Watching Glass Shatter by James J. Cudney

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 4-stars

Patriarch, Benjamin “Ben” Glass, has a successful law practice, five grown sons, a spectacular home and a wife of 40 years who adores him. He cherishes his life and his family, but he has a secret that could shatter everything he holds dear. When Ben’s attorney and friend, Ira Rattenburg, is given specific instructions regarding how the secret he’s been keeping from his family should be handled upon his death, Ira obliges him and locks away the pertinent documentation should there ever come a time when it becomes necessary to unveil it. Ben Glass meets an untimely death. The time has come.

When Olivia, Ben’s wife, learns part of the secret that her husband’s been keeping from her, she is initially shocked, dismayed and infuriated by it. It involves one of their five sons. She decides to spend time with each one of them while a woman by the name of Rowena Hector, the final key to the mystery, is located by Ira Rattenburg. Olivia will soon learn that her husband wasn’t the only member of the family with secrets. Each son has a secret of his own, and it’s up to Olivia to shred her austere, exacting ways and conservative values, to embrace her sons’ unconventional approach to living their lives.

Watching Glass Shatter started out a little shaky. I found it a bit wordy and overly descriptive in the beginning, causing the narrative to appear forced at times, but it quickly gained its footing and fell into a more natural flow as the book progressed. It was at this point that I began to enjoy it. The author’s personality shines through; his sense of humor, compassion and natural way with words. I liked the premise of the story, albeit I had to suspend disbelief to some degree as it was hard to imagine that some of the events in the book could really happen. But hey, it’s fiction, and I’m okay with that as long as it’s an entertaining read.

I found this to be a good debut novel. Admittedly, a few scenes were a bit too raw or TMI for my taste—entirely personal preference. The midpoint of the book was the most page-turning part for me. I wanted a little more meat regarding the implications of some of the characters’ actions nearest the end of the book. All in all, well done.