Broken Together by Brenda S. Anderson – Book Review

Posted December 3, 2021 by Phyllis Helton in Book Reviews /

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Broken Together by Brenda S. Anderson – Book Review

Broken Together

by Brenda S. Anderson, Sarah S. Anderson


Published by Mosaic Collection, Vivant Press
Publication Date December 1, 2021
Genres: Christian Fiction, Woman's Fiction
Setting: Minnesota Contemporary
Main Character Ages: 35-60
Written for: Adults
Pages: 359

Synopsis:

How do you persevere when you have no more will to fight?

Jennifer and Chad Taylor had dreamed of opening a coffee and cocoa shop since before they said, “I do.” When Chad is sent to prison for murder despite claiming innocence, that dream—along with their family—is shattered.

After years of fighting for Chad’s release, Jennifer finally breaks free from her shame, anger, and hopelessness, and forges ahead with the dream the two of them once shared. With the help of their college-aged twins, she begins to move forward.

Without Chad.

When their lawyer arrives with news of evidence that may prove Chad’s innocence, a strange mixture of emotions overtakes her. Does she want Chad to return home? He isn’t the same man he once was, and she certainly isn’t the same woman. She’s worked hard to piece the remnants of their family back together, and his coming home could fracture the family once again.

It all comes down to one question. She loves her husband enough to fight for his release from prison, but does she love him enough to fight for their marriage?

I received a complimentary copy of this book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.


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Broken Together was a marvelous story and a difficult story all wrapped into one. It is hard-hitting and doesn’t sugar-coat the difficulties that imprisonment causes – especially for believers – even when the prisoner is innocent. And, yet, despite the difficulties, hope shines through as Chad and Jenn cling tightly to the Savior. And when they falter, others are there to lift them up and point them back to Him.

I’ll be honest. I love stories where Christians encounter seemingly insurmountable odds and God miraculously delivers them from them all. And where they handle their trials with grace and aplomb. But I am well aware that God doesn’t always deliver us in that way. Sometimes He walks with us through the fire. And often, Christians falter when faced with difficulties and behave, well, in ways that are not like Christ.

Here is a compelling and realistic portrayal of what could happen when an innocent man, Chad, spends years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit. And what happens to his family as they struggle to cope in a world suddenly hostile towards them! It is not graphic in any way. Still, Broken Together gives a vivid picture of the horrors faced by those in prison. The gangs. The beatings. The loss of hope. Due to the mere mentions of some of these things, I recommend it only for older readers.

While I often found myself close to tears, sometimes outraged at the injustice, sometimes brokenhearted over the grief Chad and Jenn experienced, I also found myself smiling on occasion at the sweetness of the kids and the kindness of the believers in the little town.

I first met Chad and Jenn in a sweet novella that is part of the Before Summer’s End collection. While it is not required reading for fully enjoying Broken Together, it does give additional insight into the events that precede it.

I recommend Broken Together for adult readers able to face the darker things in this world and still prefer a clean read. Prepare to be challenged and grab a copy!

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About Brenda S. Anderson

Brenda S. Anderson writes gritty and authentic, life-affirming fiction. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, and is Past-President of the ACFW Minnesota chapter, MN-NICE, the 2016 ACFW Chapter of the Year. When not reading or writing, she enjoys music, theater, roller coasters, and baseball (Go Twins!), and she loves watching movies with her family. She resides in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area with her husband of 30-plus years and one sassy cat.

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One response to “Broken Together by Brenda S. Anderson – Book Review

  1. Brenda S. Anderson

    Thank you, Phyllis, for your very gracious review! I’m so glad you enjoyed Chad & Jenn’s story. It wasn’t an easy one to write, but it sure opened my eyes!

    And, as always, THANK YOU for all the quote graphics!!! They’re amazing!