Reviewed by Jenna
TITLE: The Shattered Door
AUTHOR: Brandon Witt
PUBLISHER: DSP Publications
LENGTH: 438 Pages
RELEASE DATE: February 2, 2016
After a tortured childhood and years of soul-searching, Brooke Morrison has finally settled into a comfortable life. While his sexuality prohibits him from practicing his degree in youth ministry in a church setting, he’s found a fulfilling job as a youth counselor at a residential treatment facility in Colorado. He falls in love, marries the man of his dreams, and makes peace with God. He’s happy.
Then his buried past drags him back to the Ozarks.
The life Brooke has worked so hard to build is crumbling in his hands in the face of painful memories and past abuse, and his confidence is withering. In El Dorado Springs, where his nightmares come to life, Brooke desperately seeks closure life doesn’t offer. Brooke must find value in himself, in his marriage, and in the world around him—and create the hope and perseverance to keep his past from swallowing him whole.
1st Edition published by Createspace, 2011.
2nd Edition published by Itineris Press, 2012.
This book literally blew me away. There was so much angst and heartbreak that I don’t even know where to start. The story begins in a way that gives the reader a glimpse of the broken home Brook grew up in, and at the same time shows his first steps toward freedom and building a life away from his homophobic mother. Brook has just graduated with a degree in ministry and applies to work as a youth counselor for disturbed and at risk children. Brook truly has a heart of gold, so when he falls in love with Jed, I couldn’t help thinking that this was what he really needed to make his life whole. However, Brook is still haunted by his past, and things change in his life when his mother has a stroke and he returns to the Ozarks to try to take care of her. It is at this point when the book truly broke me to pieces.
If I knew my heart was going to be ripped out and trampled upon multiple times throughout this book, I’m not sure I would have started reading. However, as I survived, I must say that I’m glad I read it. I believe this book will be particularly painful for anyone who is gay and who has struggled with acceptance from the church and God. Despite everyone telling him he will go to hell for being gay, Brook manages to accept himself and also keep his faith. I found his journey through life to be unbelievably painful and I cried quite a bit while reading this book. Brook is looking for something, but he doesn’t really know what it is. At first it seems he’s looking for love from his mother, but what he gets in the end is more than he ever imagined he could have. I have to say that though this is the first book I’ve read from Brandon Witt, I can tell already that he’s an amazing writer. It’s been a while since I’ve been swept off my feet by a book. From the very first page, I was drawn in so completely that I felt like I was actually there living in the world he created. I highly recommend The Shattered Door to anyone who loves emotional dramas, family and church issues, and m/m romance. I will definitely be reading more from Brandon Witt in the future.