for free and at Rs. 299 for the hardcopy
I would definitely recommend it to anybody who enjoys an entertaining family story which takes you on a roller coaster ride . You will not be disappointed.
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