Splintered Reflections – Entered in 2017 ATAI Book Award Contest
In Laura Kelly’s Splintered Reflections, Cathy is a troubled young woman, struggling with the reality of being abandoned by her parents. She never knew her father, and her emotionally abusive mother simply disappeared one day, never to return. Now, every morning, Cathy stands in front of the bathroom mirror and asks, “Who am I?” Her guilt and loneliness have resulted in her building a wall around herself, refusing to let anyone in. Then, she starts college, and all that changes. She meets a series of new people – each different, yet essential to Cathy in their own way – who slowly help Cathy tear down her walls and discover her own identity.
Splintered Reflections’ plot is not overly complicated; at first glance, a parentless girl going to college and finding herself doesn’t seem like the grandest of adventures. However, it is far deeper than it seems. Cathy’s journey is impressive and impactful not because she is a quintessential hero, but because she is so very human. Her internal dilemmas and pursuit of a purpose in life are aspects that all readers could relate to in some way. At its very core, Splintered Reflections is an in-depth examination of humanity, told through the eyes of a young woman trying to find a place in this world.
Laura Kelly’s style of writing makes this theme all the more captivating. Her beautiful descriptions and reliance on honest introspection make Cathy and her struggles overwhelmingly believable. This character is simultaneously someone to learn from and someone whom we all see in ourselves. Splintered Reflections is a window into heavy topics like depression, anxiety, loss, and relationships, while also serving as a portrait into our own lives; this is most profound, and makes Splintered Reflections a necessary read for almost any reader.
Originally critiqued by a member of the Authors Talk About It team.