Brake Failure by Alison Brodie
Publication Date: January 9th 2017
Publisher: Clipboard Press
Read Date: April 25th 2019
Genre: Romance / Humor
Stars: ★ ★ ★ ★ /5
This is an updated cover edition.
“Is it too late to tell him you love him when you are looking down the barrel of his gun?”
An English debutante transforms from Miss-Perfectly-Correct to criminally insane as she breaks the bonds of her rigid upbringing. Sheriff Hank Gephart tries to reel her in – but she’s out of control and she’s not hitting the brakes.
What happened to the genteel lady in twin-set and pearls? And why did she shoot Mr Right?
Brake Failure is set in 1999 in the months leading up to Y2K “meltdown” when the US government was spending $150 billion preparing for Armageddon As Lionel Shriver says in her novel, We Have To Talk About Kevin: “1999, a year widely mooted beforehand as the end of the world.”
Break failure was the humorous chick lit story of Ruby that took place in the unsure time period of the history. It was about finding freedom, independence and the real you, love and meaning of life.
Ruby was adopted by her step-mother when her biological mother left her when she was 7. Once she got attached to Vanessa, she never missed a chance to please her. She was polite, timid and shy being raised in upper class English family but when she had to settle in Kansas she felt outsider and did all to fit in new place and new culture. Oh, she accepted the challenge in amusing way. She experienced freedom, free from competition and free from pleasing others, enjoying life fullest with lots of fun, found a side of her she never thought existed. She turned totally one eighty degree- wild, carefree, confident person that never failed to surprise me. I didn’t like her for letting Hank overpower her will. Otherwise she was gem of the story.
Edward – Ruby’s husband was pathetic, selfish, and cowardly who liked to be babied by his secretary and never appreciated Ruby for her house holding chores. he was both fun and frustrating in last few chapters.
Hank – He was no better! He was masculine, brave and a real man, alright but he was jerk who presumed Ruby liked him and forced himself on her instead of just asking her politely. And his manner just scared Ruby that stopped her revealing she was married or true feelings she developed. Apparently, he was nice if you overlook all his rude manner. I don’t know if I like him. I’m not fan of man thinking he can control a woman.
Clair was another selfish person, acted royalty and never missed a chance to belittle Ruby. There was that eternal competition between step-sisters, always pushing oneself to achieve more than other and I don’t understand why anyone would like her for such snobbish inferior behavior. But after knowing the scheme of Vanessa, I felt pity for both her and Ruby.
All secondary characters were queer and they added more fun to the story.
Writing was good. The comic verses of Millennium poem and Alice Chambers was fun. Setting was great. I didn’t experience uncertainty and fuss around Y2K, so I found it bit strange and also liked to know what caused Y2k scare and how people reacted to it.
City and the culture was depicted nicely. The contrast of English and American life was represented amusingly. Being Indian, I honestly didn’t know how to differentiate language until I read this book. It was fun to read vocabulary and cultural difference. I laughed every time Ruby had to answer hoe Princess Diana died and how by the end of the book she could create story from the gossips around royalty.
Story was set in 1999 4 months earlier of millennium year. It started with Ruby’s wedding and how she shifted from London to Kansas after that. Story was narrated in past and present alternatively. Past told about her life before and after marriage and what brought drastic change in her nature that she was found in tricky situation in present, 4 months later on a new year with questions- why she was missing with 3 million dollars after being kept hostage during bank robbery and how she ended up shooting Sheriff Hank.
Initial few chapters were character intro and how Ruby arrived in Kansas from London, her married life with Edward, how she got acquainted with her new friends, weird ideas she got to achieve her dream to settle in Paris, her competing relation with her stepsister, Hank’s life, how she met Hank and how a timid, shy, all English, polite and courteous, non-drinker turned to swearing, drinking, smoking, law breaking vixen.
I admired how author turned all tricky situation in fun and learning lesson for Ruby and how she evolved with each experience. Borrowing dogs, swim in lake and feeding ducks, vandalizing police car, attacking neighbor and bank robbery- those laugh-out-loud moments were mind blowing.
Climax was unexpected. I was horrified by hearing actual story of Ruby’s mother from that mustached aunt. All Ruby’s family was appalling and I really felt for her I could see how all pent up emotions were meant to explode. I didn’t wish Ruby to run away or do something rash after all that happened but after reading her aunt’s thoughts I wish have done it ages ago. I was not sure what to think about book, where story was going but the end made it perfect. It was fabulous and epilogue was satisfying. I liked this strange happily ever after romantic story of Ruby.
I couldn’t relate to characters. Sometimes I didn’t appreciate Ruby’s action and it was hard to believe she got away with all she did in the end. I didn’t like Hank. He did not fit the picture of handsome swoon worthy hero you can’t help but fall in love, ‘even though you are married’.
Overall, It was fun, entertaining romance with eccentric characters and their crazy action that readers of this genre would like to read.
Author : Alison Brodie
Purchase Link : Amazon
*** Note: Many thanks to author for providing e-copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review. ***
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