Book Title: House Broken
Author name: Sonja Yoerg
Publication date: January 6, 2015
Veterinarian Geneva Novak understands the behavior of umpteen species—just not her mother, Helen.
Geneva fled her childhood home—and her mother’s vodka-fueled disasters—without a backward glance. Twenty-five years later, Helen totals her car and her leg, and none of her children will play nurse. Geneva’s husband, whose family lives in each other’s pockets, convinces her that letting Helen move in might repair the mother-daughter relationship.
Geneva’s not holding her breath.
But she recognizes an opportunity. With her mother dependent and hobbled, Geneva may finally get answers to questions that have plagued her for years: why her eldest sister exiled herself to Africa, why her mother won’t discuss Geneva’s long-dead father, and why—there has to be a reason—Helen treats alcohol like a general anesthetic.
Sonja’s writing style is effortless to read and yet the story surrounding this family is complex & rich. Perhaps I could relate all too well to the age at which Geneva finds herself: surrounded by family obligations & drama, pulled in too many directions, issues which could affect quality of life, intertwined with the everyday minutia of life. Sonja touches on topics that many moms are dealing with: juggling a career, loving on her two teenage kids while they try to resist, keeping alive & well her longterm marriage, and dealing with an ornery, aging parent. Mixed in is a difficult subject that’s relevant, heart-wrenching. Sonja spins the tale around this subject delicately, respectfully, and then twists with angles I wasn’t anticipating. Though the subjects tackled within House Broken are hard, meaty, and difficult, Sonja surrounds it all with enough good humor to balance.
HOUSEBROKEN is told from three points of view: Geneva, her mother and her sixteen-year-old daughter.
Reviewed by: Denise Gregory