Broken Homes & Gardens

Broken Homes Gardens A girl a guy a broken down house Not exactly on again off again Malcolm and Joanna are in again out again in love out of each other s arms in an awkward co living arrangement out of the countr

  • Title: Broken Homes & Gardens
  • Author: Rebecca Kelley
  • ISBN: 9780991305889
  • Page: 125
  • Format: Paperback
  • A girl, a guy, a broken down house Not exactly on again, off again, Malcolm and Joanna are in again, out again in love, out of each other s arms, in an awkward co living arrangement, out of the country Their unconventional relationship is the only way, Joanna says, to protect herself from the specter of commitment, which inevitably leads to heartbreak When Harry Met SA girl, a guy, a broken down house Not exactly on again, off again, Malcolm and Joanna are in again, out again in love, out of each other s arms, in an awkward co living arrangement, out of the country Their unconventional relationship is the only way, Joanna says, to protect herself from the specter of commitment, which inevitably leads to heartbreak When Harry Met Sally for the Millennial generation, set in the damp and drizzly neighborhoods of Portland, Oregon, Broken Homes and Gardens is an ode to friendship, lust, and the unrelenting pull of love.

    One thought on “Broken Homes & Gardens”

    1. It is nigh impossible to banish the specter of expectations for a book which proudly advertises itself as the When Harry Met Sally for the millenial generation. That movie has been comfort food for the lonely and the lovelorn and the ones navigating the treacherous waters of friends-and-a-little-more relationships for decades now. So potential readers and Nora Ephron fans, better be forewarned that the central characters here are not even pale imitations of Harry Burns and Sally Albright. Neithe [...]

    2. Rebecca Kelley is the Jane Austen for a modern young lady – a very modern young lady – and her debut novel “Broken Homes and Gardens” is a new cure for the classic comedy of manners. This contemporary romance dares ask the question: what happens to the heart when lust comes before love?I think of this novel as Pride and Prejudice set in present-day Portland. Malcolm is a Portland hipster version of Mr. Darcy, prone to romantic missteps and being misunderstood while hewing swings and tabl [...]

    3. Kelley’s first novel is earning comparisons to David Nicholls’s One Day, but I was reminded more of classic Meg Ryan rom-coms like When Harry Met Sally and especially You’ve Got Mail. Like the former, this book asks if a guy and girl who find each other attractive can ever really just be friends; like the latter, it takes two people who shouldn’t necessarily be suited to each other and sees how, even as they move on with life and have other relationships, they can never quite escape thei [...]

    4. Full disclosure, I consider the writer a friend, got the book as an ARC, and don't read much new adult fiction, so I haven't a lot to compare it to. And yet Joanna and Malcolm are characters that I cared about and found believable, which is what mattered while I was reading it. I read this quickly to find out what was going to happen to them, and yet a quick reading didn't detract from the substance here. Days later the characters and their problems remain vivid. Rebecca's writing is beautiful a [...]

    5. I suppose I should call it a "romp" or a "laugh-out-loud" something, but really Broken Homes and Gardens is a funny, engaging tale of how relationships are mostly a matter of good timing.

    6. Rebecca Kelley writes characters who are exactly as flawed and worthy of love as we are, and the cities that her characters inhabit are as flawed and worthy of love -- and passion! -- as are the people. The cities, in short, are characters too; Reno with its open pluckiness, its plain and verdant longing; Portland with its earnestness, its dripping moss-and-fern-covered trees, its stubborn belief in the possibility of pioneering in your own back yard.Yes, there is passion here, passion for place [...]

    7. Who among us has not had feelings for someone but been afraid to express them for fear of being hurt? In Better Homes and Gardens, Joanna and Malcolm, two 20-something Portlanders, gradually figure out their identities, both together and apart. I was immediately fascinated by these two characters. I loved being in Joanna’s head even though some of her decisions (or the lack thereof) frustrated me. This is probably because she reminded me so much of myself. Joanna struggles between expressing h [...]

    8. As a disclosure, I am a friend of the author and received an advanced copy.Johanna is a heart-breaker, her own heart included. Broken Homes and Gardens is a very honest portrait of a modern young woman’s love life and the sometimes poor choices she makes in the pursuit of companionship. Johanna is afraid of commitment and attempts to create a middle-ground between a casual and serious relationship, desiring romance but trying to avoid any chance of heart-ache. That middle-ground soon looks lik [...]

    9. In full disclosure, the author is a friend of mine. I workshopped the book with her and blurbed the cover. That said, I don't read a lot of fiction. When I do, I want it to deliver. This book does just that -- it's pithy and clever, with characters that are easy to like. (They're effectively and persistently punished by bad timing, and are tragically Portlandic in their habits and passivity.)Broken Homes & Gardens, a new-adult novel, gives the reader everything she wants. It's like the hard- [...]

    10. Disclaimer: I am friends with the author and received an advanced copy of the book. Broken Homes and Gardens is a will they/won't they romance set in modern-day Portland, Oregon. Despite its contemporary setting, it reminded me a lot of Jane Austen's dusty tales of unrequited love. It's the kind of novel that makes you want to slap the protagonists in the face and yell, "You're in love! Get on with it already!" And it's not that Joanna and Malcolm are repressed--plenty of consummation here!--as [...]

    11. Broken Homes and Gardens' Joanna may just be the Princess Hamlet of rom-com heroines: as in the play, we know right at the beginning what the protagonist must do (in Joanna's case it's not avenge thy father!, it's git with Malcolm that dark and mysterious dude!) But the book's magic, like the play's, is in how it suspends in infinite ways what seems like the only obvious action by using the heroine's mind as the main obstacle that must be overcome. To find her way through herself to Malcolm, Joa [...]

    12. Rebecca Kelley's debut novel is a lovely, new take on a familiar story: girls meets boy and they have a certain, undeniable chemistry as they meet, but they can't seem to choose between being friends or lovers. The novel's protagonist, Joanna, is quirky but more determined than your typical manic pixie dream girl, while her on-again-off-again Malcolm has a deeper, more rugged character than your typical male love interest in a romance novel. You root for them to get together the same way you do [...]

    13. No offense to other reviewers (and Nora Ephron RIP) but to hell with Harry and Sally. Don’t get me wrong, I love that late-eighties epic—yes, even the terrible sweaters—but twenty five years on, this novel’s characters struck me as entirely more relevant and authentic, young adulthood as it is experienced today. (And why not “When Sally Met Harry”?) Did I skip ahead and read the last page (in case I died before getting to the end)? I didn’t need to. I tore through this book. Ignore [...]

    14. What a delightful book on many levels. It was written with warmth, humor, and a real sense of time and place. The dialog was authentic and clever. The book was laugh out loud funny at times and at other times poignant. Rebecca Kelley's depictions of Portland, Nevada, and Lake Tahoe were spot on. All in all a very entertaining and satisfying read.

    15. Okay, so I do know the author and it was my sincere hope that I would like her book that she so generously sent me an advance copy of. Not only did I like her book, I loved it. I was even trying to sneakily read it under my desk at work because I cared so much for her charming and charmingly flawed characters. I can't wait to read what she writes next!

    16. I just absolutely love this unconventional Portland love story! Yes, I'm biased (because I'm the author's agent), but in my humble opinion, the characters of Joanna and Malcolm are both terribly flawed but real. Their conflicted relationship develops organically, not based on any rules about how relationships should be, but rather, how they are, in the messy, unpredictable process of "becoming." Rebecca Kelley understands the inevitable push-and-pull dynamics of being in love with your best frie [...]

    17. At some point, most often between adolescence and adulthood, everyone wanders without quite knowing what they want--which is the short way of saying they don't quite know for what they're willing to sacrifice everything else. Some people wander for a lost weekend, put it together, get on with it. Others do it their whole lives. In other words, everyone can relate to the trek Joanna and Malcolm have found themselves on, whether the terrain is eastern Europe, southeast Portland, or some other clim [...]

    18. Broken Homes and Gardens is the kind of love story that most of us can relate to, even if we won't admit to being as self-involved as Joanna. As much as we might want to meet the right guy at the right time, date without drama for an appropriate number of months and get married in a timely fashion, how often does that actually happen?More importantly, how boring would that be?! It’s called “the thrill of the chase” for a reason, and this book has plenty of will-they-won’t-they action. Ke [...]

    19. As a person who hasn’t seen When Harry Met Sally (which the book has been widely compared to), I can say that this novel stands well on its own as an exploration of the fluidity of modern relationships—the blurring of friendships and intimacy into love, romantic and otherwise. The characters Joanna and Malcolm circle each other like the proverbial “two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl,” mis- and re-connecting as they slowly grow into more confident versions of themselves. I loved seein [...]

    20. I was able to get a hold of an advanced copy of broken homes & gardens. I know the author. I very much enjoyed this book. When I read books about places I've lived I am often disappointed when the details are not true to the local. Rebecca Kelley does a great job of capturing the ambiance, the weather, the smells of several different locals. Her writing is very clear and I was engrossed in the story. I work with adults in their 20's and I thought this was a true representation of the confusi [...]

    21. Review: BROKEN HOMES & GARDENS by Rebecca KelleyHas ever a heroine as feckless as Joanna or one so unattuned to her own spirit toddled across the pages of fiction? I think not--or not to my remembrance. Back in Portland, Joanna wonders what she expected of Prague, waffles about job search, reads a lot (I'm all for that, now), thinks living in an apartment laundry nook is acceptable, and commits to a potted plant. Joanna is an examplar of the essential importance of "Know Yourself."

    22. I expected there to be laughs, which there were, but I didn't expect it to be a page turner. I cared about these characters, and their hearts!

    23. oanna is sure she has life figured out. Love and marriage are not for her. Fifty percent of marriages end in divorce and having lived with a mother who went through an endless succession of men, she is sure that's not for her. Men are fine, sure, nice to have around, but something serious? Not for her.When she meets Malcolm at a party, she is attracted but that's all. They kiss but he is off the next day for an overseas job that will last two years. The two write while he is gone, but Joanna mee [...]

    24. First of all, this the cutest cover I've ever seen. I'm a bit on the fence on how I really feel about the book. At times it was really funny, but the twenty something, Joanna was a character I had trouble loving, but I did enjoy laughing with.Joanna was really a snapshot of so many people out of college, which in some ways is a sad portrait of life in our twenties. She has commitment issues but wants to be involved. She comes from a broken home, and her experiences with her mother have left her [...]

    25. Admittedly I may be biased given that the author and I know each other from graduate school, but this novel was impossible to put down! The story is hilarious, sad, frustrating, and ultimately very romantic. I remember being 20-something, and being utterly unable to maturely express my feelings and needs, so the characters ring very true to life. It is easy now that I am older to want to shout at Joanna, our protagonist, "Just tell him how you feel, damn it!" The awkwardness, the inability to sh [...]

    26. I was attracted to this book by its title because I love gardens and I had to find out why the homes were broken. I guess this sounds crazy but it's true. Set in Portland, a place I'd like to visit, Joanna meets Malcolm and a strange and quirky friendship is born. As the story progresses, you really feel sorry for Joanna as she pushes people away from her in fear of getting attached to them. This is a really good story as it doesn't always go in the direction you think it will. I read it on my K [...]

    27. From the back cover blurb for Broken Homes and Gardens, the comparisons are outright made with the movie when Harry Met Sally. Since I can’t really remember much of that movie after watching it when it was shown on cable for the first time way back, I’ll just say that you don’t need to make those comparisons to enjoy this book. The winding story of English teacher Joanne and carpenter Malcolm’s friendship/relationship is an entertaining and quite gripping one, and I certainly was engaged [...]

    28. Can a man and woman be friends? Harry asked Sally this in the popular 80’s flick, and one of my favorite movies of all time, When Harry Met Sally. This assumes that the man and the woman we are speaking of are interested in the opposite sex. Rebecca Kelley’s debut novel, Broken Homes & Gardens, also attempts to answer this question for the modern reader.Malcolm and Joanna meet at a party and subsequently end up in bed and then write letters to each other while he goes overseas for a year [...]

    29. How does one fall in love and commit to anyone when everything in one’s experience shouts that nothing works? Nothing lasts?Joanna Robinson has been flailing about, trying new places to live and new careers, and then she lands in Portland, Oregon, staying at first in her sister Laura’s laundry room/closet, until she finally finds an apartment. The description of the apartment as sparse and bare were understatements. It sounded grim.Joanna’s ideas about love and relationships might have bee [...]

    30. "When Harry Met Sally" for the Millennial generation, set in the damp and drizzly neighborhoods of Portland, Oregon, Broken Homes and Gardens is an ode to friendship, lust, and the unrelenting pull of love.I wanted to love this book (Nora Ephron-esque! Portland!), but the characters were just so freaking ANNOYING! Maybe I just hate "millenials" -- that's entirely possible -- or maybe it's just these "millenials." I could not stand stupid Joanna and Malcolm, who jump each others bones one minute, [...]

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