by Lisa Jones
Scribner, May 2009
Hardcover, 288 pages
Essay/Review by Elliot Jackson
“What does it matter if it hurts like hell, so long as it makes a good book?” – Dorothy L. Sayers, Gaudy Night
Colorado writer Lisa Jones has just finished her first book, Broken. The title is a play on words – it refers to horse breaking, hearts breaking, bodies breaking. She has subtitled it, “a love story”, and so it is – in the way that, say, the New Testament is a love story. Bear with me, here, a moment – I mean no disrespect, and certainly no blasphemy. But imagine the gospel of – let’s call her Theodora: a well-educated Greco-Roman woman who, having heard tell of a healer and holy man working in the provinces of the Empire, makes the decision to leave Rome and travel to Jerusalem to write about him. She has heard tales of miracles which she accepts skeptically but politely: she doesn’t need to believe in miracles, or this Hebrew God, to write about them – or so she thinks.