Throw Back Book Review: Breaking the Vows
Updated: Sep 10, 2019
I wrote this review for another blog I ran after experiencing Broke Vows in July of 2018. Some changes have been made since then.
Title: Broken Vows
Author: Eric Francis
Order your copy while supplies last here:
What is it about?
Broken Vows is a real life tale about the violent murder of Carol Neulander in a small town called Cherry Hill, New Jersey. This retelling of events takes you on a journey as it touches on what happened leading up to the horrific act, during and after. These events in addition to other morally corrupt actions come together to weave a web of lies surrounding Carol Neulander's sudden and bloody death, entrapping her family and those surrounding them. Oh, and did I mention that the victim was married to a very well known and respected Rabbi who quickly becomes a suspect?
What did I think about it?
Honestly, I was disappointed. Some of that may have come from my own lack of experience in the true crime genre of literature. While the book betrays the authors opinion of those involved, this story unfolded onto the page as a shower of informational facts with very little to no personal flairs thrown in and few scene enhancing details. While I understand why it was done this way, it only furthered my belief that this is not my favorite style. The one piece of "flair" that did come across flawlessly was that how skewed the book is.
I was also unhappy with the end of the book. As I read, I had a pretty good idea how it was going to end, so I was terribly surprised when it didn't end that way at all. In fact, I found the ending lacked a sense of satisfaction and closure and was forced to do my own research to find any bit of understanding why the author chose the conclusion they way he did.
However, I was intrigued by some of the "characters" who found their way into the dark web that wove itself around the Jewish community in Cherry Hill. I also found the relationships between those involved interesting as well. With that being said, I think I would have enjoyed the book more had I followed the case when it was unraveling in reality, or if I had a connection to the location and/or people involved. Since I have none of the above to pull me in, I felt disconnected and detached, and effect I think may have had something to do with the, at times, somewhat clinical approach to the book rather then a story telling approach.
I found this book in particular to be a reminder that we are all human and, weather we like it or not, none of us are untouched by that which makes us so. That means that some people will surprise us and disappoint us and that people are capable of doing magnificent things, both good and bad. We are fueled by our desires, even those we place on a pedestal. It is up to us to question authority, their choices and who they really are just as much as it is important for us to ask ourselves the same questions about who we really
With all of that being said, I did find some interesting pieces to the story and it was fun to get a glimpse of a murder trial's somewhat inner workings safe in my own home, curled up on the couch, learning about real people rather then just turning on the T.V and cheering my favorite crime fighting teams on as they depend on a script to guide them through as they tell a fictional story. While I don't see myself re-reading this book again and again, I am not the least bit sorry that I did take the time to read it. It was a beneficial experience.
What would I rate this book?
I would rate this book....
2 out of 5 alibis!
Do you enjoy true crime books? Which is your favorite book in the genre? Have you read Broken Vows, too? What did you think about it?