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Heart Like Mine: A Novel Paperback – March 19, 2013


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Washington Square Press; Original edition (March 19, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451640560
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451640564
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (109 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #360,655 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

When Kelli dies unexpectedly, she leaves behind two children and a secret. The kids move in with their father, Victor, formerly an every-other-weekend parent, and his brand-new fiancée, Grace. But Grace, compassionate as she is, never wanted to be a mother, and her interactions with grieving 13-year-old Ava are often fraught. Independently and, later, together, the two work to unravel the mystery of Kelli’s troubled youth and the reason for her deep depression (“Kelli didn’t set out to lie about her past. At first, she thought she could just outrun it.”). Narrated alternately by Grace and Ava in the present, with flashbacks to Kelli from age 14 until the day she died, the novel explores myriad themes sure to appeal to fans of women’s fiction: love and loss, parenthood, grief, friendship, and complex family dynamics. The ending, which wraps up as cozily as a 30-minute sitcom, is somewhat unbelievable, but Hatvany’s compassion for each female character is evident throughout, and readers will find their hearts, at times, breaking in three. --Ann Kelley

Review

"Beautiful and deeply moving, Amy Hatvany writes about the tangled web of family in a way that makes you laugh, cry, cheer and ache. This book has so much heart." (Sarah Jio New York Times bestselling author of Blackberry Winter)

"A heartfelt, moving story about the lasting effects of grief amidst family bonds and breakups, and the healing powers of love, honesty, and acceptance. Hatvany writes with such wise compassion for every one of her characters." (Seré Prince Halverson author of The Underside of Joy)

"Heart Like Mine fearlessly explores men and women desperate to measure up to the rigors of parenthood, but still failing their children. Hatvany bring sympathy and compassion to the page, while never losing sight of the damage children suffer when their parents make bad decisions." (Randy Susan Meyers bestselling author of The Murderer's Daughters)

“A palpable love story, emotional search for and acceptance of a lost parent, and a bittersweet ending make for an enveloping, heartfelt read.” (Publishers Weekly)

“There are no storybook perfect endings here, but this compelling novel raises the possibility of a hopeful way forward.” (The Seattle Times)

“Will delight readers…vivid and written with a depth of feeling.” (Library Journal)

“Like a gorgeous dark jewel, Hatvany’s novel explores the tragedy of a mind gone awry, a tangled bond of father and daughter, and the way hope and love sustain us. It does what the best fiction does: it makes us see and experience the world differently.” (Caroline Leavitt New York Times bestselling author of Pictures of You)

“I’m telling everyone about Best Kept Secret. It’s the realistic and ultimately hopeful story of Cadence, whose glass of wine at the end of the day becomes two…then…three…then a bottle. I love that Cadence feels so familiar, she could be my neighbor, my friend, or even my sister.” (Jennifer Weiner #1 New York Times bestselling author)

“I was transfixed by Cadence and her heart-wrenching dilemma. The writing is visceral, the problems are real, and there are no clear solutions. You won’t want to put it down.” (Emily Giffin New York Times bestselling author of Where We Belong)

"By turns gripping and revelatory, Heart Like Mine is a sympathetic exploration of blended family dynamics. In her affecting new novel, Amy Hatvany pulls no punches; her characters grapple with life's big moments—marriage, parenthood, death—but she renders each of them with compassion and understanding. Heart Like Mine tells an honest, hopeful story that resonates in all the best ways." (Jillian Medoff bestselling auhtor of I Couldn't Love You More)

“The voices are so down-to-earth and familiar and the events so much like real life that readers will feel like they know the characters…An uplifting and heartwarming experience.”
(Kirkus Reviews)

“The novel explores myriad themes sure to appeal to fans of women’s fiction: love and loss, parenthood, grief, friendship, and complex family dynamics. Hatvany’s compassion for each female character is evident throughout, and readers will find their hearts, at times, breaking in three.” (Booklist)

"An insightful look at the complexities of modern family life." (The Toronto Sun)

“Readers of Amy Hatvany know that in her books, they will encounter stories that are a cut above most popular fiction…There are no easy answers here, but the engaging characters find their own way forward.” (Seattle Times)

More About the Author

Amy Hatvany graduated with a degree in Sociology only to discover most sociologists are unemployed. Soon followed a variety of jobs - some of which she loved, like decorating wedding cakes; others which she merely tolerated, like receptionist.

In 1998, Amy finally decided to sell her car, quit her job, and take a chance on her passion: writing books. Her background in sociology inspires and informs much of her writing as she tackles timely and controversial issues in her novels including mental illness, domestic abuse, and alcoholism. She is the author of BEST KEPT SECRET, OUTSIDE THE LINES (a Target book club pick in 2012 and a Costco Pennie's Pick in 2013), THE LANGUAGE OF SISTERS, and HEART LIKE MINE. Her next novel, SAFE WITH ME, was released March 4, 2014.

Amy lives in Seattle with her husband and children. You can learn more at www.amyhatvany.com.

Customer Reviews

It is so exciting to read a book, and not want it to end.
Pamela
I really did love this novel and though that Ms. Hatvany wrote very deftly and made me feel that each of these characters' were very well drawn.
Obsidian Blue
Heart Like Mine is a story of families, love, loss, grief, and, finally, redemption told from the perspective of three women.
Maxine McLister

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Janeen Coyan on March 19, 2013
Format: Paperback
My Review: I have to admit I picked Heart Like Mine by Amy Hatvany, based on the cover. Amy Hatvany is a new author to me, but one I plan on reading more of. On Sunday, I decided to start my day leisurely with a bit of reading time. I started Heart Like Mine and found it very gripping and ended up finishing the entire book in one day. This is very unlike me as I have a house and family to take care of on the weekends! Heart Like Mine is a story of love, marriage, parenthood and grief. The struggles of a blended family are amplified by the recent death of the children's mother, Kelli.

The story flows very well, even with the transition between times and narrators. What really kept me reading this book was how well the emotions of the characters were developed. The tense relationship between Victor and Grace (stepmom) and the emotional roller coaster of the grief, feeling of betrayal and loss of the teen daughter Ava were spot on. I just wanted to wrap in my arms around the youngest child, Max.
I loved the ending and being able to see how each character came to terms with each other, the past and the future.

My Rating: 4 - I would have lost sleep to finish this book, if I hadn't finished it before bedtime! If you enjoy books by Jodi Picoult or Women's Literature you will LOVE Heart Like Mine by Amy Hatvany! This is the first book I have read by Amy Hatvany, but it will not be my last.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By she treads softly on March 20, 2013
Format: Paperback
Heart Like Mine by Amy Hatvany follows the lives of three women: Grace McAllister, Ava and Kelli Hansen. Grace is newly engaged to Victor Hansen, divorced father to Ava (and her brother Max) and ex-husband of Kelli. Grace doesn't want children, but finds that after falling in love with Victor that she might be willing to try being a part-time stepparent to his children. Suddenly Victor's ex-wife, Kelli, dies and he and Grace now have full-time responsibility of his two children.

This novel is told through the three different voices of Grace, Kelli, and Ava. Kelli's passages are looking back at her life and answering the questions everyone has about her life. Grace and Ava are both dealing with this new relationship and struggling to determine what their relationship to each other will be - or if they even want one.

I appreciated the three different point of views Hatvany uses to tell the story. She gives the reader real insight into what her characters are thinking and why. Even when you want to tell them that they are making a bad decision or to at least reconsider that choice, it all comes across as very real. This made the book extremely readable. The fact that I was rooting for Grace and talking back to her (in my mind) tells you that I was invested in this novel and her character. I didn't like Victor at all, by the way.

However, there were a few places where the story seemed to lag a bit or the character's choices just didn't make sense to me. My main "What's up with that?" question came when Grace took time off work and seemingly set her career aside way-to-easily to take over picking kids up from school and doing the job of a parent. And Victor expected her to. Hello?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Christina Velazquez on September 5, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Great story line I could barely put the book . However the book ended too abruptly no closure, I need to know what happens!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Deanna L. Fisher on August 6, 2013
Format: Paperback
**Review Copy Provided by the Author**

I don't know if its because this is the third book I've read by this author in a short period of time, or something else, but I didn't enjoy this one as much as previous books. Maybe it was because I didn't like how the story was approached, or just didn't really connect with the main character...Don't get me wrong - the writing itself was good and the story intriguing, it just didn't work for me.

Like her previous books, in Heart Like Mine, Amy Havanty tackles a topic that shows up in social media, the desire to be childless. In fact, just this week, I realized that the most recent issue of TIME published in the US (although, not the other versions around the world) were discussing this issue (specifically, does that make people selfish, but that is a whole `nother story). But what happens when that desire is turned completely on its head when your significant others (in this instance, her fiancee's) ex-wife dies and their kids end up living with you. Would you stay in the relationship? Would you decide that you can't do it, no matter how much you love your SO? These are all questions that were faced by Grace during the course of the book.

While I think Amy did a good job exploring Kelli's life (her fiancee's ex-wife) prior to her death, I also felt that it was overdone. I wanted to know more about Grace and her decisions - which were key to the main storyline. Yes, it was mentioned through-out the book, but being told from her current POV, rather than the flash-back style that was used for Kelli's story. I think that might have added to it - maybe duel chapters with both of their POV's or something - maybe that was my biggest issue...

Overall, I'd give Heart Like Mine 3 stars - it was well-written and moving, it just didn't quite work for me.
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