After 40 years of marriage, Olivia Glass thought she could handle the unexpected death of her husband. But when Ben’s will reveals a life-altering secret, she suffers a blow no widow should ever experience.
Olivia learns that she gave birth to a baby who later died in the nursery. Instead of telling his wife what happened, Ben switched the child with another. And as if that’s not enough, Ben’s will doesn’t reveal which of their five sons is truly not hers.
While an attorney searches for answers, Olivia visits each of her sons to share a final connection before facing the truth that will change their family, and discovers that each of them has been harboring a painful secret, just like their father.
Olivia challenges herself to re-assemble and save their relationships. But will the secrets destroy their family beyond repair?
Meet the author: James J. Cudney
James J. Cudney (or Jay as he prefers to be called) lives in New York City and grew up on Long Island. He graduated from Moravian College with a degree in English literature and minors in Education, Business and Spanish. After college, he spent 15 years building a career in technology and business operations. However, in 2016 he left this career and instead directed all his energies towards re-invigorating a focus on reading, writing and publishing. Watching Glass Shatter is his debut novel and he is currently working on his next novel. Further details about the author and his social media links can be found on his website jamesjcudney.com
Great front cover and title
The title Watching Glass Shatter sounds very dramatic and the front cover caught my attention. I discovered the book via the Alternative Read blog and my first impression was that it was a crime fiction novel. However, after reading the book blurb I realised that it was a psychological family drama novel and was delighted as I am fascinated by family dynamics.
I was hooked from the first chapter
The author sets the scene extremely well and drew me in from the beginning. I was fascinated by the patriarchal figure, Ben and I was eager to discover what his secret was. Chapter one was full of descriptive language (which I love) and really helped me to visualise the scene. I immediately felt like a movie was running through my head, as the descriptive language was so strong. After the first chapter I was hooked and I wanted to learn more about Ben, his family, and their secrets.
The author created fantastic characters, all of which brought out different emotions within me. The story focusses on Ben (the patriarch), Olivia (the matriarch), their five sons, their partners and children, along with the lovely Aunt Diane (Olivia’s sister) who was a wonderful character. Each son had a very different personality and they all had their own issues and secrets which their mother did not know. I believe that the father, Ben, knew his children better than his wife.
Olivia, the matriarch was a well-written character and I am curious as to whether she was entirely fictional or if the author has based her upon someone. She brought out many emotions within me. Sometimes I was frustrated and even angry with her due to her not being open-minded and a control freak. However, I also sympathised with her and the predicaments that she was in. As a mother, I tried to put myself in her position and how I would feel. Olivia’s sister, Diane was a lovely character and more open-minded. Sadly, she lived in Olivia’s shadow and I yearned for her to have her own life.
Wow. The sons! Each one unique, with their own qualities. The author provided excellent descriptions for each of them, so I was able to imagine what they looked like and what their lives were like. I have to admit that when I read a book, I do imagine who would play the characters within a film. I think many book bloggers do this. Coffeloving Bookaholic created a poll in December 2017 asking readers, which actors would play the characters in Watching Glass Shatter . The results were as below:
Benjamin: Frank Langella or Sam Neill
Olivia: Meryl Streep
Diane: Diane Keaton
Teddy: Matthew Bomer
Matt: Sam Claflin
Caleb: James McAvoy
Zach: Kit Harrington
Ethan: Eddie Redmayne
Rowena: Jennifer Connolly
Excellent plot twists
In all honestly, I was not expecting some of the twists and turns. The author cleverly provided some clues throughout the novel, so a few of the secrets were easier to guess, which I believe was the author’s intention. The book had a great pace to it, it was just the right speed. I didn’t find myself confused as it was not being rushed. Neither was I bored, as the pace was not too slow. Whilst, I love the descriptions, sometimes a few scenarios had a little too much detail – but it did not put me off at all.
My overall review of Watching Glass Shatter: 5 Stars
Watching Glass Shatter is a fantastic debut novel by James J. Cudney. The author has created a fascinating storyline, provided great twists and turns, and a variety of authentic characters with great dialogue. I highly recommend this family drama novel and I eagerly await his next novel.
I purchased this book and read it on my Kindle. The review is written of my own accord, and is an honest opinion.
This blog posts contains affiliate links. If you click on the links and purchase the book, The Globeflower Agency Ltd receives a commission at no extra cost to you. Read our full Affiliate Disclaimer.