Verdict: With a slight flavor to Nicholas Sparks' moving romance stories, ONCE BROKEN is an unforgettable read with wide audience appeal.
An on again/off again relationship turns into a long-term love/hate situation when an unplanned pregnancy creates seemingly irreconcilable differences.
Jackie Martin is fifteen when she first sets eyes on Tony Salvucci. Although she runs into the handsome fast talker from time to time, seven years pass before Jackie and their relationship actually takes off. All appears to go well with the amorous couple until she gets pregnant unexpectedly. Jackie, who religiously takes the pill and is certain that the pregnancy is a miracle, determines to keep the baby. Tony, who is dead set against the pregnancy, breaks up with Jackie and leaves her in a lurch. The schism ignites a flurry of unresolved conflict. And as trials and even tragedy unfold, it will take over a three-decade plus span of time before any thought of forgiveness and healing can take effect.
Hamblin produces a compelling love story in her debut novel. Many years in the refining process, Hamblin’s narrative centers on Jackie and Tony whose attraction to one another is immediate. Yet their concept of real love is skewed because of their dysfunctional upbringings. Set between the 1970s to early 2009, Hamblin incorporates nuances of each decade through the popular music groups and titles the lovers enjoy, as well as the forms of communication (i.e., letter writing, standard phones to emails and texting to cell phones) they use over the years. Key to Hamblin’s writing style is the engaging dialogue between her well-defined cast. Hamblin also keeps her storyline flowing by weaving in back stories and by alternating characters within a balanced mix of anticipated and totally unexpected scenes that all slowly lead up to a memorable closing.
With a slight flavor to Nicholas Sparks’ moving romance stories, ONCE BROKEN is an unforgettable read with wide audience appeal.