Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Book Review: Scattered Links by Michelle Weidenbenner

Scattered Links
By Michelle Weidenbenner
Publisher: Random Publishing
Published: Jan 4, 2014

Amazon Synopsis:

“Scattered Links is a novel that pulls its characters from the gutters and, in the end, celebrates the tenacity of the human spirit.” A reviewer comment. 

Thirteen-year-old Oksana lives on the streets of Russia with her pregnant mama and abusive aunt—both prostitutes. When Mama swells into labor, Oksana makes a decision to save herself from abandonment, a decision that torments her forever. But her plan fails when her aunt dumps her in an orphanage before she has the chance to say goodbye to her mama or tell her the secret that haunts her. 

Scattered Links is a story of family and the consequences that come from never learning how to 
love. It’s a story of a girl’s inability to bond with her adopted family and the frustrations that follow. 

How can a child understand the mechanics of forming a healthy relationship when she never had a mother who answered her cries, held her when she was frightened, fed her when she was hungry, or loved her unconditionally? 

Only when the child meets a rescued abused horse, and recognizes the pain in his eyes, does she begin to trust again. 

Book Links

My Thoughts:

Oksana is a 13-year-old child who lives with her pregnant prostitute mother and abusive aunt in a small town in Russia. When Oksana’s mother gives birth, Oksana makes an attempt to keep from being abandoned by her mother. However, Oksana’s aunt whisks her and the baby away to an orphanage before she has the chance to say goodbye or tell her mother her secret.

Scattered Links was an amazing novel. Written with amazing clarity and vivid word pictures, the reader is swept up into the world in which Oksana lives. The bleakness of that world is clearly seen, and the contrast to the bright and vivid colours of the country she adopts is almost surprising in its intensity. The attention to detail that the author gives this novel is beautiful but not tedious.

I loved the theme of family that is brought out in Scattered Links. Whether biological or adopted, family is important and Scattered Links makes that obvious and shows us why. Readers will come to love Oksana and both of her families despite their flaws.

The character development in this novel is beautifully done. We are shown through the actions of Oksana’s mother her true nature and her deep love for her daughter. It was very heart-wrenching to see the pain that it caused both mother and daughter, but as a mother myself, painful as it would have been, I hope I would have had the strength to do the same for my daughter.

Although Scattered Links is a work of fiction, it was inspired by the author’s Russian adoption journey. This novel will remind you how strong the human spirit is and you will be encouraged by those who are able to open their hearts and homes to children like Oksana and her sister. Many of these institutionalized children like Oksana have what is called Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). There is information at the back of the novel on this condition.

I thought Scattered Links was an excellent novel of survival on the streets, adoption and love and I would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys books on these topics. This book is suitable for teens through adults. It’s a book I’ll keep on my shelves and read again. I gave it 5 stars out of 5!

Thank you to the author for providing a copy in exchange for a fair and honest review. A positive opinion was not required. All thoughts are my own.

About the Author:

Michelle is a fulltime employee of God’s kingdom, writing and encouraging writers every day. She’s often a sucker for emotional stories, her sensitive side fueling the passion for her character’s plights, often giving her the ability to show readers the “other” side of the story.
She grew up in the burbs of Detroit with five brothers. No sisters. Each time her mom brought the boy bundle home Michelle cried, certain her mom liked boys better than girls. But when her brothers pitched in with the cooking, cleaning, and babysitting—without drama, Michelle discovered having brothers wasn’t so bad. They even taught her how to take direct criticism without flinching, which might come in handy with book reviews.
Michelle is living her dream—writing every day and thanking God for the stories He puts in her path. When Michelle isn’t writing she’s winning ugly on the tennis court. She’s known as “Queen of the Rim Shots.” No joke. It’s ugly.
Her debut novel, Cache a Predator is a geocaching mystery and a #1 Amazon bestseller in the drama and thriller/crime categories.
Scattered Links (initially titled Love is Just a Word) was the winner of the 2013 Aspiring Writers Competition, sponsored by Write on Con and The Reading Room. It’s been a #1 Amazon Bestseller in the Adoption category.
Michelle blogs at Random Writing Rants where she teaches and encourages writers how to get published.

Author Links
Website   *  Goodreads  *  Twitter  *  Facebook

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