At the age of thirty-five, desperate to salvage a self that has been suffocating for years―and to save her two-year-old son from witnessing a miserable relationship between his parents―Jane Binns leaves her husband of twelve years. She has no plan or intention but to leave, however, and therein begins the misadventures lying in wait for her.
Over the years that follow, Binns falls in love with Steve, a man eighteen years her senior who has been suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder since his return from military service in Vietnam forty years prior, and who has a talent for making her feel heard. Despite his inability to provide anything more than a spurious connection, run on a mercurial and erratic schedule, and despite his repeated rejections of her love, she continues to pursue him. During their off periods, she dates other men―but she inevitably compares each new suitor to Steve, and all of them fall short. Ultimately, it takes the loss of her father in the summer of 2014, followed by the death of her ex-husband five months later, for her to finally let go of Steve―and, in the process, fully unearth the self she’s been chasing all along.
Praise for Broken Whole
“Masterfully crafted, unflinchingly honest, Broken Whole is an intimate exposé of a woman’s quest for love and freedom. In poignant storytelling that riffs from hilarious to heartbreaking, Binns weaves the complicated layers of truth that make up the terrain of relationships. Sensual, tender, authentic, and relatable, this story leaves no stone unturned on the thrilling path of romance – from libido to true love. As the narrator dives deep into titillating affairs and soul-searching questions, we recognize ourselves in her journey and even see how to embrace, as she does, the paradoxical and beautiful nature of our thirst for love and truth.”
—Natascha Bruckner, Former Editor for The Mindfulness Bell
“In the heartfelt memoir Broken Whole, Jane Binns gives us a sincere and deeply personal look into the perils of love and the frailty of the human heart. This book is a roadmap of desire, patience, and endurance—but most of all, points us in the direction of how to learn from adversity and emerge with a new sense of self and self-understanding.”
—Kristen Iversen, professor, author of Full Body Burden: Growing Up in the Nuclear Shadow of Rocky Flats
“‘Without Death,’ St. Thomas Aquinas suggests, ‘Life would have no meaning. Too difficult to know just what’s what in all the happening that keeps happening.’ Jane Binns, in her meaningful memoir Broken Whole, draws in a purposeful parenthesis around a lively percolating period of her life, expertly drawing out some fractured yet finely finished order from the daily chaos. Clairvoyant and courageously clear-eyed, poetic and prosaic, relentless and revelatory, Broken Whole is expert negotiating these paradoxical sutures and conveys, in breathtaking detail, a mean golden mean of the aforementioned meaning.”
—Michael Martone, author of Michael Martone and Brooding
“In this post–Harvey Weinstein world, we’re all hurt and wounded. Broken Wholeis a courageous step toward a better tomorrow, when men and women can begin to be more honest, loving, and more forgiving toward one another. I laughed when my heart wasn’t breaking. I’ll never look at myself the same again.”
—David Madgalene, author of Call Down the Angel
“In her relentless search for love, Binns is never afraid to take a detour for a little fun and a good story. As she navigates the lust, loss, and laughs of dating, her sharp eye and tongue are as often turned on herself as on the men she encounters. Searingly honest, Binns insists on finding hope amidst the heartbreak.”
—Lisa Birman, author of Colorado Literary Fiction Award–winning How To Walk Away