Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Broken by Travis Thrasher - REVIEWED

“Two things died that day, and one of them was my heart.” (p. 201)

Laila is a character so broken, so completely shattered, that is is difficult to hope that she can ever possibly be whole again. From the moment you meet her, she is running hard and fast toward an uncertain future and away from certain death. Travis Thrasher’s novel, Broken is an honest, brutal look into the face of human depravity and the wondrous truth that God loves us enough to hear us when we cry out for deliverance from our own brokenness.

Laila is a woman tortured by her past. What began as a naïve teenage rendezvous mushroomed into brutality that inhabits your darkest nightmares. And if that weren’t enough, the choices Laila made for years following that moment spiraled into an abyss so dark and deep that she began to believe she was coming unhinged from reality itself. Evil has followed Laila throughout her journey and threatens to smother her soul. However, her complete demise is continually thwarted by unexplained visions and actions. Is this real or imagined? Why is Laila allowed to live when others must sacrifice everything?

Readers, Broken was a complex and uncomfortable read for me. At first, I admit I was confused and uncertain of Travis Thrasher’s message. But, as has been my experience with any of his stories I have encountered, Travis subtly and carefully brings redemption to bear in the lives of his haunted, broken characters. Grace begins to leap from the pages with blinding brilliance. Honestly, the entire book was so worth the final pages that I was almost overwhelmed with gratitude and the awesome power of my loving Savior.

Again, I must refer back to my experiences working with the ladies in our local rehab facility. Laila’s character could be any of the women I’ve met over the past three years. (although addiction is not one of her vices) The desperate way she ran from her past and the hopelessness she saw in her future were palpable, and I’ve seen it time and time again in the lives of the women I work with. More than that, the darkness of my own heart and the sin that lives within it echoed Laila’s profound amazement she felt when redemption reached beyond her brokenness. We are all Laila. Grace overcomes all of our brokenness, and God’s grace alone can make us whole.

*There are curse words sprinkled throughout the manuscript. While in keeping with the depravity of the characters, it’s something I would prefer to be absent in my reading material. The language is not gratuitous though, but readers need to be aware.


It was during third grade after a teacher encouraged him in his writing and as he read through The Narnia Chronicles by C.S. Lewis that Travis decided he wanted to be a writer. The dream never left him, and allowed him to fulfill that dream of writing fulltime in 2007.

Travis Thrasher is the author of numerous works of fiction, including his most personal and perhaps his deepest work, Sky Blue, that was published in summer of 2007. This year he has to novels published, Out of the Devil’s Mouth, and a supernatural thriller, Isolation.

Travis is married to Sharon and they are the proud parents of Kylie, born in November, 2006, and Hailey, a Shih-Tzu that looks like an Ewok. They live in suburban Chicago.

Stop by and visit Travis at his Blog where you can sign up to follow him on Facebook and Twitter!

1 comment:

Mocha with Linda said...

Your reviews make books sound so good.