I received a free copy of Scattered Links written by Melissa Weidenbenner to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours. No other financial compensation was received and, as always, all opinions shared are 100% mine.
Thirteen-year-old Oksana lives on the streets of Russia with her pregnant mama and abusive aunt—both prostitutes. When Mama swells into labor, Oksana makes a decision to save herself from abandonment, a decision that torments her forever. But her plan fails when her aunt dumps her in an orphanage before she has the chance to say goodbye to her mama or tell her the secret that haunts her.
Scattered Links is a story of family and the consequences that come from never learning how to love. It’s a story of a girl’s inability to bond with her adopted family and the frustrations that follow.
How can a child understand the mechanics of forming a healthy relationship when she never had a mother who answered her cries, held her when she was frightened, fed her when she was hungry, or loved her unconditionally?
Only when the child meets a rescued abused horse, and recognizes the pain in his eyes, does she begin to trust again.
“CAPTIVATING! SCATTERED LINKS takes you down the street of nearly any Eastern European town, arm-in-arm with the orphaned. Michelle has captured the beauty and horror millions of children live everyday. The attention to detail is impressive. Having lived in a post-Soviet country for a time, visiting orphaned children, this fictional account rings with truth, from the heart-wrenching pain of abandonment to the realization of self-worth, and the love family and faith brings. Thank you for such an uplifting book, appropriate for the young reader, as well as adult. May your heart be encouraged, as mine was.” – Kim de Blecourt, speaker and award-winning author of “Until We All Come Home: A Harrowing Journey, a Mother’s Courage, a Race to Freedom”
“Scattered Links is a novel that pulls its characters from the gutters and, in the end, celebrates the tenacity of the human spirit.” A reviewer comment.
My Review of Scattered Links
I made the mistake of reading Scattered Links on a recent trip. I say mistake because emotional me was boo-hooing through much of the story. As an adopted child, I am drawn to stories that depict the relationships and inner thoughts of families impacted by adoption. I have no experience whatsoever (thankfully!) of what the main character had to go through, but her story is one that is believable and similar instances have occurred with children adopted from traumatic circumstances. Ms. Weidenbenner’s attention to detail and providing insight into a true disorder, Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), that many children in these situations suffer from came through in her writing loud and clear, for me. While reading, I found myself hoping for the best for Oksana and her new family and friends. My biggest takeaway from this novel was how critical it is to release the pains from our pasts in order to fully embrace and enjoy our present and make room for future blessings.
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About the Author
Michelle grew up in the suburbs of Detroit with five brothers. She enjoys writing her novels and encouraging writers and readers alike. She is living her dream writing stories of real people searching for their dreams and confronting their fears, showing the passion of the characters’ plights, often giving her the ability to show the reader the ‘other’ side of the story. When she is not writing she enjoys life on the tennis court and is known as “Queen of the Rim Shots.”
Her debut novel, CACHE a PREDATOR, a geocaching mystery. was launched in July, 2013 and has been an Amazon best-seller in the crime/thriller category. Her other works include: Willow, Scattered Links, Kelly’s Story, Eclair Series, and The Vision in a Kiss. She has won contests in both The Writer’s Journal and The Writer’s Digest. Love is Just a Word (Scattered Links) was a bronze medalist is the 2010 Frasier Contest, a 2011 semi-finalist in the ACFW Genesis Contest, and won the Aspiring Writer’s Contest withe THE READING ROOM, 2013.
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