In case you missed this interview when it aired live on KPOV in Bend, you can catch it here. Thanks, Pearl, for having me on the show. It was such a pleasure to talk about THE WAY BACK FROM BROKEN and THE V-WORD!
The holidays are over. The new year has begun. We’re all back at work… whew… if you need a little break from the madness of “real life,” you can listen to me talk about THE WAY BACK FROM BROKEN with Kathleen Stephenson on Between the Covers at KBOO radio.
THE WAY BACK FROM BROKEN got a really nice review from VOYA. One section really resonated with me:
“A valuable theme in the book is how relationships can lead us back from broken. The shared experiences and honest discussion of their emotions are what are able to help Rakmen, Leah, and Jacey to begin a journey of healing. ”
In addition to relationships, I would add “connection to place.” The most healing (and happiest) place in my world is our cabin in Canada, where my family gathers every year to recharge and renew. This is where we linger over coffee and swim in the lake and hike in the forest. This conversation and connection in a peaceful, wild place keeps me sane and hopeful.
Talking about death is difficult, but there are times in each person’s life when there is no way to avoid such a conversation. Separate traumatic events in the characters’ lives in The Way Back from Broken have forced each of them to confront the topic of death and dying, difficult as that may be. What is more, each must also come to terms with being a survivor and the many emotions that brings—guilt, fear, anger, and of course, overwhelming sadness. This overwhelming sadness gets the book off to a slow start; the situations and relationships appear to be depressing and hopeless. “Not gonna be a happy ending to that story,” writes fifteen-year-old Rakmen in his journal of tragedies, and it seems to be true for this book as well. However, the story becomes both compelling and hopeful when Rakmen and his “crazy” teacher Leah, along with her ten-year-old daughter, Jacey, leave on a summer trip to Canada. This is where progress is finally made in bravely experiencing their grief and learning how to find the strength to live with it.
A valuable theme in the book is how relationships can lead us back from broken. The shared experiences and honest discussion of their emotions are what are able to help Rakmen, Leah, and Jacey to begin a journey of healing. This book is a heartbreaker, but any reader can benefit from its message of honesty, resilience, and courage. —Debbie Kirchhoff.
I was a horse crazy girl.
I’m a horse crazy grown-up.
Recently, I found out that one of my fav writer friends, Kiersi Burkhart, grew up on a ranch in Colorado. Together we dreamed up Second Chance Ranch, a place in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains where trouble kids go to find their way again.
We are so excited to announce the sale of our new book series to Darby Creek, an imprint of Lerner, coming your way in 2016 and 2017. Each book features a girl and her horse, meeting life’s challenges together. Kiersi and I can’t wait to tug on your heart strings and make you want to saddle up and ride with us!