Review by Jasmine Anderson
Patty Cottrell perfectly captures the chaos and uncertainty associated with loss. Helen Moran in Sorry to Disrupt the Peace embodies a little bit of everyone. She is raw, she is funny, ironic, yet depressing, confused and lost all at once. Learning about her adoptive brothers suicide sparks a curiosity within her that ensues throughout the remainder of the novel. The power of Cottrell to give a realistic portrayal of what it is like to exist in ones head during loss and coping is magnificent. Not only does Moran fight the idea that her brother did not actually kill himself, but with his death uprooted buried feelings that Moran possessed towards her adoptive family. She decides to go visit her adoptive parents and investigate her brothers death.
Experiencing the story through Moran’s eyes is what makes the piece that much more spectacular. Having a relatable protagonist share her view on something that is so real and raw to a lot of audiences speaks to the reader on a deeper level than Cottrell could have imagined. The best piece of the story is that Moran is not perfect, she is unfiltered and human. Whether readers have experienced death, she makes a tough situation relatable.
Reading the first couple pages, seeing her react to the news of her brother and listening to her sort her thoughts and try to make sense of it all is what makes the book a must read. Not only is Moran looking for answers to her brothers death but also trying to reclaim her identity. Despite the complicated family relationships, she loved her brother, and his loss meant going back home to a place that she had not been in years, looking for answers she was not sure she would find.
I enjoyed this book because of how it made me feel while reading it. Being inside of Helen’s mind and reacting to her experiences with her and through her eyes was the most captivating portion of the book. I read this story in one sitting. I love a book that feels like a story but draws out every day emotions that are relatable to your own reality. Because of this, it felt like the book was speaking to me and not something that I will forget.
Patty Cottrell will have readers laughing, crying and eventually asking their own “why”, through the eyes and mind of Helen Moran. Readers will not want to put the book down until they get the answers and satisfaction they need from Moran finding her why.
Jasmine Anderson is a recent graduate from California State University, Long Beach. She has always had a passion for reading and writing and looks forward to pursuing a career in law. For now, she is taking a break from school to be in the work force and study for the LSAT.