A Shattered Mind Women's Fiction

by Marlene F Cheng

Book Cover: Fragments of Tess
ISBN: 979-8854920902
ISBN: 979-8854920902
ISBN: 979-8854920902

She’s clinging to a tenuous hope. But her endless river of despair could drown her last chance at freedom.

Tess Elliot lives in fear. Growing up on the Canadian prairie, the intelligent girl survived a traumatic near-death experience and a childhood rapist by leaving her body in times of pain and terror. And though she’s now a skilled doctor, the private loner constantly worries that her mind will fracture completely… giving away her secrets and ruining her life.

Gifted a holiday cruise to Alaska, an overjoyed Tess starts to truly relax for the first time in years as she finds acceptance and happiness with new friends. But her tentative feelings of control may still prove fragile enough to shatter…

Can her strong will save her from a world fading in and out of reality?

Striking a delicate balance between gut-wrenchingly sad and profoundly joyful moments, Marlene F. Cheng’s poetic prose reveals the emotional whirlpools created by multiple-personality disorder. And as you develop a deep bond with her characters, the intense realism of this tale will inspire you to cross invisible barriers and reach a more complete sense of self.

Fragments of Tess is a heartrending women’s literary fiction novel. If you like deeply flawed protagonists, honest depictions of mental illness, and hopeful silver linings, then you’ll love Marlene F. Cheng’s unraveling of truth.

Buy Fragments of Tess to fight for survival today!


To avoid uncomfortable or frightening situations, I turn my thoughts to other times, to escape.

I had been using this escape mechanism for some time before I noticed that the memories were becoming clearer. A clarity came that was more pronounced than when I experienced the event. I, now, became aware of my mother’s black and white polka-dotted dress; the pattern on the floor linoleum — several intersecting straight lines, as if someone had been playing pick-up-sticks and had left the sticks scattered where they had fallen; the dark blue, almost black, edible berries on the bushes that I thrashed through. Perhaps, I had been too caught-up in the action, at the time, to notice such details.


And more recently, I had an epiphany. I wasn’t just remembering; I was reliving my memories. A cache of old emotions would come to the fore. I would begin to shiver, to break out in a sweat, to jolt. Tears burned behind my eyes, escaped along the imperfections of my now wrinkled face and if I were lying down, crawled into my ears, blurring my hearing.

I kept this collection of memories hidden in a scrapbook, on a shelf, in the cave of my skull. The yellowed pages had been turned so often that the corners were dog-eared.

The scrapbook came to represent the underlying fabric of my life: where I came from; where I was; a horoscope, perchance, of where I was headed.

The threads that held the fabric together and kept me a cohesive unit were invisible, but when they would start to unravel, I felt the loose ends, viscerally. Or sometimes, I was taken by surprise. I didn’t feel it coming; I shattered.

My story is difficult to tell. And is, no doubt, because of all the gripping peregrinations, even more difficult for readers to follow. At times, even I was not aware of which alter was out. Therefore, you, I’m certain, will find it confusing. I do hope it’ll be a riveting and interesting challenge.

Reviews:Maincrest Media Book Awards wrote:

"Fragments of Tess by Marlene F. Cheng is a beautiful work of fiction that incorporates the memories of a young girl growing up in the rural prairie lands with her future life as a doctor of pathology in Canada. The writing style of the book flows almost like poetry, especially in the sections where childhood memories are recalled. This tone gives the book an unputdownable quality. This and the interesting personal experiences will resonate with readers in a deep, meaningful way. Tess's slow unraveling and her confusion over past events and relationships reveal how conditions like dissociative identity disorder slip into people's lives and create heartache. The writing is so descriptive and compelling that readers will get a glimpse of what it's really like to live with this type of affliction."

This book has been selected for a Maincrest Media Book Award in the Literary Fiction category.

Marcia Clayton. author from the UK wrote:

"What a thought-provoking and intriguing novel this is. The name of the book could not have been better chosen, for the book consists of fragmented stories of childhood memories, traumatic events, and happy occasions as the reader struggles to understand what is going on. Yet, the book draws the reader in from page one and keeps their interest to the end when it all begins to make sense. This is a wonderful story of an intelligent, successful, and sensitive woman who struggles to cope with her Multiple Personality Disorder. I feel I have a better understanding of mental illness since reading this book. Well worth reading."

5.0 out of 5 stars - a thought-provoking and intriguing novel

About the Author

Marlene Cheng is a Wall Street Journal, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon bestseller. She, also, has Maincrest Media and Book Excellence awards in women's fiction. Her fiction books are about the relationships that define women's lives--romance, friendship, and family. Marlene is a keen observer of how people think and feel and writes lyrical, uplifting, and emotionally rich stories. Marlene was prairie-born, farm-raised, and now lives among the old-growth pine and cedar, overlooking the Pacific Ocean, on the West Coast of Canada—a haven that stimulates creativity. “As with any worthy story,” Marlene says, “my biography has its own inner destiny independent of its author. I sense this and strive for poise, integrity, and courage to go with the flow.”