‘Skunk, Skunk. Wake Up, beautiful darling.’
Archie, my father, holds my hands as he says this. I sense his words rather than hear them.
I also sense his life.
Finally, he will sleep and dream that the harsh ringing sound by his bedside is the Royal Hampshire County Hospital phoning to say I am dead. …
Daniel Clay began his book with intriguing paragraphs. Those were the words in Skunk’s mind. From the beginning, we knew that something bad had happened to the little girl named Skunk Cunningham. Skunk took us to the day where it all started. The day when Bob Oswald beat Rick Buckley and turned him into a broken man.
Broken is a story of three family intertwined living close to each other. The Cunningham is basically the most normal out of the three. Archie Cunningham is a single father with two children, Skunk and Jed. His helper named Cerys dated Mike, Skunk’s teacher. The Oswald is the worst out of three. Bob Oswald has 5 daughters, Saraya, Saskia, Susan, Sunrise and Sunset. The Oswald is a trouble maker, the kind of family that everyone in the neighborhood despised the most. The Buckley is actually a normal family too…that is until Bob Oswald beat Rick Buckley…the Buckley is never the same again afterward.
It’s quite difficult to review or summarize Broken as the story is more like what happen in daily life with a bit of twist. One thing leads to another and they intertwine in a way that finally comes to the final end of the story.
Bob Oswald found birth control pills in Susan’s room and even though Bob is not the best father in the world, he disliked the idea that his daughters were easy lay. He forced Susan to tell him who she had been sleeping with. In panic, Susan told him that it was Rick Buckley (she said that because she overheard Saskia mocking the size of Rick’s private area). Without thinking straight, Bob Oswald hit Rick and reported him as a rapist. The police soon found out that Susan was still a virgin…but the damage had been done.
From then on, Daniel took us to daily life of the Cunningham, the Oswald and The Buckley. They all have problems of their own but something always connects the three of them.
That’s all I can say about the story…more than that will result in spoiler. Although people said that Broken is a modern day To Kill a Mocking Bird, but I think Broken has a much darker story than Mockingbird.
What I don’t like about the book is the Oswald…when reading it, I kept thinking is such family really exist? Reading about the Oswald annoyed me so much, especially when they started defaming people for their own benefit. I was so pissed off at one point that I stopped reading the book and read something else. When my anger had calmed down, I picked the book again. Book and Movie contains defamation always resulted in me wanting to stop reading or watching it. Fortunately, all the bad stuffs the Oswald did connected to a very satisfying ending.
My favorite part of the book is definitely about Broken Buckley (it’s how Skunk and Jed called Rick Buckley). Every detail of his life is interesting to read. I really want to know what will happen to a broken soul like him…plus, the fact that I love horror and thriller stories can also be the cause why Broken Buckley’s life is the most interesting part of the book for me. I also like the way Daniel mixed the story of three families in one long paragraph, somehow it gave the sense of what happened with the three of them at that certain time.
Overall, even though Broken has parts I wanted to quit reading, but I am glad I continue reading it as it has a very satisfying ending. Skunk’s last words are very touching and I love every single words in that last pages. The last pages of the book are the best part of the book, in my opinion.
I would like to once again express my gratitude to Daniel Clay for being so incredibly nice to send me his book all the way from England. I hope you will have more books published in the future.
You can read my Interview regarding the transformation of the book into movie here (click on the image)
I look forward to see the movie which was said to be released on March (not sure when the DVD will be out). I really want to see how Broken Buckley being represented in the movie (played by Robert Emms). Although Rory Kinnear who played Bob Oswald won BIFA for his role but the one I really want to see is my dear Cillian Murphy as Mike the school teacher 😉