Cracked Pots

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Pub Date 05 Oct 2021 | Archive Date 04 Oct 2021

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Natasha, the perfect girl, from the nicest family, has vanished … For once in Ari Appleton’s life, this mayhem is not the fault of her twisted mother or dead father — or is it?

“Tucker's triumphant debut novel is the story of a childhood lost, a family found, and a coming-of-age, recounted in precise and poetic language … It is at times difficult to read, but this novel is worth every moment of pain and every tear.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

“It is the voice of the characters, the kindness of strangers, and the ingenuity and determination of our protagonist against terrible forces that make this story sing.” — San Francisco Chronicle

“[An] unbelievably accomplished first novel.” — NOW Magazine

American Booksellers Association Indie Next List Pick 
Shortlisted for the 2017 Kobo Emerging Writer Prize 
Shortlisted for the 2017 Atlantic Book Awards

From the waning flower-power ’60s in Toronto, through her East Coast university years, Ari fights to discover who she is and what it means to be the child of an addicted mother and depraved father. With wit, tenacity, and the incessant meddling of Jasper — the seahorse in her head — Ari rides turbulent waves of devilry and discovery, calamity and creation, abandonment and atonement on a journey to find her true self, and to find Natasha.

Cracked Pots is a story about a girl broken by both cruelty and truth. It is a revelation: that destiny is shaped in clay, not stone. It is also a celebration: of rising after the blows, gathering the fragments, and piecing together a remarkable life through creativity, kindness, and belonging.

Natasha, the perfect girl, from the nicest family, has vanished … For once in Ari Appleton’s life, this mayhem is not the fault of her twisted mother or dead father — or is it?


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ISBN 9781770415997

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Average rating from 22 members

Featured Reviews

This is the long awaited sequel to "Clay Girl", which was released in 2016 and written by a Toronto area author. It starts up at the end of the previous novel. Ari is once again in Toronto and one of her friends has gone missing. We follow Ari's journey as she grows from high school student to woman and she has to come to terms with the fact that she is the child of an addicted neglectful, mother and an abusive father. She deals with further troubles (which she refers to as mayhem) with the help of her aunts and many sisters. Once again this is a wonderful recommendation for readers and although it can be read as a stand alone, I would encourage people to read "Clay Girl" first. I really loved these two books and the characters will stay with me for a long while.

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I absolutely loved "The Clay Girl" so I was ecstatic to discover that Heather Tucker had written a sequel. While this is a difficult book in many regards as it deals with childhood abuse and neglect, it is ultimately a story of hope and rising above your upbringing and circumstances.

Heather Tucker's writing is magical and I hadn't realized how much I had missed it, until I picked up this book. I love it's lyrical quality and how the writing carries you along.

I don't think you need to read the first book before reading this as it stands well on it own, but you'll probably want to after reading this one! I would recommend that you give yourself some time to get used to the writing in this book before setting it down or giving up as it is definitely written in a unique way.

Thanks to NetGalley and Misfit Book for the ARC!

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Cracked Pots is the follow-up to Clay Girl. I haven’t read the first novel; I read this as a standalone. I didn’t have any trouble understanding the plot or the characters. The plot of the novel is very difficult to describe correctly in brief. Ari belongs to an extremely troubled family; their past tinged with the horror of abuse by their parents. Ari is the youngest of her sisters. The best way to summarize the story is that we see Ari grow and embrace her life through all the crap of the past and the present.
The characters of the novel are the backbone of this story. Every character has a significant place in Ari’s life and her journey. Ari is so brave and strong even after what she has been through, there is a kindness in her. She is always ready to take care of everyone never thinking twice. The first example of this is her relationship with her young step-brother Mikey. She practically takes care of him, shielding him from their troubled household as much she could. She has a strong support system, people who understand her and want to help. Ari is an amazing artist, and her art is often an outlet for her. You feel proud of how far she comes by the end.
The story becomes so raw and emotional in certain situations; it was hard not to let it get to me. The way Heather Tucker has written the novel is quite poetic and metaphorical. I loved Ari’s journey in the novel. It is her story and her journey that keeps you invested but there are strong characters around her, who help her every step of the way. This book is beautiful, poetic, and heartbreaking. I have never read a coming-of-age novel like this one.

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