Read The Fragile World by Paula Treick DeBoard Online


From the author of publishing sensation The Mourning Hours comes a powerful new novel that explores every parent's worst nightmare. The Kaufmans have always considered themselves a normal, happy family. Curtis is a physics teacher at a local high school. His wife, Kathleen, restores furniture for upscale boutiques. Daniel is away at college on a prestigious music scholarshFrom the author of publishing sensation The Mourning Hours comes a powerful new novel that explores every parent's worst nightmare. The Kaufmans have always considered themselves a normal, happy family. Curtis is a physics teacher at a local high school. His wife, Kathleen, restores furniture for upscale boutiques. Daniel is away at college on a prestigious music scholarship, and twelve-year-old Olivia is a happy-go-lucky kid whose biggest concern is passing her next math test.And then comes the middle-of-the-night phone call that changes everything.Daniel has been killed in what the police are calling a freak accident, and the remaining Kaufmans are left to flounder in their grief. The anguish of Daniel's death is isolating, and it's not long before this once perfect family find themselves falling apart. As time passes and the wound refuses to heal, Curtis becomes obsessed with the idea of revenge, a growing mania that leads him to pack up his life and his anxious teenage daughter and set out on a collision course to right a wrong.An emotionally charged novel, The Fragile World is a journey through America's heartland and a family's brightest and darkest moments, exploring the devastating pain of losing a child and the beauty of finding healing in unexpected ways."A heart-stopping series of events drives The Fragile World…. The result is a gripping read, but one that delivers, by the book's end, a beautiful reminder of the resilience of love." —Karen Brown, author of The Longings of Wayward Girls...

Title : The Fragile World
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780778316763
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 432 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Fragile World Reviews

  • Elyse
    2019-02-28 07:10

    "The Fragile World" with a 'fragile' subject! Having read Paula Treick DeBoard's book "The Mourning Hours"....I already knew she was an excellent storyteller. Page-turning-can't-put-down-type-of reading! In "The Fragile World", Curtis and Kathleen awake to every parents worse nightmare --devastating news of the sudden death of their son, Daniel, who was away at Oberlin College. Asleep in the other room their 12 year old daughter, Olivia. I was also reminded of 'my' middle of the night -2am call years ago --when my daughter called home --crying so hard --I could not hear what she was saying. Her roommate was dead -in bed. Horrifying experience -- I was 600 miles away from my daughter. She was in alone in a house with a dead friend. Not pleasant memories --but that's what novels do --they catch the texture of life itself. What happens after a child dies? From routines to changes, and an extraordinary unpredictable road trip, Paula writes another page-turning-can't-put down novel....('twists & turns' to boot). This heartbreaking story is rich in quality -funny at times --deeply satisyfying!

  • Judy Collins
    2019-03-01 05:12

    The Fragile World by Paula Treick DeBoard, an emotionally charged account of a family experiencing utter despair, faced with choices, and wracked by grief, fear, and guilt; and a poignant journey to love, healing, forgiveness, and acceptance.The Kaufman’s, a normal family in Sacramento, CA when looking in, from the outside, before the tragedy. Curtis, the father a physics teacher at the local high school. Kathleen, mother, a strong female, and highly creative, restores furniture and a buyer for antiques dealer. Daniel, a child musical prodigy, is attending college out of town on a music scholarship. Their entire world has revolved around Daniel and his music. Olivia, at age twelve feels a little left out, as sometimes she feels as though she is a disappointment, compared to her older brother (which is often the case when there is one sibling, a prodigy with a busy schedule of lessons, deadlines, performances, and expectations).However, she worships her brother and dreads when he moves away for school. Their safe world is forever changed when a tragedy occurs. Daniel is killed in a tragic accident. How will they cope? Lives drives drive revenge or fear?As the years go by, this family falls apart, piece by piece, each one of them reacts differently to protect the other, going to extremes, with a lack of communication. Can they find their way back to normal, or could it be they never were normal and will need to start a new? The choices they make will forever change the course of their lives. A journey of, “moving on” in the midst of a complicated situation.Curtis feels he has let down his family and the only way to make amends is revenge – to destroy the monster who did this; a dark obsession with a man named Robert. He needs to hold someone accountable for his son’s death, and it is the only way he can make sense of this new world he has to live in. Kathleen, wants to communicate, go to therapy, and stay busy, by burying herself in work, and projects, to start over and move away from this town which holds so many memories. Olivia is struck by fear. She has to protect herself and those around her. She is afraid to leave the house, and keeps a fear journal, recording every item which causes a panic attack.“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself-Franklin D. Roosevelt. Also blenders.—Olivia Kaufman DeBoard takes readers on an incredible and intense emotional journey. A family crumbling layer by layer; pain, hurt, guilt; a father’s plan, a witty and humorous father-daughter road trip (loved this, as I am a huge road trip fan and always makes for interesting characters along the way)--from Sacramento to the sleepy town of Oberlin, Ohio and Omaha, Nebraska (with some side trips), and a mother’s sacrifice to save her family. The parents also hold secrets of Curtis’s past which brings another side story, grandparents, and another road trip to Chicago (this time, mother-daughter).Boy, they are racking up the miles . .The Fragile World is an intense and suspenseful, yet intriguing page-turner which keeps you hooked, dying to learn the fate of each character. The book centers around the word, “world”. The road trip takes them away from the world they knew into a new world. Olivia lives in a world of fear and isolation after the tragedy; and later breaks out of her comfort zone into a different world she never thought possible. Kathleen moves to a new city and begins her new world with possibilities and wants desperately for her family to share with her. Talented secondary, character Luke is also living is a small town, with limited resources, yet he finds a way to utilize his creativity by designing snow globes which tell a story of different worlds and life experiences met with tragedy. The author creates an amazing tale, and executes brilliantly, even though some reviewers do not care for the ending, and I do question as to why one parent suffers the blame; however, the story focuses on Curtis and Olivia’s POV. A realistic story, with flawed characters, and sometimes it is not all about a happy fairy tale ending, yet leaving you with hope, and promise, as this family learns to heal, accept, and overcome obstacles and tragedy. The author’s beautiful writing draws you in to the scents, smells, and vivid descriptions with raw emotions and enjoyed the breaking out the POVs alternating voices.The one thing I was hoping for, since the front cover is depicting the snow globe – more from the character Luke, later in the book. He was such an endearing character, which will touch your heart with his little roadside stand, and his caring altruistic nature. He was able to break down the barriers with Olivia, when no one else could. I was hoping for a mention of him, possibly selling his globes in their new store, as a unique item. Possibly a later story about Olivia and Luke….Well done – highly recommend!A special thank you to MIRA and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. JDCMustReadBooks

  • Myrna
    2019-02-16 03:25

    This was a great book. It was an entertaining, sad read but not too heavy. Some good twists yet others may cause thought provoking discussions (especially the end). It was my first Paula Treick DeBoard novel and I'll definitely seek out more of her books.

  • Peter Monn
    2019-03-13 03:26

    I'd give this about a 92%. Really good. Check out my full review on my booktube channel

  • Sarah Obsesses over Books & Cookies
    2019-03-03 02:08

    This got me from the first page, I liked Olivia's voice. It chronicled a family's unravelling after the accidental death of the elder child, a son of Kathleen and Curtis Kauffman. Told from the pov of Olivia and Curtis we see how truly fragile we are when something devastating happens. What i didn't expect that came not too far from the beginning was the intent of Curtis to get revenge on the killer, who didn't seem to be sorry for his truck hitting daniel as he walked across the street. Curtis never came to terms with it and after the separation of Curtis and kathleen, Curtis who has custody of Olivia take a road trip that unbeknownst to Olivia is for her father to find the recently paroled killer and kill him. The ending wasn't expected and i'm not sure how I feel about it yet, but it was well written and I enjoyed it immensely.

  • Holly Robinson
    2019-03-02 07:07

    Since I have five children, all of whom cause me to bite my nails with anxiety due to their risky antics and adventures, I try to steer clear of novels with plots that revolve around dead or missing kids. Really, who needs more to worry about? But I adored Paula Treick DeBoard's first novel, THE MOURNING HOURS, so I decided to trust her to tell me another good story. I'm so glad I did. This novel isn't really about a dead boy as much as it's about how we, as fragile humans, manage to keep putting one foot in front of the other despite the terrible tragedies that seem to be occurring all around us, as if we're walking through a canyon of falling rocks. The temptation is to keep your head down, but of course if you do that, you miss the glorious sunrise and the feel of rain on your face, right? To be fully alive, to embrace the richest sort of life possible, requires courage and daring and loving even against all odds—that's what this novel is really about, and that's why you should read it.Oh, as an added plus, the plot moves along faster and faster the deeper you get into the book, and DeBoard has a keen and funny sense of humor, particularly when observing social situations like high school student behavior and a teenager's view of our contemporary culture. The writing sings on every page.

  • retronerdSteinkuehler
    2019-02-24 07:04

    A laborious road trip, an unbelievable tale, a book I WANTED to like but didn't. Tragedy strikes and there are ways to deal with it. This tragedy was one of the worst imaginable, but the answers to a 'healing' process didn't make the cut. Therapy, lists, moving on, revenge. Truth is stranger than fiction, but even if this tale were true it would be too much to fathom.

  • Mrs Mommy Booknerd
    2019-02-26 05:27

    Emotional. A great read that mixes consequences, guilt, heartbreak and family dysfunction into a compelling novel. There is so much emotion packed in this novel. You are certain to feel a wide range of emotions. Your heart will break too, bu then you are on other that is hopeful and honest and inspiring. What a ride this novel is....4 stars.

  • Kathleen (QueenKatieMae)
    2019-03-09 01:23

    Any parent would feel their heart ripped out if they answered a phone call like the one Curtis and Kathleen Kaufman received late one night. Their oldest child Daniel, a musical prodigy at Oberlin College, was dead; a victim of a hit and run. With their young daughter, Olivia, the remaining Kaufman family members each grieve in their own ways. Kathleen attempts to keep the family moving forward so they can come to terms with Daniel’s death while Curtis withdraws into a bitter, angry shell and resists counseling. Olivia also withdraws, but she grows into an anxious teenager who keeps a Fear Journal; pages and pages of every little thing that might harm her: falling ceiling tiles, cars, random psychopaths. Daniel’s death has fractured the once loving family until the chasm opened so wide they grow psychologically, and then physically, apart. Heartbroken and discouraged, Kathleen moves back to Omaha after Curtis and Olivia refuse to join her. The Fragile World is their story; a story of how a father and daughter attempt to continue their life together after their family has been shattered. Needless to say, their life is plagued with dysfunction. Curtis is numb and unable to parent, or even notice, his own daughter’s growing anxiety and loneliness. It is when Curtis decides he must do right by his son and murder the man responsible for Daniel’s death that the story gains momentum. With the unsuspecting Olivia and her Fear Journal in tow, Curtis travels across the country with revenge as the only way to heal his broken heart.When I first picked up this book, I have to say I initially dreaded reading it as the topic sounded too depressing. Initially I was right. The beginning chapters were full of pain; no parent should have to bury their child. But, despite the motivation behind their journey, the chapters detailing the father-daughter road trip were sweet and the reader sees Olivia begin to make progress in overcoming her anxiety. The reader learns more about Curtis’ childhood and when he and Kathleen met and fell in love. It is these chapters that give the reader hope for the family’s future.The author is a good writer and is able to capture the gut-wrenching pain of death and family dysfunction rather well. I enjoyed the book and would recommend it. However, I do have a minor problem with one part of the book that I will put at the end as it contains minor spoilers.(view spoiler)[ MINOR SPOILER ALERT: While I did enjoy the book, finding it emotionally charged yet satisfying, I did not agree with the ending. This book was about choices: how each member chose to deal with their grief and each other. And I found no motivation behind the choice that all three members of the family made at the end. How Kathleen and Olivia dealt with Curtis’ choice made him seem all the more selfish to me. His reaction to Daniel’s death had him withdraw and isolate himself from the remaining members of his family and after learning more about Daniel’s childhood this reaction felt wrong. He did not want to become his father; he wanted to do right with his children and his wife. He should have been there for them after Daniel’s death and he should have taken responsibility for his actions at the end. That part felt wrong.(hide spoiler)]

  • Glenda
    2019-02-22 07:02

    The Kaufmans have always considered themselves a normal, happy family. Curtis is a physics teacher at a local high school. His wife, Kathleen, restores furniture for upscale boutiques. Daniel is away at college on a prestigious music scholarship, and twelve-year-old Olivia is a happy-go-lucky kid whose biggest concern is passing her next math test.And then comes the middle-of-the-night phone call that changes everything. Daniel has been killed in what the police are calling a freak accident, and the remaining Kaufmans are left to flounder in their grief. The anguish of Daniel's death is isolating, and it's not long before this once perfect family find themselves falling apart. As time passes and the wound refuses to heal, Curtis becomes obsessed with the idea of revenge, a growing mania that leads him to pack up his life and his anxious teenage daughter and set out on a collision course to right a wrong.The prologue sucked me right into the story. I wanted to learn more about this "perfect" child Daniel. This should have been a very emotional read. But I just didn't feel it. I have never experienced the loss of a child, but the way Curtis handled it just made me mad. His remaining daughter was suffering and he couldn't even see it. I can understand his feelings of revenge--of making the person responsible pay, but the way he went about it was all wrong. I did enjoy reading about the road trip as I have made that same trip between Sacramento and Utah many times so I recognized the towns and landmarks. That was fun. The title and cover I also liked because the world really is a fragile place and things can happen in an instant that change our lives forever. The snow globe reminds me of my favorite character Sam. He was just a good guy and the world needs more guys like him. But the ending?? WTH? Curtis was a coward for letting things go down the way they did. So so wrong in my mind. And wrong of Olivia not to speak up as well. I was thinking while reading that I would give this book three stars, but after that ending--I'm taking one more away.

  • Jessica Ashe
    2019-03-16 06:26

    I loved every second of this book. It's a book that grips you from the very beginning and doesn't let you go, not even at the end. The Fragile World reminds you of how fragile our world really is and how we should enjoy and cherish every moment because we can never imagine what could come along and cause the utmost devastation. I just don't even have words to describe the perfection of this book. Do yourself a favor and read/listen to it! You will not be sorry!

  • Taylor Giannullo
    2019-03-19 06:17

    Fucking terrible

  • Barbara Bryan
    2019-03-02 01:25

    I loved this book and after halfway I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. The ending was terrible and really knocked it down a star but the rest was superb so I kept it at 5 stars. Daniel dies at age 20 hit by (sort of) a drugged out driver. The aftermath is told in alternating chapters by his 8 years younger sister Olivia and his Dad Curtis. His mom Kathleen’s voice is heard through them. Highly recommend.“ But of all the people in the world – billions of them, more people than any one single person could ever meet even if that was a person’s life goal; of all the people in big cities and small towns, in countries where it was too hot or too cold year-round; of all the men, women and children, even those who were so old that the Guinness Book of World Records had them on some kind of short-list, and even the tiniest of infants in neonatal units, hooked up to tubes and complicated computer systems-out of all these people, it was my brother, Daniel, who was dead.”

  • Ashley
    2019-02-25 05:17

    A great premise that immediately draws you in, THE FRAGILE WORLD by Paula Treick DeBoard does a remarkable job of centring an entire story around a character that never speaks.RELEASE DATE: October 2014PUBLISHER: MiraDISCLAIMER: Novel sent via NetGallery in exchange for a honest reviewSYNOPSIS: The Kaufmans have always considered themselves a normal, happy family. Curtis is a physics teacher at a local high school. His wife, Kathleen, restores furniture for upscale boutiques. Daniel is away at college on a prestigious music scholarship, and twelve-year-old Olivia is a happy-go-lucky kid whose biggest concern is passing her next math test. And then comes the middle-of-the-night phone call that changes everything.Daniel has been killed in what the police are calling a freak accident, and the remaining Kaufmans are left to flounder in their grief. The anguish of Daniel's death is isolating, and it's not long before this once perfect family find themselves falling apart. As time passes and the wound refuses to heal, Curtis becomes obsessed with the idea of revenge, a growing mania that leads him to pack up his life and his anxious teenage daughter and set out on a collision course to right a wrong.REVIEW: A very emotional read that showcases how one life lost impacts a family, THE FRAGILE WORLD is a great read about consequences, guilt, and revenge.The Kaufmans are a close knit family: father Curtis, a high school biology teacher; mother Kathleen, a interior designer; daughter Olivia, and musical prodigy Daniel. A phone call in the middle of the night shatters this delicate peace. Daniel has been killed in a hit and run accident. The fabric of family bonds seemingly split that night, as the three remaining members of the Kaufman family are catapulted into chaos. Three years down the road paints a bleak picture of the Kaufman family: Kathleen has left the family for her childhood house, Olivia is fearful introverted agoraphobic, and Curtis is teetering on the scale of mental instability. When word comes that Daniel's killer is being let out early, Curtis has a renewed purpose in life: revenge. The novel is split between the narratives of Olivia and Curtis. We get a first hand perspective of the grief that tears this family apart: we see the guilt of Curtis not being able to protect his first born vs. Olivia's guilt of being the surviving 'less special' child. Because of the age difference between the two, we get two different perspectives of grief and loss - we see a parent's loss of a child vs. a sibling's loss of a sibling. Grief is such a difficult thing to capture. I believe DeBoard did it in a perfect way.I loved how DeBoard had a character who dies 'off-screen' and has no dialogue be the centre of this novel. Daniel is the fuel running this novel. Daniel is the motivation behind every character's actions. This could be difficult to achieve by some inexperienced authors, but DeBoard does it brilliantly. You connect intimately with a character whose presence is limited to the memories of the characters. DeBoard manages to keep our attention while the family shifts onto different plains. A cross-country trip, various backstories, memories of the past, and supporting characters are all thrown at the reader, but DeBoard keeps us interested. We are very much on the same journey as the characters. The novel ends on a twist that I'm not sure I enjoyed as of yet, but it does further elaborate on the strength and fragility of family bonds. It's not the conventional happy ending, but I wouldn't have expected such from a novel this profound with grief. Overall, THE FRAGILE WORLD is a great novel about the delicate nature of grief and the family bonds. A perfect winter read!

  • Michael
    2019-03-08 03:24

    Olivia has lived behind the shadow of her brother Daniel all her life. Smart, intelligent, and an all american boy who was loved and envied by many. Curtis his Father would stop at nothing to prove to others that his son is beloved among many. Supportive of his achievements, he loved him more than he loved his own soul. Sharing the same sentiments as his wife, they both together have an unbreakable bond with him. On the other hand, Olivia is ignored and slightly annoyed that her brother is stealing all the spotlight. Wishing that he had one flaw that she can tease about but he is almost perfect in her parent eyes.After a hit and run that leaves Daniel dead, the ideal family slowly crumbles apart. Olivia tries to pick up the pieces and have a normal life. Prior to Daniel's death, she never had to worry about planning her future. Now that he is dead, she has to now worry about everything that pertains to ordinary. Life is just not he same without Daniel, he was the glue that held everything together. In contrast to Curtis who is bent on revenge. Stopping at nothing to let the man who murdered his son get what is coming to him, going to extreme measures. As a result of his anger, his entire marriage falls apart, but that does not affect him as much as one may think.Curtis and Olivia's life are entwined as they both try to overcome losing Daniel. They are broken, defeated and most importantly fragile in this epic novel that I would never forget having the pleasure to read!This is by far the best novel I have read so far, it is full of characterization and depth. I really loved Curtis, he was so sensitive but also had a soft side to Olivia. I really sympathized with him, especially knowing the connection he shared with Daniel as it related to his childhood. Olivia contributed to his mood swings who was also a great addition. I wished that her mother got her own personal perspective, but she was richly developed as well.For those that are familiar with my ratings, they know I am VERYYYYY hard to please. I give out more one stars than I do anything, but this book was magnificent. I rarely rate five stars much less a book added to my favorite list.Very emotionally charged, it had you questioning what would you do if you were Olivia or Curtis?This book reminded me of Everything I Never Told You, a book that I absolutely love due to the content of this book.Highly recommended!

  • McGuffy Morris
    2019-03-04 00:14

    The Kaufman’s are a close and happy family. Curtis is a respected high school teacher. Kathleen is a creative interior designer. Their eldest child, Daniel, is a musical prodigy. He is away at college on generous scholarships. Youngest child, Olivia is a normal, happy, middle school student.Late one night the Kaufman’s receive a phone call that no parent ever should. Their son, Daniel, has been killed in in a hit and run accident. This will have devastating, permanent impact on this family.Each family member reacts to grief in their own way. Unfortunately, this tears them apart. Curtis withdraws into an obsession of Daniel’s wrongful death. He strongly feels that the man who recklessly killed Daniel should be held accountable, to the fullest extent possible. This affects his relationships and his career.Kathleen tries to go on with life. She wants to heal and make her living family members happy. She relocates to another state and builds her business there. She wants Curtis and Olivia to join her, so they be a real family again. They remain resistant to any changes.Olivia is torn apart by the loss of her brother, and the loss of her family. She develops phobias and begins to keep a book listing the bad things that could happen. Ultimately, when her mother leaves, Olivia chooses to stay with her father. She feels he understands her pain. Together they forge an existence, until the pain becomes too much to bear.Curtis finds out that the man who killed Daniel has been released from prison early. This sends Curtis over the edge. He wants this man to pay for what he did. He will make this his mission, resulting in even more devastating consequences.This novel follows the family as they grieve separately, each in their own way. As their story unfolds, we understand why they feel as they do about both life and death. We see their pain, and we see them search for healing. The journey through tragedy is poignant and very human. Paula Treick DeBoard is one of my favorite authors. She understands family relationships and dynamics, especially in the wake of tragedy. Her writing is powerful. The stories and characters will stay with you long after you close the book.

  • Maryellen
    2019-02-19 03:18

    When Daniel Kaufman was born it was as if a seemingly permanent ray of sun shone down upon his parents, Curtis and Kathleen. And then the Kaufman’s added a lovely daughter to the family named Olivia. What could be more perfect? Daniel grew up gracing the world with his musical prowess. He was a pianist from the moment his fingers first found those ebony and ivory keys. So talented was Daniel that he got a full scholarship to a prestigious school for music in Ohio, miles and miles from his family in California.It was late in the evening when the phone rang. Daniel was gone. It was a freak accident. It was an accident that left the Kaufman family so fractured that they are barely functioning.Curtis, a beloved high school science teacher is harboring feelings of such guilt for not being able to protect his son. Curtis always wanted to be the father that his own father never was. Kathleen is trying to get the family to move forward and function. She’s doing her best but her best isn’t working. Olivia, just twelve years old when that call came, is terrified of her own shadow, failing her classes and acting out in her own destructive ways. THE FRAGILE WORLD couldn’t be more perfectly titled~~the world is fragile indeed. One moment your world can be perfect and the next it is shattered. Author Paula Treick DeBoard told us this tragic story from the points of view of both Curtis and Olivia and those characters are so vulnerable that you will find yourself wanting to protect them. There is a particular character on the fringe in this book, his name is Sam, watch for him~~the Sam’s of the world make us all a little more solid.✰✰✰✰Thank you to the publisher for providing an eCopy of this title via NetGalley. The opinions above are expressly my own.

  • Patsy Gantt
    2019-03-12 04:24

    The drama starts off strong. I was pulled in by the prologue. It turned out to be the most interesting part of the entire book.The Kaufman's live a idyllic suburbanAmerican life. Father is a teacher, mother restores antique, son is at college, daughter is pre-teen still at home. In the middle of one cozy night at home, their life is forever changed. Will the tragedy make or break this close-knit family. Guess I will just have to keep reading to find out.I did manage to finish this book but reduced my overall rating to two stars. The writing was so boring and drawn out that I skimmed through many pages. The story line is nothing new. The father is spineless. He becomes so consumed by righting his son's wronged death that he allows his remaining family to fall apart. Feeling that she has been shut out by her husband and can no longer reach him on an emotional level, the mother decides to just abandon her husband and their remaining child. The remaining child - a 12-year-old - becomes the caretaker of the father for all practical purposes. Being a lover of prose, I often copy passages that really touch my soul while reading books. I saved only one passage from this long and predictable novel - and it came from the prologue. I kept watching for a character that I could love or be proud of or even hate. There were none - they were all flat characters on a page.If you are a die-hard fan of Lifetime movies, then by all means read this book. Even the climactic scene where all the people in the drama (word used loosely) struggle with the weapon and until ends up accidentally shot seems to have been lifted from one of those grade B movies.

  • Cindy
    2019-03-03 05:13

    I listened to an audio version of this book and the female lead's voice was irritating -- it was whiny and nasal, and she spoke way too fast. "Olivia" goes from 12-16 years old in the book, but she speaks as if she is a middle-aged housewife trying her hand at stand-up comedy, which was especially odd since this is a book about her brother's death and the subsequent fall out. The audio just didn't work for me, and neither did the ending of the book. I found the twist to be implausible and nonsensical. On the other hand, I did like the Fear Journal concept and thought Olivia's reaction to the tragedy was very believable.

  • Samantha
    2019-02-28 04:00

    "Ever since Daniel Kaufman was killed in a freak accident, the Kaufman family hasn't been the same. His parents, Kathleen and Curtis, have separated, with Kathleen making peace with her grief and Curtis burying himself in it. Daniel's younger sister, Olivia, knew before his death that she wasn't the star of the family. Now, she hides behind black clothes and hopes for a better future where the ideas of terrible things don't constantly run through her head. As the family struggles to survive after the death of the one they loved so greatly, they will find unexpected sides of their selves they never saw coming." Full review at Fresh Fiction:

  • Amy Broome
    2019-03-09 06:57

    Received as a giveaway. I liked the story told in two voices, and it progressed with an engaging build up. Some cute one-liners. Decent character development. Made me emotional in a few spots. However, it seemed to fall apart at the end, and I was disappointed. There are books that you read where you say, "Wow, I didn't expect that," and you are surprised and pleased. And then there are those where you mentally rewrite the ending because you not only didn't expect it, but it doesn't make sense.

  • Jill
    2019-02-21 01:05

    This book was well written. The death of the family's 19 year old son affects each member differently. It is told from alternating points of view of Olvia his 15 year old sister and his father Curtis. The author alternates the chapters in such a way that the ending leads up to a suspenseful ending. It is not a happy go lucky book and things don't work out in the way you think. Feel it really captures the sense of people falling apart.

  • Kristen
    2019-02-24 22:57

    This book was about the aftermath a family experiences after losing a beloved son/brother. I loved the characters in this book. Their emotions felt so authentic and their actions were unexpected in some cases but also felt very real. I would love to read more by this author.

  • Sarescent
    2019-03-19 06:07

    2.5 stars.In the beginning, I was really into this story, but there was one thing, one big thing about this book, that could have made this 200% better. What was it? The Fragile World begins with the Kaufmans-- dad/science teacher Curtis, mom/furniture restorer Kathleen, musical prodigy/son Daniel, and young daughter Olivia. They seem to be a normal, happy family until Daniel, who is away at college, is killed in a tragic car accident, and the family begins to splinter. Curtis shuts off his emotions and refuses to deal with Daniel's death at all. Kathleen tries everything she can to help her husband and daughter get through the tragedy, until, desperate for a new start, she decides to move from California to Nebraska. Olivia refuses to leave her father and her home and stays behind. The story skips several years ahead and we rejoin Curtis, sleepwalking through life, and Olivia, still destroyed by her brother's random death, who has developed severe anxiety and now keeps fear notebooks detailing all the minor, bizarre terrors that let her remain child-like and dependent on her dad. The story alternates between Curtis's and Olivia's point of view, and we watch Curtis finally get pushed over the edge by the news that the driver who killed his son is being released from prison after only a few years. He decides that the only thing he can do for his son at this point is to travel to Ohio, where his son died, and kill this man. On the way, he plans to drop Olivia off with her mother in Nebraska, so they can live together after he is inevitably caught and sentenced to prison.Interesting plot, right? I was caught up with how this story would come out, and I found Olivia's voice funny and captivating. The book is basically a road trip novel, documenting Olivia and Curtis driving from California to Nebraska and then following Curtis on to Ohio as he becomes focused on his quest for vengeance.The one thing that could have made this book about 200% better? RUTHLESS EDITING. RUTHLESS, Paula, look into it. There is no way, in any universe, that this book should have been 400-plus pages (paperback edition). There is at least two hundred pages of fluff, including a boring subplot involving Curtis's shitty, stock character parents, and WAY WAY WAY too much description, including, I kid you not, descriptions of mailboxes on the street that the driver of the car lives on, that Curtis notices as he drives to murder him. Who gives a flying crap? What was the point of that? The author seemed determined to include descriptions of, literally, the whole world in this book and it slowed the pace of the story to a crawl. It's really hard to enjoy a story that drags on and on when dear god, you just want to get to the end, the completely predictable end, and find out what happens. Oh, the ending, which in addition to being utterly predictable, was slapped together and unsatisfying, but god help us, we WILL find out about the mailboxes! DeBoard has the potential to be a good writer, and maybe it's not her fault that she's overly verbose and in love with her descriptive capabilities, but the editor of this book (WAS there one? I have trouble believing it's possible-- unless it started out as an 800-page epic?) really failed her. RUTHLESS, Paula. RUTHLESS.

  • Kat
    2019-02-24 03:15

    the older brother was the son everyone wanted. he was good at music. he went to college and was hit by a hit and run truck driver. the book is written every other chapter dad and daughter. they tried counseling but it didnt work for any of them. the daughter had developed fears of everything, writing them all down in journals. the mom left to another state , leaving the daughter with her dad. the driver was caught, plea bargained and was out of prison in almost no time. the dad decided he had to kill the man that killed his son. he and his daughter drove to the moms. when the car broke down she met a boy who found bullets in the car so the daughter thinks her dad must have a gun somewhere. she thinks he is going to take his own life. they replace the bullets with batteries but dont know he has one bullet in his pockethe drops her off to her mom and leaves a note . then he goes to his parents to find his dad almost dead in the hospital. he leaves to go kill the man that killed his sonmeanwhile the mom and daughter are on their way to find him. the mom figures out what he is planning and they arrive just as he was going to shoot the guy. but the guy over powers him and is strangling him when the wife takes the gun and shots the guy in the arm. she is arrested (i dont know why, she was protecting her husband)and is in prison for 3 yrsthe husband and daughter wait for her to join them when she gets out

  • Janet Lynch
    2019-03-18 03:27

    I felt this book had great possibilities but ended up just wallowing in sameness. It is the story of the Kaufman family after the tragic accidental death of the oldest child, Daniel, a musical prodigy and all around terrific kid. (Built up to be too perfect). Told in alternating voices by the father, Curtis, and younger sister, Olivia. I would expect this tragedy to tear any family apart but expected to slowly see some changes. Instead, four years later, each chapter basically read the same. I read over half of the book and couldn’t take it any more. So I read about 30 pages of the ending (ridiculous) and called it quits.

  • The Book Addict (Bite-Sized Reviews)
    2019-03-18 07:26

    T H O U G H T S:the prologue hook me, sucked me in. but several chapters in, the allure fell flat. the storyline is nothing new. this particular version doesn't offer anything different. the characters and plot have potential, but feel lacking. if you can handle the lagging, drawn out narrative and connect to the lackluster characters, you may have more luck in finding the emotion than i did.R A T I N G:plot // 2pacing // 1language // 2story world // 1protagonist // 2antagonist // 2secondary characters // 11.5 stars

  • Anne
    2019-02-27 04:57

    I really wanted to rate this book higher but I just couldn't because of the ending. I enjoyed the book for the most part but I just don't understand why it ended like it did. I wish someone could explain it to me. If anyone is reading this, I don't want to give anything away but help me understand. What kind of man would let his wife do what Kathleen did for him and why didn't the daughter speak up? It seemed ridiculous to me. Maybe I'm missing something.

  • Christine L
    2019-03-19 03:13

    As a mother who's lost a child it always amazes me when I read a book with this subject matter and the author can so accurately express a grief that is far different than any other kind of grief a person should experience. I found myself thinking that this author surely must have lived this particular kind of horror. I became a fan of Paula Treick DeBoard from her debut novel "The Mourning Hours" and I remain a huge fan. Grief affects each family member in a different way, some more tragically than others, and her descriptions and expressions are heart wrenching whether you've lost a child or not. A fabulous read!

  • Lorri
    2019-03-09 07:06

    Good story about how people react to tragedy. The Kaufmans only son is killed in an accident. the only thing missing was the mothers point of view. the sister and father are here but we are supposed to believe that the mother took it all in stride and moved on. Still a good read.