Review: Fractures

January 20, 2014 Whitney Review 2 Comments

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: FracturesFractures by Lamar Herrin
Published by Thomas Dunne Books on November 12, 2013
Genres: General Fiction
Source: Netgalley

The Joyner family sits atop prime Marcellus Shale. When landmen for the natural gas companies begin to lease property all around the family's hundred acres, the Joyners start to take notice. Undecided on whether or not to lease the family land, Frank Joyner must weigh his heirs' competing motivations. All of this culminates as a looming history of family tragedy resurfaces.

A sprawling family novel, Fractures follows each Joyner as the controversial hydrofracking issue slowly exacerbates underlying passions and demons. With echoes of Jonathan Franzen's Freedom, Fractures takes its reader deep into the beating heart and hearth of a family divided

hydraulic fracturing: the forcing open of fissures in subterranean rocks by introducing liquid at high pressure, esp. to extract oil or gas.

Fractures started out with so much potential but never came into fruition.  We begin with the main character Frank talking about suicide running in his family and how he had struggled with it.  Next we are given a tragedy of a little boy being hit by a large auto machine, while the boy lives the company of said vehicle tries to push the incident under the rug.  Hm, that’s interesting and dusting is probably more common than thought.  Anyway, I felt these subjects were so subtlety recognized that I forgot they had been stated.

Understanding that the novel was entitled Fractures and is about fraking, but at times I felt it was rammed down my throat.  I get it, fraking is bad.  It almost felt like propaganda and was reading a leaflet rather than a novel.

When we move towards the close of the book Timmy reemerged but it came so out of the blue that it took me a moment to realize it was the little boy who was hit on his bike and turned the page without much reflection.

As I was reminded of Timmy, The suicidal trait in the Joyner line does come back into play and I thought perked up the plot (a weird thing to say about suicide I know) but by that point I was almost finished and just wanted to put the whole thing to rest.

The Joyner family did not bring me joy.  They were actually a wreak and like the title of this novel — fractured.  Yes we all have our faults and I will not judge them for it, but I felt they lacked personality and didn’t engagement me, nor did the plot for similar reasons.

Overall, Lamar Herrin had an interesting summary but unfortunately that’s about it.  Fractures had the potential to “go somewhere” but sadly missed the mark.



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