Saturday, June 28, 2014

Scattered Links by M. Weidenbenner

Scattered Links
Author:  M. Weidenbenner
Publisher:  Createspace
Pages: 256
Release Date: January 20th, 2014
Source: Received from the author in exchange for
an honest review

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

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, 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.

Scattered Links is a story that tackles some tough issues, and manages to bring a level of warmth and hope into the mix even if things don't turn out perfectly. The story follows Oksana, and her struggles through poverty until she finds her new home in America. 

The story is really touching, but it is also very "real". You can tell the author really understands these kids and the trials they go through changing cultures and finding new homes. There are small details that really shows the author has experience with adoptions like this and has done her research, from the culture shocks to the small things like saving food after a meal. 

The writing can be a little different, and it takes some patience in some areas. Since Oksana isn't from America, the words and language can feel clipped and the sentence structure is stylized to fit Oksana's voice. There were a few times the idioms and gradual adaptation to an American way of speaking felt distracting to me, but I think it showed her growing process in the end and at least had a good purpose. 

I liked the twists in the story, and I felt Oksana developed well as a character. I did feel it was hard to gauge the growth of the other characters though because of the very personal first perspective. Sometimes I wanted to know more of what they were thinking or feeling, but that's just a personal preference. 

Altogether this was a very well done book with a touching story line.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Mati -
    Thanks for taking the time to read and review LINKS! I appreciate all you do for authors and readers!