4 out of 4 stars
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Liv seems to have it all; she’s a successful artist, possesses a sizeable fortune, and has a doting husband. Alex, her husband, is the perfect partner. He’s sensitive to her needs and supportive, something Liv did not experience under the watch of her high-society parents. All this changes after Liv reveals her pregnancy to him. Suddenly, Alex transforms into a man she doesn’t recognize and starts acting strangely. He suggests that they visit his mother in Venezuela, triggering a chain of events that leads to Liv questioning the nature of their relationship. The main questions begging to be answered are “What is Alex’s true identity?” and “Will Liv and Alex’s relationship survive?” All of these and more are brought forth in Amy McKinley’s novel, Broken Circle.
Broken Circle hooked me from the start. I’m a sucker for a good mystery so I found myself glued to the pages to figure out Alex’s secretive backstory. The dual nature of Alex left me curious; I wanted to see which side of him was his true self: his kind and sensitive personality he displayed with Liv or his violent demeanor that emerged around his father and brother. McKinley does a superb job of developing her characters. Liv was believable and I could see myself acting similarly in her situation. I appreciated that Liv reacted in a realistic fashion toward traumatic events. Often, authors either have female characters act maudlin or seemingly get over the situation instantaneously. This was not the case in Broken Circle. Additionally, I really enjoyed the descriptions of Venezuela. I could picture Margarita Island, the place where Alex grew up, in my mind through McKinley’s vivid depictions of the tropical scenery.
The only improvement I can think of for the novel regards the general friendliness and willingness to help shown by Liam, a kind man who aids Liv, and his friends. For the most part, the characters that helped Liv were all extraordinarily helpful and kind. It would have been nice if all the supporting characters had been developed more. However, this wasn’t a big issue for me because most of the focus was on Liv and Alex. Both of these characters were exquisitely developed and felt truly human in their virtues and vices.
Broken Circle was exceptionally edited. I only noticed two minor errors while reading the novel. One example included the use of “waivered” instead of “wavered”.
Overall, I happily rate Broken Circle 4 out of 4 stars. There was very little that I disliked about the book, and I appreciated its nearly flawless editing. I was on the edge of my seat trying to figure out the mystery of Alex’s identity and to see if Liv would get the happy ending she deserved. I would recommend this work to readers who enjoy books with a dash of mystery and drama. Broken Circle does contain some depictions of violence; audiences who are sensitive to this sort of content may need to steer clear of it.
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