Heart Like Mine by Amy HatvanyExpected Publication: March 19, 2013
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Format: ARC provided by NetGalley
SummaryWhen 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.
My ThoughtsWhere do I start? I was hooked from the very beginning. With Amy Havanty amazing writing who could blame me? The story was told in alternating voices, those being Victor, Ava, Grace and Kelli. It all surrounds the impact after the death of Kelli. Kelli was depressed after her divorce from Victor. But was it the divorce or something else that has made Kelli not be able to function? In flashbacks we hear Kelli’s story and find out what all happen.
Throughout the book we also read about how her death affects her ex, their kids and his new fiancée. While I enjoyed all the characters the most I found compelling was Grace. Grace had always made it clear she wasn’t interested in having kids. So when she met Victor who wasn’t into having more kids she thought everything would work out fine. After Kelli’s death she was force into the “mother” role. Dealing with her own mother issues she wonders if she’s cut out to handle all this. Although she has her ups and downs with the kids she soon realizes she was wrong. She comes to love them as if they were her own.
With Ava and Grace putting clues together into why Kelli died they discovered it wasn’t the divorce that pushed her over the end but something else. No one knew of the secret in Kelli’s past. While I won’t ruin with spoilers I will say this book is simply amazing.
This book will keep you glued and engaged from the start. It’s a story of grief, love and most importantly family. At the end of the day after all the world may throw at you family is the one thing that will always be there for you. Family doesn’t always have to be in the traditional sense but it’s simply made up of those who love and care about you in spite of everything.