Review: Watching Glass Shatter by james j. cudney

Watching Glass Shatter


The wealthy Glass family lost its patriarch, Benjamin Glass, sooner than expected. Benjamin’s widow, Olivia, and her 5 sons each react to his death in their own way while preparing for the reading of his will. Olivia receives a very unexpected confession from her late husband about one of their sons that could shatter the whole family.

Prior to revealing the secret to her children, Olivia must figure out which boy Ben refers to in the confession he left her in his will. While the family attorney searches for the mysterious Rowena Hector whom Ben says holds the answers, Olivia asks her sons to each spend a week with her as she isn’t ready to let go of the past. When Olivia visits her sons, she quickly learns that each one has been keeping his own secret from her. Olivia never expected her remaining years would be so complex and life-altering, but she will not rest until her family is reunited after Ben’s untimely death.

We all need family. We all want to fit in. We’re all a mix of quirky personalities. Will Olivia be able to fix them or will the whole family implode? What will she do when she discovers the son behind Ben’s secret? Check out this ensemble cast where each family member’s perspective is center stage, discovering along the way who might feel the biggest impact from all the secrets. Through various scenes and memories across a six-month period, you’ll get to know everyone, learning how and why they made certain decisions. Welcome to being an honorary member of the Glass family where the flair for over-the-top drama pushes everyone to their limits.

My Review:

Since my genre is usually fantasy/sci-fi/speculative fiction, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I picked up Watching Glass Shatter. I was fortunate enough to win a copy in a contest after also having a friend whose literary tastes I greatly respect highly recommend it.

This intimate portrait of a family coming unravelled pulled me in right away! All of the characters were heartbreakingly genuine, a mix of good qualities and glaring imperfections. They were all so very human, and I enjoyed the jumps in perspective from one to another so that I never got bored with a POV. I enjoy changing perspectives in my reading, so it was a literary choice that worked for me, particularly with such a well-written cast of characters.

The story is neatly woven together around a mystery surrounding the Glass family’s past that comes to light upon the patriarch Ben’s untimely death. But the mystery presented in the beginning is certainly not the flesh and blood of this story. Essentially, it is a story about family — about the ties that bind them as a family of shared origin and the unique relationships they struggle to maintain as they juggle their own lives and their issues.

Watching Glass Shatter was a well written, intriguing book, and I would definitely read something else by Cudney.


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