I like audiobooks, but had been in a bit of a slump. This was a good audiobook rendition, so that helped get me excited about listening, but it was also an excellent novel by Amy Hatvany, no matter what the format.
I was first introduced to Hatvany’s work when I read and reviewed The Language of Sisters. It was sort of chick-lit-ish, but it was also a little more emotionally resonant than I expect from that genre. However, Heart Like Mine was exactly what I love in my women’s fiction: real issues tackled in a deep way. It reminded me a lot of Jodi Picoult’s work which deals with women’s issues, even as far as telling the story in alternating points of view (which is probably one of my favorite types of narrative). In this novel we hear from Ava, a young teen; Kelli, her divorced single mom; and Grace, the woman who is about to marry Ava’s father.
Grace and Victor have planned to tell his kids that they are getting married when Kelli is found dead. This positions Grace, who never really wanted to have children, into the role of mom which ends up creating more distance between her and the kids, and even between her and Victor.
The story unfolds seamlessly told through the different points of views, with Kelli’s mostly being in flashback filling in the backstory of why their marriage ended, why she’s estranged from her parents, and ultimately what led to her death.
The ending was somewhat rushed and contrived, but I’m not going to knock a happy ending. They do happen, you know.