I received an advance copy of M. Jonathan Lee's novel Broken Branches from new publisher Hideaway Fall. It was a very quick and pleasant read. I don't have a ton of time for reading lately, so the fact that I got through it so quickly is a testament to the skilled writing.
The first page of this book was like the opening scene of a movie, taking the reader from the branches of an old tree down to the man sitting underneath it. The writing was skillfully visual. This wasn't an action-packed story, but a subtle mystery which was spread out through the entire manuscript. Every page seemed to bring up another question to add to the great mystery of the Perkins family and the land they owned.
Broken Branches is the type of novel that forces you to flip back through the pages once you've finished so you can catch those little things you missed. In this way it was satisfying to get to the end.
I enjoyed Broken Branches very much. It left little ideas swimming through my head as I read it; wondering what the answers really were. Unfortunately, I felt let down in the end. Only some of the mysteries were revealed. There were events that happened earlier in the story that were never explained. Why did Ian's family hate him so much? This was never explained. There were red herrings all over the place. When I got to the last page I actually flipped through the final afterward to make sure there wasn't an explanation hiding there.
Although I didn't feel satisfied after the last page, I was happy for the journey. I'm looking forward to the next offering from Hideaway Fall.