“A lot can happen in eleven minutes. Decker can run two miles easily in eleven minutes. I once wrote an English essay in ten. No lie … Eleven minutes might as well be eternity underwater. “
The first title I read by Megan Miranda was Soulprint her third book released. So when I happened to spot Fracture in my local library I snatched it up and scurried home to read it. Okay, so I may have read the blurb first… and a couple of sentences to get an idea of tone… and I may have stayed at the library looking at other books… but that doesn’t sound nearly as dramatic, does it? I was curious to see what her first book would be like up against Soulprint. Would it be as strong? Would I be drawn to the characters? Would the plot be lacking or would it leave an impression? Clearly the only way I was going to get answers was by reading it. And that’s what I did. In one sitting.
Fracture follows the story of Delaney Maxwell, a seventeen year old and straight A student living in the north of Maine with a good group of friends and a healthy family life. Until she falls through a frozen lake and is declared dead after having no oxygen for eleven minutes and no heartbeat. Against all odds she starts breathing again and despite hospital scans and tests revealing significant signs of brain damage she appears to be healthy with no memory loss or impairment. The doctors are calling it a miracle but Delaney has her doubts. She knows something is wrong with her, she can feel it. “I was being tugged apart and there was an itch in the center of my brain, like the buzz from the wall unit. Only the wall unit was off. I scratched at my head, but it was buried too deep. And then the tugging grew to a pull. The itch in my brain tormented me. I squeezed my eyes shut and rolled my head around. The tugging was still in multiple directions, but the pull – that was specific. In the hall. Dead left.”
Can Delaney work out what is causing these weird sensations? Can she stop them? More importantly will she be able to accept that she survived and let go of guilt? Will her best friend Decker be able to stop blaming himself for the accident or will their bond be irrevocably damaged?
There are many aspects to Fracture that I found interesting. It wasn’t just the well-written narrative that kept me reading or the characters themselves. It was the way Miranda addressed a lot of sensitive topics and emotions such as death, grief, panic and helplessness. She gives the novel room to explore these freely and reminds us that the pain we go through in our life is often shared just as deeply by those we care about. A ripple effect we often overlook when consumed with our own problems.