Broken for You
Goodreads ratings
3.81 / 5

"Broken for You" Summary

By Stephanie Kallos

fiction | 373 pages | Published in NaN

National best seller and Today show Book Club selection, Broken for You is the story of two women in self-imposed exile whose lives are transformed when their paths intersect. Stephanie Kallos's debut novel is a work of infinite charm, wit and heart. It is also a glorious homage to the beauty of broken things. When we meet septuagenarian Margaret Hughes, she is living alone in a mansion in Seattle with only a massive collection of valuable antiques for company. Enter Wanda Schultz, a young woman with a broken heart who has come west to search for her wayward boyfriend. Both women are guarding dark secrets and have spent many years building up protective armor against the outside world. As their tentative friendship evolves, the armor begins to fall away and Margaret opens her house to the younger woman. This launches a series of unanticipated events, leading Margaret to discover a way to redeem her cursed past, and Wanda to learn the true purpose of her cross-country journey. Both funny and heartbreaking, Broken for You is a testament to the saving graces of surrogate families and shows how far the tiniest repair jobs can go in righting the world's wrongs.


Estimated read time: 4 min read

One Sentence Summary

Two women with broken pasts find healing and connection through art and friendship.


Stephanie Kallos' "Broken for You" is a gripping and heartwarming novel that explores the complexities of human relationships, the healing power of art, and the resilience of the human spirit. Set in Seattle, the story unfolds against the backdrop of a grand old mansion filled with an extraordinary collection of broken china, each piece with its own unique story. The novel weaves together the lives of two women, each with their own brokenness, as they embark on a journey of healing, forgiveness, and self-discovery.

Brief Synopsis

Plot Overview and Setting

The story takes place in Seattle, primarily within the sprawling mansion of Margaret Hughes, an eccentric and wealthy woman who has been collecting and meticulously breaking china for decades. The mansion, with its broken china art installations, serves as the central setting for the novel. The narrative also delves into the lives of the characters outside the mansion, providing a rich tapestry of Seattle's urban landscape.

Main Events

1-5Margaret meets Wanda, who becomes her new tenant. Wanda discovers Margaret's broken china collection.
6-10Margaret reveals her tragic past to Wanda, and Wanda struggles with her own secrets.
11-15A mysterious young man named Soren enters their lives, sparking unexpected changes.
16-20Wanda and Soren's relationship deepens, leading to revelations about their interconnected pasts.
21-25Margaret's health deteriorates, and Wanda faces a difficult decision about her own future.
26-30The truth about the origins of Margaret's china collection is uncovered, leading to profound transformations for all involved.

Main Characters

Margaret Hughes

An enigmatic and wealthy woman in her seventies, Margaret has a penchant for breaking china and harbors deep emotional wounds from her past.

Wanda Schultz

A middle-aged woman who becomes Margaret's tenant, Wanda is grappling with her own personal struggles and secrets while finding solace in Margaret's unconventional world.

Soren James

A young, charismatic artist who enters Margaret and Wanda's lives, bringing with him a mysterious connection to their pasts and an unwavering passion for his craft.

Themes and Insights

Healing and Redemption

The novel explores the theme of healing through the brokenness of the characters and the shattered china collection. It delves into the transformative power of art and human connection in overcoming past traumas and finding redemption.

Forgiveness and Acceptance

The narrative delves into the complexities of forgiveness and acceptance, portraying the characters' journeys towards reconciling with their pasts and embracing their imperfections.

Legacy and Connection

The theme of legacy is intricately woven throughout the story, highlighting the ways in which the characters' pasts and choices are interconnected, ultimately shaping their present and future connections with one another.

Reader's Takeaway

"Broken for You" offers readers a poignant exploration of human resilience, the healing power of art, and the intricacies of forgiveness and acceptance. Through the lives of Margaret, Wanda, and Soren, the novel imparts timeless lessons on the enduring strength of the human spirit and the transformative nature of love and compassion.


Stephanie Kallos' "Broken for You" is a masterfully crafted novel that captivates readers with its richly drawn characters, evocative setting, and profound exploration of human emotions. The story's themes of healing, forgiveness, and interconnectedness resonate deeply, leaving a lasting impression on those who embark on this literary journey.

Broken for You FAQ

  1. What is 'Broken for You' about?

    Broken for You is a novel by Stephanie Kallos that follows the lives of two women who form an unlikely friendship. The story explores themes of healing, forgiveness, and the power of human connection.

  2. Who are the main characters in 'Broken for You'?

    The main characters in 'Broken for You' are Margaret Hughes, a wealthy and reclusive woman, and Wanda Schultz, a struggling artist. Their lives become intertwined as they navigate their own personal struggles.

  3. What are some key themes in 'Broken for You'?

    Some key themes in 'Broken for You' include the nature of brokenness and healing, the impact of art and creativity, the complexities of human relationships, and the search for meaning and purpose.

  4. Is 'Broken for You' a standalone novel or part of a series?

    Broken for You is a standalone novel and is not part of a series.

  5. What genre is 'Broken for You'?

    Broken for You is a contemporary fiction novel that delves into the emotional and psychological experiences of its characters.