Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Dancing on Broken Glass by Ka Hancock







I recently read Ka Hancock's debut novel: Dancing on Broken Glass after noting it in the new book section of our local library.  I was intrigued by the title of the book and it's beautiful cover.

And I couldn't agree more with the quote also included on the front cover: The best kind of love follows its own rules....So very true.

But when I actually got around to reading this book I wasn't sure if it was one I'd finish after I had read the first couple of chapters. I'm not a fan of any story that entails a lot of illness, medical interventions...but this author had such an engaging style of writing, I kept on reading.

Author, Ka Hancock has an extensive professional medical background including two nursing degrees and specialized work with psychiatric and substance-abuse patients. From this perspective, she has crafted a story about two people Lucy Houston, a cancer-survivor and Mickey Chandler who struggles with bi-polar disorder. Against the odds and the better judgement of themselves and their families Lucy and Mickey fall in love and eventually marry.

In spite of my misgivings about some of the subject matter in this book, I found myself continuing to turn page after page, wanting to know how the story would unfold. Ka Hancock has a real gift when it comes to bringing characters to life. I was swept into the love story of Lucy and Mickey and the lives of their families and friends.

A very sad story in many ways and the many tears I cried reading this book were a surprise to me. I'm not one to cry while reading or watching a movie...it takes a compelling story to get me to feel that emotional about any work of fiction. But cry I did, buckets actually. I put a couple of other projects on hold too, during the couple of days that it took me to finish this book.

I won't spoil the plot by going into details about the story but suffice to say it is: touching, heart-warming and heart-wrenching too.  I thoroughly enjoyed Dancing on Broken Glass, in spite of some of the negative reviews I had read online about this book, including this comment over at: Kirkus Reviews


From Kirkus Reviews re: Dancing on Broken Glass by Ka Hancock: A tidily crafted but treacly excavation of misery in the name of higher sentiments


Yes, it is a sentimental book but isn't that what true love is all about? I did not find it sugar-coated or "treacly" though. It is a story that touched my heart. With memorable characters and a rather unique plot about two people trying to make a go of a marriage while facing a number of life challenges that most of us can be happy to say that we are not burdened with, in addition to those of an everyday "normal" existence.


What I didn't like about this book was the ending. I thought it took away from the story overall and for me, did not ring true. I was a surprised by this conclusion to a story that had thoroughly held my attention, up to that point.  In spite of this, I'm still glad I read this book and I look forward to more books by Ka Hancock in the future. 

If you have read this book or do so in the future, I'd love to hear your opinion of the story and in particular what you thought of the ending.


Overall rating for this book: Good. 3 out of 5.

11 comments:

  1. Excellent review, I'll check my Library forit and let you know what I think (that is if they have it. Since Aylmer, Hull and Gatineau has become justone town, Gatineau, Aylmer's Library has been smaller and smaller, we're losing Zellers and countless of other things....we're not winning as the smallest sector...that's the way it goes

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  2. I've heard of this book.... maybe I need to read it.2

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  3. Excellent review. I know you were very touched by this story and yes, you did cry, turning the pages. I might give this one a try too.

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  4. This sounds like an intriguing read! I will put this book on my to read list. You've given some compelling reasons to read this, Geraldine.
    Isn't it nice to find a book at the library, one you may never have read otherwise?
    Brenda

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  5. Hi Lorraine, Thanks L, do let me know what you think of this book if you read it.

    Hi Rumpy, I'm a "sucker" for a great book cover and this one really attracted me to pick it up, the title too. A very touching story.

    Hi Joe, Yes, the waterworks certainly were on full blast for this one. This story touched me in so many ways. An excellent writer.

    Hi Brenda, Let me know what you think Brenda. I agree about the libraries. It's only in recent years i started going to libraries on a regular basis again, in an attempt to curb my chapters and amazon BAD habits!!! LOL. I'm glad I did though.

    Happy Reading, G :<)

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  6. Now I am really intrigued, do I read it despite your dislike of the ending. I dislike fake endings also, and they tend to stick to me for ages.

    Also if you cried, what am I going to do, I cry at sentimental commercials...even the second, and third, and fourth times.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

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  7. Hey my dear G, Sammi's back, tiny too tiny but wow can she eat a lot hissing around but no big fight, thank God still whenI go out, I'll put Kimmi in the washroom, Mikey in my bedroom and Sammi redicovering her roots...no doubt about who she is, Mikey and Kimmi don't frighten her in the least, she's used to them, at least she remembere,thank, but nomatter how skinny she is and how tiny her features andher cry she does the same she always did, stay close tome, always sleep next to me...and scare Mikey an poor Kimmi away, I wish they would smarten up and all sleep in by bed ...ah but right this second, life is good, and I feell 100 pounds lighter

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  8. Hi Jen, I think it's definitely worth reading. The author has a beautiful style of writing that kept me engaged, in spite of some plot reservations, that I explained above. It is a real tear-jerker though (and not just me!!) over at Amazon that's mentioned several times too. Let me know.

    Hi Lorraine, That's wonderful news L. I am so happy for you and Sammi too.

    Happy Thursday, G :<)

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  9. dear i so enjoy your reviews!!!! makes me wanna read this one.... thank you...

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  10. I just finished reading this book....I loved the ending, it felt like the way it should go to me.....

    Her character, I was enthralled, entranced, and she moved into her death so gracefully...that book will haunt me for a long time.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

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  11. Hi Miss Pie, So nice to see you again and thanks for the kind words! You made my day. :<)

    Hi Jen, I'm so glad you shared your thoughts after reading this book especially about the ending. I thought it was a beautifully written story but as I said above, didn't feel like the ending. Cry any tears? Again, as I said above, for me it was buckets and I don't cry easily.

    Happy Weekend, G :<)

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Thank you for your visits and feedback! :<)

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