After a tortured childhood and years of soul-searching, Brooke Morrison has finally settled into a comfortable life. While his sexuality prohibits him from practicing his degree in youth ministry in a church setting, he has found a fulfilling job as a youth counselor at a residential treatment facility in Colorado. He falls in love, marries the man of his dreams, and makes peace with God. He's happy.
Then his buried past drags him back to the Ozarks.
The life Brooke has worked so hard to build is crumbling in his hands in the face of painful memories and past abuse, and his confidence is withering. In El Dorado Springs, where his nightmares come to life, Brooke desperately seeks closure life doesn't offer. Brooke must find value in himself, in his marriage, and in the world around him - and create the hope and perseverance to keep his past from swallowing him whole.
Prior to listening to this story, many of the reviews kept using the word powerful. After experiencing the journey of Brooklyn Morrison, powerful is the only word that describes this story. The author addresses many misguided perspectives and intertwines that with little bits of truth, hope, and love. As horrific as Rose is (not going to give anything away), she is an all too familiar character. That can be said about most of the characters that Brandon Witt created to tell Brooklyn's story. The religious components of the story explored and explained many aspects that run parallel with my own viewpoints. A powerful story by Witt as well as exceptionally delivered by Andrew McFerrin's narration. From my perspective, A Must Read/Listen.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful
Would you consider the audio edition of The Shattered Door to be better than the print version?
I've not read the text copy, but I imagine I would have heard it the same way it was read by the narrator.
What was one of the most memorable moments of The Shattered Door?
For me, it was the moment in which he'd gone to his mother's to air his grievances about her actions.
Have you listened to any of Andrew McFerrin’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
I don't think I'd heard him before. He did great.
If you could rename The Shattered Door, what would you call it?
A Purgatory Named Mother.
Any additional comments?
Fantastic book. It leads away from cliche's and stereotypes, much like Witt's other book, Then The Stars Fall. His style is impressive and thorough. His characters speak believably, as opposed to other gay novelists that try too hard.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
The Shattered Door hit me deep inside when I read originally read it and the audio version had a similar affect. It’s a deeply emotional tale that I believed included a lot of the author’s soul.
I think the plotting is bit off and was more interested in Brooke’s life in El Dorado then his life before he came home. Early parts of the book dragged for me, but I was enthralled once Brooke came home.
The book deals with tough subjects such as homosexuality in religion and parental abuse but Witt does an amazing job with the issues. He has a stellar skill that is displayed here and it is amazing. Brooke is a unique character and I loved reading about everything he had to deal with. I also loved Brooke’s family members, especially Donny. The supporting cast was amazing.
Andrew McFerrin did an amazing job nailing Brooke’s inner voice. I felt I was on the journey right beside Brooke the entire time.
Originally published at Prism Book Alliance.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
This is not a traditional romance. Yes the couple meet in the first chapter, but there’s no hot’n’heavy sex. There’s a jump to Brooke Morrison meeting Jed’s welcoming family a few months later. Then there is a jump of a number of years. Jed and Brooke have been married for years and are very happy together. They are happy with their lives, but something profound is about to shake them up.
Brooke, whose mother named him Brooklyn, has been summoned home because his mother has had a stroke and his best friend feels he needs to come home. Life, however, is never that simple. While Jed finishes teaching his semester in Denver, Brooke stays at Maudra’s house (a wonderful woman and a hoot of a character) until he gets up the gumption to go see the woman who rejected him years ago because he told her he was gay. Ambivalent would be tactful – resentful and angry is more like it and she isn’t any happier to see him.
Brooke is soon embraced by his best friend, Donnie, (Dionysus) and his amazing family. The family who had cared for him when his mother hadn’t been able to. The family he wishes had been his own. Donnie pushes Brooke to volunteer in the youth ministry in their small town. Brooke has a degree in that, but his church is fundamentalist with zero tolerance for fags. There is a new pastor in town, though, and he sees where Brooke might help. Especially because there is at least one young man who is probably gay and having a rough time with it.
He does help that one young man, but his past catches up to him. Old hurts and resentments surface. It seems he and Jed will never truly be accepted in this small town. When the unthinkable happens to his “adopted” family, Brooke and Jed step up.
The ending is perfect.
The story is heart-wrenching. For anyone who has struggled with their faith, things are hard enough. But to be gay in a church who believes you will forever be damned is almost intolerable.
I don’t want to speak of the author’s personal experience because it doesn’t matter. His book is powerful and painful. To watch people of faith wrestle with acceptance is tough. Brooke has his flaws, but his ability to be supportive of others who are in a place where he used to be is inspiring.
Wherever you are on the religious spectrum, there is something you can learn. It is instructive while not being preachy. And given the political climate these days, it is more relevant than ever.
Andrew McFerrin does a fantastic job in narrating this beautiful story, all told from Brooke’s point of view.
This is a must-listen-to.
Brooke Morrison's story is truly captivating, emotional and very thought provoking .
A story for a rough live and struggles. Accepting yourself as a gay and trying to discover if God still loves you. Even accepting the cruelty of a mother's “love”. A toxic mother who constantly tears you apart. A dismissive mother who make you feel unworthy and a mistake of nature. After all, you can't exactly dump your mom and then jump online to look for a new one.
Now. The narrator, Andrew McFerrin, did a truly superb job, nails ever voice astonishingly.
I am so glad I read this remarkable book! Yes, it was a very heavy read with several moments stopping your breath but it is a powerful piece of LGBT fiction that need to be placed on the most visible spot on your bookshelf.
Thank you mother nature for giving a couple rainy days and thank you Mr.Witt for this penetratingly fascinating book!