Shattered, a story about generational legacy

Mark PetersenBook Reviews, Generations

Last evening, sitting alone in a dark room in my old New Brunswick Victorian house, and listening to The Fabulous Thunderbirds on my iphone, I finished a book. It was the perfect soundtrack, suggested by the author’s story of hearing this blues band on an outing with his father.

Arthur Boers’ devastating and vulnerable memoir Shattered somehow struck a chord with me. I don’t have experience with physical abuse or come from a Christian Reformed background as he did. But I identified with the small Ontario towns of 1960s-70s, the fundamentalist subcultures that formed us, and our migration toward a more liturgical worship. What I need to continue reflecting on is the weight (often a burden) of generational legacy, and how each generation of a family must find and embrace their own story in light of their shared history. This is pertinent for next generations of families of wealth as their inheritance is not just a material transaction.

I emailed Arthur this morning to thank him for his courage and artistic skill in writing a brilliant book and sharing so freely and vulnerably. It is a gift to witness his journey, and to have the example of a man who has not wallowed in bitterness but who has chosen the path of surrender, forgiveness, and love. It’s such a rare story to hear these days when grievance culture and holding onto resentments is the norm.

Buy this book, and share it with the ones you love, as I will be doing.