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Broken for You

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Broken for You Cover

ISBN13: 9780802117793
ISBN10: 0802117791
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Staff Pick

A beautiful story about a pair of damaged women with a forty-two-year age difference coming to a juncture in their lives that causes them to form an ageless alliance. Like pieces of opposite jigsaw puzzles they file the pieces and make them fit.
Recommended by Donna, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A buoyant debut novel about two women in self-imposed exile whose worlds are transformed when their paths intersect, and a glorious homage to the beauty of broken things.

Broken for You is a debut novel of infinite charm and tremendous heart that explores the risks and rewards of human connection, and the hidden strength behind things that only seem fragile. With a riotous energy that recalls the works of John Irving and Anne Tyler, Kallos brings to life a delightful set of characters — among them an old woman who converses regularly with her porcelain collection; a young woman who can fix a leaky sink but can't stop her own tears from falling; a Yeats-loving bowling enthusiast; and a woman who survived a world war with her sense of humor (and her affinity for Hawaiian shirts) intact.

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 west 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. Along the way, a famous mosaic artist is born, a Holocaust survivor is reunited with her long-lost tea set, and a sad-eyed drifter finds his long-lost daughter.

Funny, 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.

Review:

"'The dead, Margaret thought. They can be so loud.' So muses the protagonist of this dreamy, powerful tale of familial warring, secrets and redemption. When elderly Margaret Hughes discovers that she has a malignant brain tumor, she refuses treatment and decides to take a nice young tenant into her huge, lonely Seattle mansion for company. What she gets is Wanda Schultz, a tough-as-nails stage manager who is secretly seeking the man who left her and prone to inexplicable weeping breakdowns. Wanda, ignorant of Margaret's illness, is intrigued by the museum-like house and its eccentric owner — so when Margaret unexpectedly invites her to a drink-champagne-and-break-the-priceless-antique-china party for two, she's delighted. But a dark history lurks; the houseful of gorgeous antique porcelain comes from Margaret's father's WWII pilfering of European Jewish homes. Meanwhile, Wanda's father, who deserted her years ago, is on the road trying to heal, and Margaret's mother's ghost is haunting the Seattle mansion, lounging about in expensive peignoirs and criticizing her only daughter. Wrestling to keep the dead and the ghosts of their pasts at bay, the two women slowly build an extraordinary friendship, and when Wanda discovers a talent for mosaics, the past begins to quiet. Though it takes a while to get started, this haunting and memorable debut is reminiscent of early Atwood, peopled by lovably imperfect and eccentric characters. Agent, Simon Lipskar at Writer's House. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Stephanie Kallos's lovely and heartfelt first novel is a gift. A story of broken hearts and broken promises, it is also the story of the ways we put things back together — messily, beautifully, and ultimately triumphantly. Kallos is a writer to watch, and one who, mercifully, still believes in happy endings." Sheri Holman, author of The Dress Lodger and The Mammoth Cheese

Review:

"Let the angels in! With this story of transformative friendships, Stephanie Kallos calls us to leave the dreary wisdom of our lives and seek the company of souls adrift. Good things come in pieces." Nancy Rawles, author of Crawfish Dreams

Review:

"In this sparkling debut novel, Stephanie Kallos has created an extraordinary testament to the power of love and forgiveness. Broken For You is a big-hearted book that pulses with life." Tova Mirvis, author of The Outside World and The Ladies Auxiliary

Review:

"A seventy-six-year-old woman who's just learned that she has a brain tumor takes in a thirty-four-year-old woman who's just been dumped by her boyfriend. Can this be funny? Yes. Painfully funny, beautifully written, and completely original. I love this novel." Lolly Winston, author of Good Grief

Synopsis:

A fresh and compulsively readable debut novel about two women in self-imposed exile whose lives intersect, transforming both their worlds. Septuagenarian Margaret Hughes has spent most of her adult life alone in a mansion filled with antique porcelain whose dark origins hold a mysterious force over her. When she learns she is dying, she opens her home to a succession of oddball boarders, which is how she meets Wanda, a broken-hearted woman chasing the man who deserted her. As these two broken souls come together to form an unusual improvised family, past wrongs, both personal and historical, are repaired. Broken for You is funny, heartbreaking and alive with a potpourri of eccentric and irresistible characters, and will appeal to fans of Anne Tyler or John Irving.

Synopsis:

Funny, heartbreaking and alive with a potpourri of eccentric and irresistible characters, this fresh and compulsively readable debut novel is about two women in self-imposed exile whose lives intersect, transforming both their worlds.

Synopsis:

With a riotous energy that recalls the works of John Irving and Anne Tyler, Broken for You is a debut novel of infinite charm and tremendous heart that explores the risks and rewards of human connection, and the hidden strength behind things that only seem fragile. 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 west 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 Wanda. Along the way, a famous mosaic artist is born, a Holocaust survivor is reunited with her long-lost tea set, and a sad-eyed drifter finds his long-lost daughter. Funny, 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.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

Avid Annie, January 1, 2010 (view all comments by Avid Annie)
There are many wonderful angles to this story - how to make the end of life meaningful, how to atone for one's perceived part in tragedy, how to connect art and life, and how to connect human lives, to name a few. Stephanie Kallos is one of the most inspiring writers of the decade.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Malia, January 1, 2010 (view all comments by Malia)
This was my best book of the decade. I did not expect to like it, as it was a book club choice and not one I would have read on my own. But I cried my eyes out and loved it so much that I didn't even care that there were no dragons or magicians or vamp... Anyway, it was good. :)
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Hallesmommy123, May 10, 2009 (view all comments by Hallesmommy123)
Charming. Starts out a tad slow, but gradually folds you into the story. By the end of the book you'll be with the characters and be quietly won over.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(2 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780802117793
Author:
Kallos, Stephanie
Publisher:
Grove Press
Location:
New York
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Psychological fiction
Subject:
Landlord and tenant
Subject:
Domestic fiction
Subject:
FICTION / Literary
Subject:
Older women
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st ed.
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
September 9, 2004
Binding:
Hardback
Language:
English
Pages:
384
Dimensions:
900x600

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Broken for You Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$1.50 In Stock
Product details 384 pages Grove Press - English 9780802117793 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

A beautiful story about a pair of damaged women with a forty-two-year age difference coming to a juncture in their lives that causes them to form an ageless alliance. Like pieces of opposite jigsaw puzzles they file the pieces and make them fit.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "'The dead, Margaret thought. They can be so loud.' So muses the protagonist of this dreamy, powerful tale of familial warring, secrets and redemption. When elderly Margaret Hughes discovers that she has a malignant brain tumor, she refuses treatment and decides to take a nice young tenant into her huge, lonely Seattle mansion for company. What she gets is Wanda Schultz, a tough-as-nails stage manager who is secretly seeking the man who left her and prone to inexplicable weeping breakdowns. Wanda, ignorant of Margaret's illness, is intrigued by the museum-like house and its eccentric owner — so when Margaret unexpectedly invites her to a drink-champagne-and-break-the-priceless-antique-china party for two, she's delighted. But a dark history lurks; the houseful of gorgeous antique porcelain comes from Margaret's father's WWII pilfering of European Jewish homes. Meanwhile, Wanda's father, who deserted her years ago, is on the road trying to heal, and Margaret's mother's ghost is haunting the Seattle mansion, lounging about in expensive peignoirs and criticizing her only daughter. Wrestling to keep the dead and the ghosts of their pasts at bay, the two women slowly build an extraordinary friendship, and when Wanda discovers a talent for mosaics, the past begins to quiet. Though it takes a while to get started, this haunting and memorable debut is reminiscent of early Atwood, peopled by lovably imperfect and eccentric characters. Agent, Simon Lipskar at Writer's House. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Stephanie Kallos's lovely and heartfelt first novel is a gift. A story of broken hearts and broken promises, it is also the story of the ways we put things back together — messily, beautifully, and ultimately triumphantly. Kallos is a writer to watch, and one who, mercifully, still believes in happy endings."
"Review" by , "Let the angels in! With this story of transformative friendships, Stephanie Kallos calls us to leave the dreary wisdom of our lives and seek the company of souls adrift. Good things come in pieces."
"Review" by , "In this sparkling debut novel, Stephanie Kallos has created an extraordinary testament to the power of love and forgiveness. Broken For You is a big-hearted book that pulses with life."
"Review" by , "A seventy-six-year-old woman who's just learned that she has a brain tumor takes in a thirty-four-year-old woman who's just been dumped by her boyfriend. Can this be funny? Yes. Painfully funny, beautifully written, and completely original. I love this novel."
"Synopsis" by , A fresh and compulsively readable debut novel about two women in self-imposed exile whose lives intersect, transforming both their worlds. Septuagenarian Margaret Hughes has spent most of her adult life alone in a mansion filled with antique porcelain whose dark origins hold a mysterious force over her. When she learns she is dying, she opens her home to a succession of oddball boarders, which is how she meets Wanda, a broken-hearted woman chasing the man who deserted her. As these two broken souls come together to form an unusual improvised family, past wrongs, both personal and historical, are repaired. Broken for You is funny, heartbreaking and alive with a potpourri of eccentric and irresistible characters, and will appeal to fans of Anne Tyler or John Irving.
"Synopsis" by , Funny, heartbreaking and alive with a potpourri of eccentric and irresistible characters, this fresh and compulsively readable debut novel is about two women in self-imposed exile whose lives intersect, transforming both their worlds.
"Synopsis" by , With a riotous energy that recalls the works of John Irving and Anne Tyler, Broken for You is a debut novel of infinite charm and tremendous heart that explores the risks and rewards of human connection, and the hidden strength behind things that only seem fragile. 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 west 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 Wanda. Along the way, a famous mosaic artist is born, a Holocaust survivor is reunited with her long-lost tea set, and a sad-eyed drifter finds his long-lost daughter. Funny, 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.
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