Book Review: Heart Like Mine by Amy Hatvany

28 10 2012

Amy Hatvany has a new book coming out in March.  I read her Outside the Lines earlier this year – the story of a daughter searching for her mentally ill father on the streets of Seattle.  It was a very moving story, told in the voices of the father and the daughter.  I loved that book, and was thrilled when I got the chance to get a hold of an Advanced Reader’s Copy (ARC) of her new book – Heart Like Mine.

Summary: When Kelli Hansen is found dead in her home, it not only devastates her children, but also her ex-husband, Victor and his new fiance, Grace. Suddenly, they all have become instant family with the troubling loss stirring emotions, thinking and loyalties. Both Grace and Ava share their observations as the main action of this story. They both find clues of a secret from Kelli’s childhood, and try to discover the secret to help healing and understanding Readers hear Kelli’s tale first hand as she recounts what got her to the day of her death.

Hatvany sets her story in modern day Seattle. For those who read Outside the Lines, the beginning seems to have some parallels. Grace works for a non profit group that helps homeless moms. Victor owns a restaurant. One person is troubled, which leads readers into the events of the story.

Ava and Grace, the two main voices, are at odds with each other, but yet are working towards the same end. One view is more emotional, immature and reckless while the other seems more detached and rational. I don’t know that either draws the reader in to their “side” one way or the other, because the other characters often seem to muddy the waters. Victor is stuck in that “rock and a hard place” location between two female – his daughter and his fiance.

The book embraces many sensitive topics – some more overtly than others. And I admit that I struggled with this side of it, feeling like every character revelation was some issue right off the front pages. And, it was unnecessary to the plot line.

Overall, I found it enjoyable. The reader knows more than the characters, and so has the ability to figure out things that they can see. I liked the tension created by this element.  With two female protagonists, there were lots of raw emotions flowing in this one.  Some of epic proportion, being those of a teenage girl.  But the situations merited emotions, and it made the plot more compelling.

Recommend: For fans of contemporary fiction or chick lit.  Also recommend Outside the Lines to those who love this genre.

Rating:  4 Stars.

Note:  I was provided a complementary copy of this book in exchange for this review.  All opinions express are my own.

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19 01 2013
Release Date of Books I’ve Reviewed « Shelly's Journal

[…] Heart Like Mine by Amy Hatvany – March 19 […]

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