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Broken

Broken - Daniel Clay This is an extraordinary novel with a huge variety of characters and events which all interweave to lead to the main event of the story: Skunk is a young girl in a coma and she's telling you her story of how it happened.

The most remarkable thing is the picture Daniel Clay paints of the 'family from hell'. This is not Skunk's family but a family who live near her and whose actions create havoc and lead to tragedy. You can't help but wonder if it isn't just an extreme caricature. And yet, deep down, part of you knows it isn't. That there are families like that and their actions can ripple out to affect many people.

That's partly what makes this novel so thought provoking - it's a worrying reflection of modern society in some ways. It is also thought provoking because you realise the huge ramifications of some 'wrong place, wrong time' moments, a wrong word, a misguided act.

Thankfully, not all is gloomy. Clay paints a picture of some very vicious characters but he also manages to show that there are many good people and that fundamentally most of us are decent, if not misguided.