BUY This Book. Read it. Share It With A Friend. Yeah….It’s That Good! The Shattered Oak, based on a true story and written by Sherry Genga, recounts events in the life of Barbara. Although the author is quick to point out at the beginning of the book that names, dates, and places have been changed, identifying features quickly become unimportant. This story cold happen to any of us. Genga uses a delicate balance of nature, faith in God, and relationships to hard work and family in describing the way in which Barbara deals with tremendous adversity. The reader follows along through a difficult childhood, domestic abuse a the hands of her husband, divorce, depression, attempts at suicide, and eventual healing. Still, it is not an easy journey. At times, the story is emotionally and even physically painful. Genga writes in a way that draws the reader in, causing him or her to feel, and in some ways, to understand how and why domestic abuse can occur. She also explains how we can learn to put the effects of that abuse behind us.
A constant theme of the book is it namesake, a sturdy, yet damaged oak tree. The Shattered Oak represents the strength and stability that Barbara is desperately seeking. At the risk of having to issue a spoiler alert, we’ll just say that by the end of the book, Genga describes a journey that comes full circle. Barbara learns to deal with life on her own terms, often in solitude, and without relying on a fixture such as The Shattered Oak, one that she has unconsciously relied on for perhaps too long.
Through surviving repeated instances of neglect, unreciprocated love, and self-discovery. Barbara gains perspective to see the beauty in the world she had previously sought to escape. Barbara ultimately finds the greatest gift as living a life that does not require validation. The Shattered Oak shows us that sometimes the most unlikely hero will emerge, standing alone and rising tall despite years of storms, wind and rain. The hero is the one who knows they are still worthy of love, affection, and fulfillment-even if they too, like The Shattered Oak, have been harmed by the storms of life. -Jim Steele -Amazon Review