Tag Archives: Paula Treick DeBoard

The Fragile World

Paula Treick DeBoard weaves another compelling story in The Fragile World.

The Kaufman’s were an ordinary family until tragedy strikes. When Daniel Kaufman is killed in a chance accident, his family is left to try to pick up the pieces of their lives. His parents split up, losing themselves in their work, and his sister Olivia becomes terrified of everything.

Olivia lives with her dad Curtis in California, but things start to change years later when Curtis starts them off on a journey to see Kathleen, Olivia’s mother living in Nebraska. But Nebraska may not be the ultimate destination, and in his course to right a wrong, Curtis may destroy what’s left of his family.

Written in first person, alternating from Curtis and Olivia’s points of view, the story gets deep into the minds of the two characters most motivated and affected by Daniel’s death. The chapters are short, moving the story along quickly without sacrificing depth and quality.

DeBoard’s characters get quickly into your heart. Each character is uniquely relatable in how they deal with the trauma and stress life throws their way. And the story, while heart-wrenching, celebrates family. Family is worth fighting for, and the Kaufman’s, in their own way, each fight for their family as best as they can.

With each book I read, I’m more and more convinced of DeBoard’s mastery of writing gripping, real-life stories that weave drama, suspense, and a dash of mystery together in the best ways possible.

The Mourning Hours

I’ve been aware of Paula Treick DeBoard for a while, as she’s a local author in our area, but I’d never tried her books. When some of my used book scavenging gave me the opportunity to read some of her work, I quickly realized I should have started much sooner.

Kirsten Hammarstrom was just a kid when her quiet Wisconsin life was turned upside down. Her brother was the star athlete of the town, but when his girlfriend disappears, and he’s the last person to have seen her, the small town turns against the whole family. Kirsten tries hard to believe the story her brother offers for what happened that night, but a niggling voice inside suggests otherwise. Years later, another tragedy brings the splintered family back together, and the truth finally comes out, giving them all a chance to heal.

I started this book before bed one night, and had trouble putting it down. By the next night, I had less than 50 pages left (and I was not keen on leaving it until the next day, but, responsibility…). It was a fast read, written from a young girl’s viewpoint, capturing the naivety and innocence of a kid trying to make sense of what she’s seen and heard, and trying to come to terms with the sense of betrayal that comes with her conclusion.

The first of her novels, DeBoard proves herself a master at weaving a suspenseful story, full of characters that feel real. The choices the family makes are ones that readers can understand and relate to.

The Mourning Hours is a well written book, keeping readers engaged right up until the very end. I’m glad I have a second of DeBoard’s books to start on soon.