Broken Places (The)

Frances Peck | 344 Pages April, 2022 Forthcoming, Ebook, Fiction, Nunatak First Fiction Series

About this book

Vancouver. A day like any other. Kyle, a successful cosmetic surgeon, is punishing himself with a sprint up a mountain. Charlotte, wife of a tech tycoon, is combing the farm belt for local cheese and a sense of purpose. Back in the city their families go about their business: landscaping, negotiating deals, skipping school. It’s a day like any other—until suddenly it’s not.

When the earthquake hits, the city erupts in chaos and fear. Kyle’s and Charlotte’s families, along with two passersby, are thrown together in an oceanfront mansion. The catastrophe and conflicts that beset these wildly different people expose the fault lines beneath their relationships, as they question everything in an effort to survive and reunite with their loved ones stranded outside the city.

Frances Peck’s debut novel recalls the humanism of Ann Patchett while interrogating the excesses of the nouveau riche like Emily St. John Mandel and Douglas Coupland.

Reviews

"Frances Peck reveals herself a writer with seismic impact as she examines the before, during, and after of crumbling worlds and relationships. The Broken Places will scare the living daylights out of you while it yields harsh truths, heartbreak, and hope about the human condition."

~ Glen Huser, author of Burning the Night

"With masterful use of craft, Peck takes readers on a journey into how devastation draws us together while pulling us apart. With moving imagery and haunting insight into response to trauma, The Broken Places highlights the flawed nature of humanity and our ability to move forward and find community after complicated, tragic loss. Above all, Peck gives nuanced, stunning characters who show readers what it means to give ourselves up to our flaws and find love and beauty in the process."

~ Kelly S. Thompson, national bestselling author of Girls Need Not Apply: Field Notes from the Forces

"The Broken Places is a propulsive, terrifying novel about the sudden catastrophic upending of day-to-day life. Hillsides slump, bridges give way, apartment buildings tilt and crumble—while love, desire, greed and devotion are tested, heightened or lost forever. Frances Peck's characters are those we instinctively understand. Beautifully layered and compelling, this novel explores the intricacies of human behaviour—what it is that makes us, and what it is we cherish most."

~ Libby Creelman, author of Split

“Frances Peck’s wonderfully sophisticated and razor-sharp novel takes dead aim at Vancouver’s tenuous decadent dreams against an ensemble of mesmerizing characters. The Broken Places casts an unwavering eye on a city of glass and its inhabitants who must respond to a savagely cruel event that shatters some families while bringing others closer together. It’s Balzacian in its ambition and wit, raising ineluctable questions about family and wealth, love and lust, resignation and resilience, and offers hard-earned truths about the death of dreams and how we’ll fight fiercely to keep them intact regardless of the cost. A well-crafted, affecting debut.”

~ John Vigna, author of No Man’s Land

"The Broken Places is a rare treat that combines high-tension narrative with true literary craft, delivering characters that readers will love to love, hate, pity, and grieve. Set against the backdrop of a devastating earthquake, the story of how a diverse group of people react to their new reality is beautifully delivered, offering many moments of masterful writing and rich, sensory engagement. Layer by layer, Peck reveals the motivations, fears and desires of her characters, doling out clues that culminate in an explosive and heartbreaking climax. Yet the novel ends with hope. Not a sweet-sugary treat, but a hope grounded firmly in believable characters and situations that resonate."

~ Ruth E. Walker, author of Living Underground