Thursday, November 12, 2009

New Release: The Broken Teaglass

How often do you pick up a book, sure that you will love it, only to put it down at the end feeling a bit disappointed? That is how I felt after finishing Emily Arsenault's debut novel The Broken Teaglass. I've had it on my TBR list since before it was released because it sounded like the perfect book for me. However, there were some flaws that kept me from having the reading experience I hoped to have with this one.

Two young lexicographers at a company that compiles dictionaries start a friendship over their shared curiosity about mysterious citations that surface while they are doing their research. Billy is a brand-new employee and Mona is a one-year veteran at Samuelson Company in a quiet town in Massachusetts. Billy is attempting to answer one of the many strange letters that they receive at the company when he finds a citation for the word editrix that seems a bit odd. It is an entire paragraph and it seems to be written by someone working at Samuelson. He asks Mona about it and she is curious enough to look through some more cits until she finds another from the same source, The Broken Teaglass by Dolores Beekmim. As they find the pattern in how the citations are hidden, they find what could be either a disturbing fiction or a shocking confession.

This summary makes the book sound perfect for someone like me who loves mysteries and words. I really think this could have been a great book. However, the characters were rather shallow and inconsistent and the dialogue didn't seem realistic. Even at times when the characters were baring their souls, they didn't seem sympathetic or compelling. Obvious questions weren't asked and bizarre little tangents emerged. I'm not sure if the fault was with this being with Arsenault's first novel or if she just didn't have a connection with her characters either. If you are interested in this book, I suggest checking out some other reviews because there seems to be a range of opinions on this one.

Looking up a synonym for "meh",

Support our site and buy The Broken Teaglass on Amazon or find it at your local library. We borrowed our copy from the library.


  1. I'm disappointed to hear how this one went for you; when I heard about it, I, too, was excited — a mystery, and words? So perfect. But it sounds a little off, unfortunately. Alas.

  2. I was hoping to get a copy of this but my request went unanswered?? LOL

    After reading your review, perhaps I did not miss much? Thanks for the honest review.

  3. Wordlily - I feel like I've been disappointed by quite a few new releases lately. I might take a break and read some more classics for a while or something. :)

    Diane - It's hard for me to be critical but I do want to be honest. This wasn't what I wanted it to be.

  4. I've had this happen several times, where the plot sounds wonderful when I summarize it, and it can be hard to describe why it didn't quite gel. Honestly, this book does sound great "on paper"! Thanks for your review telling why it didn't quite come together.

  5. Jenny - Sometimes I feel like it's my fault that I didn't like a book that I "should have" liked based on the blurb. I know it's silly!