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Reviewed by Sefina Hawke for Readers' Favorite
Broken in Boston by Rick Shakalis is the second book in the Thomas Plant series and is a historical event/era fiction novel that takes place in Boston, Massachusetts in the early 1900s. This is a book that would appeal most to a mixed audience of young adults and adults who enjoy historical fiction from the 1900s in the United States. Boston in the early 1900s was a time when the city was in the middle of a key social and political change with how Irish immigrants helped the Democratic Party to win elections and boot the Brahmins out of power. Amidst this changing time, Hope Davis, a beautiful woman with two children, makes a hard choice to change the direction of her life. Will she be able to go through with her choice or will she back out at the last minute?
Broken in Boston by Rick Shakalis has an interesting cover showing a woman and her daughter, and this immediately drew my attention. I liked the idea that the main focus of the book would be on a female character during the early 1900s. Rick Shakalis truly showcased his ability to write historical fiction in this novel with how he stayed true to not only historical events, but also to the feel of the time period. The way that he worked in events that took place in that era, such as Ford’s decision to use assembly lines to make automobiles, actually taught me something about the time period. My favorite part of the book was when Hope Davis took inspiration from Helen Keller's ability to change her own life, regardless of her circumstances, because I felt in that moment I could truly understand Hope and I sympathized with her situation.