Monday, August 7, 2017

God Bless the Broken Road by Jennifer Dornbush

Dornbush crafted this novelization of the movie with the same name. She participated in writing the screenplay and has done an excellent job on the novelization.

Amber is trying to maintain a life for her and her daughter, Bree. Her job as a waitress is just not enough to make ends meet. She's angry at God for letting her army husband be killed in Afghanistan. She's stuck in a world of hurt and anger.

Cody is a race car driver who has crashed one too many cars. His sponsor has sent him to work with Joe in his garage, hoping for an attitude adjustment. Cody has difficulty accepting Joe's sage advice. Cody meets Amber and attempts the first acts of a fledgling romance.

Bree was my favorite character by far. She is a sweet little girl with a faith to move mountains. She forms a bridge between Amber and God and between Amber and her mother-in-law. Bree is definitely the hero of the story, even though she has to take some desperate actions that hurt others to ultimately bring healing.

There are many aspects of the novel I liked. The characters are well crafted and the novel was well written. There are many issues explored in the plot, including being mad at God, distancing one's self from friends after a tragedy, financial responsibility, healing grief, and much more.

One aspect of the novel I found puzzling was that there no mention of Social Security survivor's benefits for Bree after Darren was killed. Also not mentioned was the Veteran's Affairs monthly payments for surviving Amber and Bree since Darren died in active duty. Amber would have received nearly $1,500 a month in VA benefits for her and Bree. She would also have medical benefits and the ability to shop at a base commissary and exchange for life. That is not something that should have been left out in this novel since a major factor was Amber's financial situation. The novel gives the impression the military ignores the financial support of surviving families. That is just not the case.

I recommend this novel to those who enjoy a well written novel of healing and restoration when one's life includes a journey down a broken road. Just be aware of the lack of information regarding how the military helps surviving families of military killed in action.

The movie will be released in the Fall of 2017. You can find out more about it and watch a trailer here.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Jennifer Dornbush is a screenwriter, speaker, and forensic specialist. God Bless the Broken Road is her first novel. She lives in Los Angeles, CA. You can find out more at https://www.jenniferdornbush.com/.

Howard Books, 336 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.
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