Title: Heart Like Mine
Narrator: Cassandra Campbell
Listening Length: 12 hrs, 14 min
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Contemporary/Women’s Fiction
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Publication Date: March 19th 2013
Available Formats: Paperback, E-Book, Audio
Add the book: Goodreads
Buy the book: Amazon | B&N | TBD
Source: Publisher for Review – Audio
When a young mother dies under mysterious circumstances, those she leaves behind begin looking for answers in the past—and find a long-buried secret they could have never imagined.Thirty-six-year-old Grace McAllister never longed for children. But when she meets Victor Hansen, a handsome, charismatic divorced restaurateur who is father to Max and Ava, Grace decides that, for the right man, she could learn to be an excellent part-time stepmom. After all, the kids live with their mother, Kelli. How hard could it be?
At thirteen, Ava Hansen is mature beyond her years. Since her parents’ divorce, she has been the one taking care of her emotionally unstable mother and her little brother—she pays the bills, does the laundry, and never complains because she loves her mama more than anyone. And while her father’s new girlfriend is nice enough, Ava still holds out hope that her parents will get back together and that they’ll be a family again.
But only days after Victor and Grace get engaged, Kelli dies suddenly under mysterious circumstances—and soon, Grace and Ava discover there was much more to Kelli’s life than either ever knew.
Narrated by Grace and Ava in the present with flashbacks into Kelli’s troubled past, Heart Like Mine is a poignant and hopeful portrait about womanhood, love, and the challenges of family life.
Heart Like Mine was an amazingly well told story that touched upon so much more than I ever expected.
The language is crisp and smooth…not overly flowery but descriptive enough to convey what needs to be conveyed. The pacing is perfect: slow and angsty when necessary and picking up pace along with the suspense when appropriate.
This book tackles some pretty difficult issues and does so admirably. From marriage and commitment, to death and step-parenting we see it all from varying perspectives thanks to the author’s smart decision to write this one from multiple points of view. Hatvany manages to combine all of these POV’s into a seamless and well drawn narrative. We never feel pulled into different directions as with some multiple POV situations.
I connected immediately with the main character Grace and felt deeply for each and every one of the other characters. Grace, a woman content and happy to never have children, is suddenly thrust into the role of parent when her fiancé’s ex wife passes away. Her struggles with how to handle this situation from feeling like a third wheel in her own home to figuring out how to love and discipline a difficult and grieving teen felt real and compelling. It was also fascinating to see how the couple dealt with their new reality and struggled to develop a new normal.
Ava and Kelli both broke my heart in different ways-they are written strong and complex and will easily work their way inside as well.
All told this book exceeded my expectations. I don’t always connect to contemporary fiction..I generally prefer escapist literature…but I’m so glad that I picked this one up!
I found Cassandra Campbell’s delivery to be perfect. She was able to perfectly change it up a bit to play the parts of Grace, Kelli, and Ava and be completely believable. I would not hesitate to pick up another audio with her narrating.