Half Broken Things

Half Broken Things Jean Michael and Steph are three reluctant loners who are just getting by Damaged and fearful of life they cannot survive alone for much longer A mixture of deceit good luck and misfortune draws th

  • Title: Half Broken Things
  • Author: Morag Joss
  • ISBN: 9780440242444
  • Page: 301
  • Format: Paperback
  • Jean, Michael and Steph are three reluctant loners who are just getting by Damaged and fearful of life, they cannot survive alone for much longer A mixture of deceit, good luck and misfortune draws them together to Walden Manor, a secluded and gracious country house that promises sanctuary and freedom from impending destitution Out of an invented past they shape a beautJean, Michael and Steph are three reluctant loners who are just getting by Damaged and fearful of life, they cannot survive alone for much longer A mixture of deceit, good luck and misfortune draws them together to Walden Manor, a secluded and gracious country house that promises sanctuary and freedom from impending destitution Out of an invented past they shape a beautiful present, full of hope and happiness And, beguiled by the gentle passing of time itself, all three of them, for the first time in their lives, lose their dread of the future.If their sense of safety is built on a delusion, does it matter When the idyll is threatened, Jean, Michael and Steph discover that because their lives are now worth living they are now also worth preserving, although at appalling cost.

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      Posted by:Morag Joss
      Published :2019-02-19T01:42:50+00:00

    About "Morag Joss"

    1. Morag Joss

      She is the author of six novels, including the Sara Selkirk series, and the Silver Dagger winning Half Broken Things She began writing in 1996 after a short story of hers was runner up in a national competition sponsored by Good Housekeeping magazine A visit to the Roman Baths with crime writer P.D James germinated the plot of her first novel, Funeral Music, the first in the Sara Selkirk series, which gained a Dilys Award nomination for the year s best mystery published in the USA.Series Sarah Selkirk MysteryAwards Crime Writers Association Silver Dagger 2003 Half Broken Things


    1. I was pleasantly surprised to discover the many talents of author Morag Joss. This novel of gothic suspense is absorbing and hard to put down; a perfect book to read during the winter months.Joss was able to create the perfect atmosphere of suspense that had me turning the pages.The novel begins with professional house sitter Jean, age 64 years old and an extremely inhibited spinster, as she begins her new job at the beautiful, English, Walden Manor where she will be in residence for 9 months to [...]

    2. Half Broken Things by Morag Joss was recommended to me recently by a librarian friend. She said it was in her top 50 books of all-time. The conversation had started when I mentioned how much I had liked the movie Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and how true it stayed to the book. She offered that Half Broken Things was another film adaptation that was excellent. She suggested though, that I read the book first. And I am glad I did.Right off the bat, the book sounded like it would appeal to me. The j [...]

    3. Half Broken Things is a powerful story about what we tell ourselves as truth. It is an unexpected tale that is beautifully written and compelling. Joss pulled me in with her words, ideas and story. It tells the story of a house sitter who has just been told by her agency that she will no longer be placed because of her age. They are forcing her retirement. This story is a combination of her confession and a third-person account of what happens during her nine months at a country house in Bath, E [...]

    4. Lonely people don’t want to be alone. For them, solitude has none of the glamour that those of us with choice perceive. People like Jean, the protagonist and part-narrator of Half Broken Things, who never, for a combination of reasons, married, or had kids, find themselves watching from the outside in. Older now, without parents living, they feel loneliness chipping away, a prodding reminder of what they missed out on. Mostly the days pass with dull routine, and the way it is depicted in Joss [...]

    5. Walden Manor, a large country home, is the setting for Half Broken Things. Jean works for an agency and is about at the end of her working life as she becomes a house sitter for the summer while the owners are away. At first she is alone and one of the first things that happens is she accidentally breaks a valuable old teapot. In fact, most of the items in the house are valuable and of quality but have chips or tears or cracks in them, which also makes the house almost another entity in the stor [...]

    6. The cover claims that this is a suspense novel but after reading 270 pages of the 300 page book, something tension-wrought btu not very suspenseful finally happens. I didn't like the characters and I didn't like what they did and found the whole book rather disturbing but not in a thought-provoking manner. As another reviewer put it-it was just creepy.

    7. Although I'm personally a very optimistic person, I'm drawn to dark books. All I have to see are the words "damaged, difficult characters," and I'm hitting the BUY button. So this book was a natural for me--three people with terrible childhoods and desperate financial need take shelter together in a grand house that the eldest woman is house-sitting. They soon form a happy family there. But of course, real life intervenes and they're driven to do terrible things. Good set-up, right? Sadly, this [...]

    8. Faulty Towers An unlikely exposition eventually grinds into gear and once settled in, the remaining two-thirds of this Murphy's-Law fable are increasingly engrossing. Morag Joss has read her Rendell, her Highsmith, and also her Poe; what we have here is a tale of grotesques, enlarged & protean creatures that are forced into smaller and smaller corners by their own actions. The alternating senses of pressure and release, panic and calm are the dynamic of the plot. (Unfortunately, the Stephen [...]

    9. Half Broken Things is a novel of just that -- things and people who are at best half-broken. Jean is an older woman with no family, no friends, who house-sits to escape having to live at the local retirement home. Michael is a petty thief, a man tormented by his debts, but seeing no way to come clear of them. Steph, a young girl, barely out of her teens, is knocked around by the father of her baby, and has no future, no money, nothing other than the baby in her belly.These three people, so broke [...]

    10. 4.5, psychological suspense. Winner of a Silver Dagger Award. Written in beautiful, quiet prose. Story begins with Jean, who's had a spirit-crushing childhood and a dull, unappreciated adult life. At 64, she's a house sitter in Bath, England, who has just begun a nine-month assignment in a beautiful, isolated estate; her agency calls to tell her it will be her last gig for them, she must retire because of age. So what to do - she decides to make the most of things! She manages to whip up a 'son' [...]

    11. Wow, I have no idea how this book could be described as a "gripping tale of psychological suspense." It wasn't bad, but it certainly wasn't what I was expecting. This confluence of three dead-end lives lived in quiet desperation makes for interesting reading, but I expected a Silver Dagger Award winner to have a bit more grit to it. This novel wanders through dusky shadows wrapped in gauze.

    12. Different. Still thinking about this one. I've only just finished it and I'm mulling it over. I suppose that must mean that it's thought provoking. Definitely different.

    13. This is the second Morag Joss novel I've read, the first being The Night Following which I adored. This is every bit as good, although quite different. The writing is a little more laid back and the pace is quite gentle. At the outset Jean is a housesitter, living all on her own in other people's houses, putting down no roots and with virtually no human contact. She prefers it that way. Fate brings her to Walden Manor, a beautiful, perfect family home. It also brings Michael and Steph into her l [...]

    14. The Scottish author won a Silver Dagger Award by the Crime Writers' Association for this wonderfully dark psychological thriller. Jean is an elderly house-sitter, just asked to leave her job. But not before she finishes her last assignment of taking care of a secluded country home. Michael is a petty thief who steals church artifacts to get enough cash to buy tinned soup.Steph is the abused pregnant girlfriend of a brute, who one day gives in to her impulse and runs away from her boyfriend. She [...]

    15. The cover of this novel describes it as a "book of suspense." I saw it a bit differently. It did have a rather slow buildup that picked up its suspense cred about 3/4 of the way through, but it was more a novel about lonely people desperately looking for love and a family of sorts. The lead character and sometimes narrator is a 60-ish woman who never married or had children who basically lives in a fantasy world of her own making. She is a professional house sitter who is presently house sitting [...]

    16. Compulsively readable and character-driven. Others have compared it to The Little Stranger, and I think that's an accurate comparison, as they both develop a spiraling storyline with a plot that gradually develops momentum, ending on oblivion, of course. The book store shelves this in mystery, but I found it at the library in general fiction. It's a hard call, since it contains elements of mystery -- murder, intrigue, small moments of criminal ugliness, but it is also a domestic drama, with thou [...]

    17. After reading Among the Missing, I am afraid my expectations were too high. Half Broken Things is the story of lonely, traumatized people whose paths have crossed. The pages are laced with a feeling of inevitable horror, but the pace is slow, and just because characters are lonely, traumatized and for the most part up to no good, doesn't make them interesting. I was able to finish the book out of a mild curiosity about the outcome and an appreciation for the skill of Joss's writing. However, had [...]

    18. I should have given this more than three stars but I'm trying to be a more discerning reader like the members of my book club (which I've been to twice). But the book was built up a sincerely creepy fashion and involved so much bizarre, yet somewhat sympathetic behavior, that I knew the end was going to be really creepy and I was right. That's all I'm going to say. Overall it was very well-written as well. It just moved at a snail's pace.

    19. This book really creeps up on you. Very suspenseful, as promised. Morag Joss clearly knows her way around a psycho-thriller. Not a genre I normally gravitate to, but the characters in this surprising book are some of the most memorable I've encountered. Just don't read it if you're planning on hiring a house sitter.

    20. Although this book by Morag Joss (very well written by the way) doesn't seem, on the surface, to be a "suspense" novel, the suspense does grow, gradually and surely as the book progresses. I liked the idea of the book immensely, and I don't think the end was, in any way, a let down. An excellent writer, Morag Joss will certainly be an author I will try to read more of.

    21. Good suspense book. Kind of disturbing how bizarre the characters can act at moment. I kept turning the pages to see what weird thing they would do next. There is a graphic scene in the middle of the book that can totally be skipped.

    22. Three people heading for a tragedy you can see coming but you can't stop happening. Wonderful writing and very interesting characters. Cover says "A Novel of Suspense" but that's not what I'd call it--it's more of a psychological study.

    23. The front cover claimed it was a novel of suspense. After reading it I think it was a novel of anything but suspense! It was creepy but not suspenseful or thrilling.

    24. You know where this is all heading as the characters descend deeper into depravity chapter by chapter. 3.5 stars, good enough for 4.

    25. Whoa! This is written incredibly well but starts off slow. It could be called a horror story. No ghouls or ghosts but frightening non the less to be silent witness to three people who's lives are at bottom suddenly find something worth holding on to, each other. The trio creates an alternate reality which soon becomes the norm their very survival depends upon. It transforms them beyond that point but not up as you might expect but deeper into the dark decent of sheer lunacy. Jean is a house sitt [...]

    26. I’m not sure how I feel about this book. The beginning completely sucked me in, but in time, the storyline become somewhat of a predictable train wreck. It’s like you basically knew where it was headed but the details of how it would all work out were unknown. I didn’t love it or hate it and can’t fully put a finger on why. Early on I felt I could somewhat relate to the main character but as the story went on she and the others felt less and less relatable.

    27. Ok, so I'm accustomed to the eccentric celebrity of landed but maybe not wealthy Brits, and the royals. Joss' half broken things are Brits who are poor, somewhat mad, oddly rational and possess perceptions of impossible selves. There's no good to this ending.

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