I want to thank Savita Kalhan for asking me to join the blog tour for her wonderful book, it’s a real honour to be a part of this as the subject is very important and everything about this book touched me entirely.
This hadn’t influenced my review, nor my rating for this book in any way.
I encourage you to check the other blog hosts, they are all amazing bloggers and I’m sure their reviews are going to be stellar!
Jay’s creative writing exercise is to write a fairy tale, to end with ‘they lived happily ever after’. But the way her life is panning out she’s not sure it will ever reach that stage. She and her mother are moving in with distant relatives and they have super strict rules for girls. Jay is expected to have only Indian friends, if she has any at all. How can she see her school friends, Chloe and Matt? But this is only the beginning of a nightmare for Jay. When her life implodes, how can she hide the shame and how will she find a way to keep going?
The Girl in the Broken Mirror is ultimately about hope and understanding, and where help can be found – even in the darkest situation
Trigger warnings: sexual abuse, PTSD, trauma, suicide attempt.
The Girl in the Broken Mirror is a very raw and powerful book that presents trauma very realistically. I’ve read this book two weeks ago, yet while I’m writing this review, it’s still very hard to put my thoughts together, to let go of my emotions that are clouding everything. This book impacted me very strongly and I’d advise you to be careful when reading it especially if any of the subjects are triggers for you.
The story follows Jay, a teenage girl whose life had drastically changed after her father committed suicide. Besides the obvious grief coming from losing a parent, her father also left Jay and her mother with huge debts, which complicated their lives a lot. Because of that they end up living with some distant relatives to save money. This is a huge turning point especially for the relationship between Jay and her mother, Neela. These two have always been close, but after they move, they experience lots of misunderstandings, Neela has to work in the kitchen a lot and feels too tired to take in consideration Jay’s complaints about the strict/traditional lifestyle their relatives have.
After Jay is abused, her mother constantly blames herself for not listening enough to her daughter. Their connection was especially complex and very emotional – they were both hurting so badly, it literary broke my heart.
The way Savita Kalhan handled this subject with so much care and the emphasis that was put on getting help and support from loved ones, but also from authorities was amazing. The writing was extraordinary, I especially loved the prologue that was set after the sexual abuse and then the narrative happened a few months before it, it was even more painful this way because we get to see Jay in her happy home life with her mother and her friends from school, but we know that her life will change forever.
The characters were very carefully crafted and I felt connected to many of them, even the secondary ones – Ash, Sita, these two were especially kind and thoughtful.
I think this book is absolutely important because of the subjects it covers, because it has an Indian protagonist and because it manages to send a hopeful message.
I would absolutely recommend it to everyone that won’t be triggered by the subjects in this book. It will always stay with me, the story and the characters made this book very important to me and I hope more of you will read it as well since it’s so important.
Savita Kalhan was born in India but moved to UK when she was very young. She graduated with a joint honours degree in Politic and Philosophy from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. She was a Batik artist and teacher before she turned to writing.
Her debut novel The Long Weekend is described as ‘an intensely compelling thriller’ which addresses the issue of stranger danger.
Her recent books include Stories from the Edge (a YA Anthology) and Even Birds are Chained to the Sky.
Savita lives in London.
Have you read The Girl in the Broken Mirror?
What did you think of it? If you haven’t read it, would you give it a try?