The Boken Pane is a painful novel about loss, family and secrets. The main character, Tam, travels along memory lane, figuring out what her childhood had really been like. The book hops between different time periods, starting with a tragic discovery. That causes Tam to look back through the years, questioning her memories.
Charlie Roy, the author, deals with so many difficult issues in this book. From the young newlyweds to lack of support networks down to social workers and their assessment of the family. Charlie draws us into Tam’s painful memories which have often been glossed up to help her to cope. There is a subtle shift throughout the book, through Tam’s eyes, when she looks at the people around her. There is her Nana, the safe base all throughout, but was she really as kind and good as Tam thought she was?
The Broken Pane is not an easy read, as it deals with loss and childhood hurt. I liked the ending as it doesn’t fix everything, no happily ever after as a smiling family. I don’t like books that don’t end well, but in a strange way, this didn’t end badly. It was a realistic ending, and I appreciated that. The theme of the broken pane was an interesting one, highly symbolic of what went on, and I loved its thread throughout the book.
The characters in The Broken Pane were great, I could really picture them. They’re a colourful bunch, and my favourite is probably George. Near the end of the book, my perspectives on many of the characters shifted quite a bit, which I thought was brilliant. It shows how complex abuse and relationships is, and there is hardly ever an easy explanation or solution. It also shows how people process life differently, choosing a different way to cope with hard situations.
The Broken Pane is Charlie Roy’s debut novel, and I’m glad that I received a review copy via Love Books Tours. I was under no pressure or obligation to write a favourable review. The book talks about domestic abuse and violence.