Broken Mirrors and Burning Bushes by Jeremy Rubinstein Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

One man’s journey through a painful home life and a life of addiction takes a drastic turn in author Jeremy Rubinstein’s “Broken Mirrors and Burning Bushes”. 


The Synopsis 

“Just call it the memoir love story of a drug addict white rapper with unresolved mommy and daddy issues.”

Ha. Yeah, that’s a laugher.

(Cause everything’s changing – just not myself lately / What have I become, Mom, this is not how you raised me / I pray to God save me – ‘fore the Devil he claims me / And I unleash the curse I was given when I was a baby)

The love story part of course being my wife Alice.

Except she forgets that my rap career in Southern California essentially ended –

(. . . like I was cursed from the start / As the fault lines start to shift again, the Kingdom falls apart / Another rapper’s got beef – it goes from the studio to the streets / And before we know what happens – Gunshots replace the beats)

With the shootout in the parking lot of Barnes and Noble, sending us pinballing across the country like a couple of wanna-be Bonnie and Clydes.

Only Bonnie and Clyde weren’t high on drugs, and they stuck to banks –

(Call it a Spiritual Malady – Attracted to what’s bad for me / As we give a new meaning to Comedy and Tragedy / Masks on, Guns drawn – as we run up in the Applebee’s / And turn our moral values into a pile of blasphemies)

Alice was a waitress when we met, so restaurants just made sense.

And I’m pretty sure Bonnie and Clyde never had children.

Our son Caleb was born in a crack motel while the cops were out in full force looking for us.

But all that comes later – like way later – after Alice first goes into labor with our daughter Hannah on Halloween night – the night Corey and I got robbed at gunpoint by the Three Stooges.

Of course, that wouldn’t have happened had I not let Alice convince me that selling crystal meth would make me more money than just pot and ecstasy.

But then Corey always said events like that tend to serve a Higher Purpose.

Kinda like that dream I had where I was trapped in the circus and the White Rabbit who’s foot had been chopped off lead me back to my childhood apartment where my long lost father was teaching my daughter Hannah how to skip stones over our linoleum kitchen floor while Fred turned my Mom into a Ventriloquist’s Puppet and then those teenagers dressed up as the characters from the Wizard of Oz set fire to my neighbor’s bush.

What can I say – Halloween has always had a weird significance to me. There’s something symbolic about running around at night with a mask on trying to be Master of your own Universe surrounded by ghosts and ghouls and goblins with your toy weapon in one hand and goodie bag in the other trying to score as much candy as you can before the real darkness takes over –

(Where did that child go? That kid with the He-Man mask? / Sometimes our biggest fears are the answers to questions that we ask)

Any other questions?

Just read the damn book. 

The Review

A well-written novel, author Jeremy Rubinstein does a fantastic job of bringing out the painful, cringe-worthy and heartbreaking moments of the protagonists life in a very real way. Readers are able to see the steady decline in the life of this young man named Paul and a young woman named Alice, both of whom go on a journey of addiction, crime and family life. 

The author does a wonderful job of character building in this novel, really fleshing out the backgrounds and histories of the characters that clearly contribute to their mental states and the choices they make as the book progresses. As time goes on however it is the shocking events they find themselves in and the consequences of their actions that reveal the troubled lives they’ve lead and forces them to make a decision that will affect not only their own lives but the lives of those they love most.

The Verdict

A lengthy yet moving read, author Jeremy Rubinstein’s “Broken Mirrors and Burning Bushes” is a gut-wrenching, emotional read that delves into the painful process one goes through with addiction and the impact it has on so many factors in a person’s life. The author speaks with a tone and quality that speaks of authenticity and emotion, grabbing the reader’s attention thoroughly and keeping them engaged until the final page. Be sure to grab your own copy today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

Not really sure what to say about myself; I’ve been writing since I was a child. I started getting ideas for stories and movies and even poetry as far back as Kindergarten. I was also in love with music from a very young age, and at 13 got my first guitar and took off writing my own songs almost immediately.

I’m also sort of a wanna-be scientist and inventor, and have recently developed and obsession with Bill Gates, as well as a new-found love for speed reading.

Thanks to this, my new goal for reading this year is about 50 books.

I draw all of my inspiration for both my writing and my music from life, and all of its experiences, much of which has been centered in the world of drug abuse and addiction – and all the drama and trauma that comes along with that – followed by recovery (in January I picked up 6 years of sobriety).

Because of this particular life experience, my writing, as well as music has deep undertones of spirituality, which lends a sort of hopeful wisdom to the darkness. I like writing about the human condition, and all of its many facets, both heartbreaking and beautiful. Oftentimes, my inspiration will come in the form of a rather mundane daily experience that my overactive imagination will toy with, adding the “What if?” element, and I’ll just go from there.

Or, it’s therapy – as a way to keep from committing any felonies.

In May – God Willing – I’ll be starting school again with a major in psychology to become first a certified drug and substance abuse counselor, followed down the road with simply working with troubled teens. I expect much of this will play into my future fictional writings.

My book, Broken Mirrors and Burning Bushes, is of course based in part on my own life experiences as a person in active addiction, being in a relationship during that time, and growing up in a dysfunctional household. It was my way of processing and healing, but it was also my love for the Bonnie-and-Clyde style of outlaw romances that I’d grown up with as a child. Natural Born Killers with Mickey and Malory, True Romance with Clarence and Alabama, these films were always near the top of my list as favorites and I just always wanted to do my own version of that, so that’s really what Broken Mirrors and Burning Bushes was: my way of processing my own pain and trauma from life, using a vehicle/plot that I’d always found engaging and entertaining.

I also brought in my love and talent for music on the story, so most of the songs that the characters do in the book are actual songs I’ve written, or am in the process of still producing, along with the rap/hip-hop lyrics of the main characters.

So it was a rather large project, even aside from the writing itself.

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