The Bird With The Broken Wing
By D. L. Richardson
Ben, Rachael and Jet have one thing in common. They are all at a rehab center to get their emotional scars healed – some embedded so deeply within their psyches that this may never happen. Jet comes from a home with a domineering wealthy but tightfisted father, and a mother afraid to stand up to him; not that Jet does either. Now after what Jet tried to do, she's in a place where two people will listen . . . And finds that she has nothing to say. Even her journal remains blank.
Ben thinks enlisting in the armed forces was a good way to avoid his problems at home. Now he zones out, trying to avoid his demons, wandering about like a robot, staring at past horrors only he can see. Rachael is an angelic 14-year-old who seems stable enough and is into helping them. She too is wounded more than she's willing to admit. What has life done to these three young people?
As Jet and Ben grow closer, even sharing their feelings, they begin to notice that this supposedly psyche center is not quite normal. They admit seeing ghostly white shadows darting about but no people, feeling full but never eating or bathing. Forgetfulness? Or a scientific experimental project? And there's no sense of time passing. No visitors, no doctors. Is it bad memories torturing them both, keeping them tipping closer into insanity?
Meanwhile Rachael is obsessed with fixing her broken companions as she convinces herself this nightmare will come to an end. She deludes herself — she's just as fragile, hovering near her own breaking point. It's as if each of the three is being made to suffer rather than get well in a rehab hospital that feels more like Purgatory.
Neale shows up, saying his father runs this place and sent him to observe it. The others are wary, but then nothing is normal in this place of horrors. Neale is as strange and different as Rachael. Yet he exudes a confidence which has a calming effect on the others.
Author D. L. Richardson writes an intriguing YA paranormal/spiritual novel which will captivate both YA and adult readers. Her characters are typical young people, likable at times, annoying and exasperating at others. Jet has no patience and a smart mouth, Ben, a temper and rage that rear up without warning. Rachael, while loving, feels resentment under her motherly attitude, as she begins to wonder where she really is and why. The author paces the story steadily, keeping one guessing as her plot culminates to an unpredictable, yet satisfying ending.
This speculative fiction novel is similar to ‘Lovely Bones,’ by Alice Sebold due to its twists and turns that evoke emotional trauma. Readers will long remember this excellent book and may want to check out the author's other works, ‘Little Red Gem,’ ‘Feedback,’ ‘Curious,’ a three book collection, as well as other book collections written by this uniquely talented author.
Micki Peluso, author of . . . And the Whippoorwill Sang
This book was presented to me by the author for review