Review: A Soul Less Broken by Helen Laibach


Title: A Soul Less Broken

Author: Helen Laibach

Published: June 2011

Synopsis: After being brutally attacked, Catherine Wilcox must discover her own inner strength and courage as she struggles to piece her life back together. She finds herself falling in love with the emergency room physician who treats her, but soon realizes the attack has left her so emotionally scarred that she must turn away the only man who truly loves her. And at a time when she feels her life is finally beginning to heal, Catherine must then face the devastation of learning that her dearest friend has terminal cancer. In A Soul Less Broken we follow Catherine as she discovers the depth of true friendship, the healing power of love, and the stamina of the human spirit. Read an excerpt.

Status: Read on February 11, 2012 — I own a copy {Courtesy the author}

My Thoughts:

I believe A Soul Less Broken would be classified as inspirational fiction – the protagonist, Catherine Wilcox, endures devastating tragedy leaving her broken, spiritually and physically, but is able to recover hope and purpose in her life.
The novel deliberately yanks at the heartstrings demanding sympathy for the characters, Catherine lost her mother at a young age, has little self esteem after years of being victimised by a philandering father, also now dead, and yet is studying law in a desire to do good in the world. When she is brutally beaten, raped and left for dead it would be no surprise if Catherine simply spiraled into depression and remained trapped by the horror but, with help from a caring doctor and psychologist, she fights her way through the pain, faces her attacker and becomes an inspiration to women who have suffered a similar experience. It’s a harrowing, if ultimately uplifting, story but just as Catherine triumphs, she is again rocked by the terminal diagnosis of her therapist, Maddie, who has become her best friend.
I admired the main characters for their strength in overcoming adversity and felt that the author created credible personalities. The friendship between Maddie and Catherine is well developed, Maddie has her own demons that she has worked to overcome only to be diagnosed with a deadly brain tumor. But for me the romantic attraction between Catherine and Alan is uneven even though their love story is promoted as a major plot line. The emotional connection is hampered by the fact Catherine and Alan are physically separated for the bulk of the novel. It felt in some ways, that Alan’s role as a love interest was written in after the bulk of the story had already been plotted.
While the plot is crowded with tragedy, Laibach is able to balance it well enough with a sense of hope. I like the message that the author shares about stopping violence against women and the importance of seeking justice. However, the plot is predictable with several heavy-handed coincidences affecting the credibility of the story. The writing in general isn’t bad but the dialogue is largely unnatural. Conversations are stilted and either too formal or too casual for the situation. Though largely free from errors,’gunna’ is overused, and is even found in the text of a letter.
Despite some flaws in execution, Laibach does achieve her stated goal of ‘creating a novel with the message of hope, self-discovery and empowerment’. A Soul Less Broken is a good first effort from this self published author and if you are in the mood for an emotional tear-jerker with an inspiring message of triumph over adversity, then you will likely enjoy this novel.


About the Author

Helen Laibach lives in Southern California with her husband of twenty years and their youngest daughter. Along with being an avid reader and talented nature photographer, Helen enjoys writing contemporary women’s fiction. All her novels will have messages of hope, self-discovery, and empowerment. And while the characters will go through their fair share of loss, heartbreak, betrayal, and even danger, she promises that each book will have an ending that satisfies. Her debut novel, A Soul Less Broken is no exception.  

Website I Goodreads

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mystica
    Feb 21, 2012 @ 12:55:42

    This sounds good.



  2. Patty
    Feb 21, 2012 @ 13:00:21

    Wow…looks really intense, too…



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