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3.5 out of 5 stars
Hearts on a String: A Novel
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 4, 2010
Format: Paperback
I do enjoy books on women's friendships and that was the draw for me to this book. Plus.... of course, total cover love. It looks like bubble gum or cotton candy... :)

It took awhile for this book to really get started. In the beginning you learn much of each of the women and the conversations during this part of the book didn't flow for me and somehow felt choppy. As the women share stories we as readers are let in on some unusual secrets

That being said, once you get through this bumpy section, the book picks up a pleasant pace that left me overall satisfied with this read. I appreciated the ending of the book and felt it wrapped up nicely and made me consider those bonds, or strings if you will, of friendships that I am thankful to have in my life.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 25, 2010
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I have loved, and gifted, some of Ms. Radish's earlier books but found her work before this, "Searching for Paradise . . ." a disappointment. I had high hopes for this, her latest book, but it seems her trajectory continues to go down instead of up. I'm left to wonder if Ms Radish has lost her zest for writing and is merely plugging words into a formula that no longer works. "A group of women, strangers to one another?" Check. "At varying stages of life?" Check. "Lots of emotional baggage littering the landscape?" Check. "Strengthened by the bonds of sisterhood, community, and a little male bashing?" Check. Actually, it's not just that the formula is tired and tread bare; the characters here are simply not very likable and it was very hard to get past the beginning of the book which is filled with bickering and sniping. I missed the spirit and humor - and yes, the esprit de corps I've come to expect from Radish's women. I'm not sure if I'll buy another of her books.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 16, 2011
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I love Kris Radish normally but this book is way too contrived. The book moves slowly and the reactions of the women to the storm and each other are not believable. I am so disappointed. I wanted to read a typical Radish book that entertained and made me appreciate women's friendships. I wish I hadn't purchased this book.
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Format: Paperback
A great-grandmother tells her great-granddaughter a beautiful story about the thread that connects all women, tying them forever in sisterhood. So begins Hearts on a String by Kris Radish. Many years later that young girl will be lucky enough to learn the true meaning of that thread that connects women.

Present Day: Airport bathroom - A woman is cussing up and down in a toilet stall while four other women in the bathroom stop in their tracks, unsure what to do or say. Nan's cell phone has fallen in the toilet and has gotten lodged in there. The women all try to figure out what to do to help this woman get her phone out of the toilet. When they finally do get the phone out, it's to an announcement that all flights have been canceled due to inclement weather and Nan, in anger, stomps the phone to bits and pieces with her high heel anyhow.

Nan has just left a luxury suite at a hotel and has offered to call and get her room back and the women can all stay there. The other four women know that within minutes it's going to become impossible to find anywhere to stay so they agree. So what happens when you get an investment banker, a hairdresser, a mom, an elderly singer and a very flirtatious and sexy manager at a Wendy's - well let's just say it's not all breezy moments of forming friendships and love.

The first part of the book moves kind of slowly with the women mostly nit picking and bickering with each other. It's painfully clear that they don't want to be together and don't seem to be bonding at all. As the story evolves though and we begin learning more about the intimate details of these women's lives the story starts to take on a life of it's own. As they begin sharing with each other as well we begin to notice that these five women who seem to not want to open their hearts, start to thaw a bit.

Most of these women really weren't likable in the beginning - amusing but not likable. Nan is ticked off at everything-her husband is involved in some shady dealings and probably having an affair. Cathy is so busy flirting and sleeping around that she just doesn't know how to have a real relationship. Margo is a mom of three teenagers and she is endlessly busy. Patti is the elderly singer -kind of the mom of the group and sometimes the glue that holds them together. My favorite of the women was Holly -the youngest of them and a hairdresser. She just seemed the most real to me as well as being the one that had the more loving and giving personality that just drew you to her.

However all is not as it seems. While you may think you know each of these women by now - you find that you really don't. The last half of the book takes you through some unexpected twists and turns but it's just these events that manage to bond these women together in friendship. The plot of the novel does become kind of far fetched and some of the things that happen make you roll your eyes a bit but the thing is I read this book for pure entertainment and escapism and it gave me that.

The message in the pages of this book is the power of women's friendships and the power of the bonds they can form. Even though these five women started out as strangers and really had nothing in common, they found over time ways to bond and ended up being fiercely protective of each other. This novel leaves you realizing how important the bonds between women are and no matter what is going on in your life, if you have those friendships you'll pull through.
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on May 27, 2010
Format: Paperback
When reading a book about five main characters, like this one, I would like some time to get to know each character. Instead of introducing the five main characters slowly, they are thrown at the reader all at once. I was unable to enjoy meeting the women in this story as I spent the first few chapters flipping back to earlier pages to figure out who was who. Not only is the character introduction confusing but the descriptions of the women are often repetitive. Instead of getting new information, the author rehashes the same descriptions over and over again. As a result I was a third of the way into the book before I could keep the characters straight.

Another thing that I did not enjoy about this book was the narration. The author's style of narration felt choppy in places due to her tendency to go between character dialogue and conversation summary mid-topic. I often found myself rereading passages so I could figure out what just happened.

The story was not helped by the fact that the author tried to cram too much story into the book's 336 pages. While I understand the author was trying to capture the woman accurately, I just felt like each character had too much going on. Each character had one or two big reveals in their life, which was just too much for this story.

Not only did the characters have too much going on, but the storyline was just too much as well. The ups and downs were all over the place, and they kept coming in rapid succession. The jam-packed plot made me feel overwhelmed.

Even though this book was often confusing and jumbled, the author was able to convey her message. That message is one of the powerful bond between women, and how important that bond is in a woman's life. The story made me realize how important friendships are in helping you survive through the tough patches in life. I felt the story would of been much more powerful had it not been told in such a confusing way. The "less is more" approach would of helped this book become the story the author was trying to tell.

Rating: As much as I wanted to love this book, it did was unable to really enjoy it. The simple thread of the story was often lost behind too many characters and too much plot.

I received an Advance Reader Copy of this book from the [...] First Reads program.
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Format: Paperback
What happens when five women who are strangers meet in an airport bathroom, and after being stranded by a surprise storm, decide to get a suite together in a five-star hotel?

Well it could have been a fun story, full of women finding out how much they have in common, laughing at each others stories, reveling in their womanhood, motherhood and sisterhood.

Instead the majority of the story wound up being a bunch of nagging and nit-picking women constantly griping at one another, rolling their eyes, bemoaning their decisions to ever share a room with one another.

Patti was probably the most likable of the characters for me initially, although later on Holly became quite likable as well, and over time you begin to see the appeal of each woman. After all, we are all beautiful in all of our flawed glory! The characters were developed quite fully, so that I could begin to identify with them. We've all known these women in our lives. Most of us would see a little of ourselves in each of them.

It was probably the middle of this story that I enjoyed the most. My problem in the beginning was the constant nit-picking and griping by all of the women. About halfway through the story, the plot just took a pretty preposterous turn. At that point, soon after losing my annoyance with the characters for their intolerance of one another (and soon after enjoying the turn in the characters attitudes), I became instead annoyed with the author for throwing so many different storylines into the story that it became the "Perfect Storm" of preposterousness.

I had great hopes for this story, but in the end it was just "eh".
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VINE VOICEon December 14, 2011
Format: Paperback
A group of women meet for the very first time in an airport bathroom in Florida. They seem to come together while helping one of the women retrieve her cell phone that has fallen into the toilet. Just as soon as the phone is saved an announcement shocks them all. The airport is closing due to a freak storm. No flights are going anywhere. Their choices are few, camp out in the airport with hundreds/thousands of other people for God knows how long or share a luxury hotel suite. They choose the hotel suite of course, and that is when this spur of the moment decision takes them on a very unexpected trip that could change their lives.

Dollycas's Thoughts
This was not my favorite Kris Radish book but after a slow start I really did enjoy it. This random group of women thrown together under strange circumstances and trying to cope with their huge differences was interesting, funny, sad and at times pretty unbelievable but I just went with it. Each woman was exceptional in their own way, handling some kind of stressful circumstances in each of their own lives and by sharing their stories it helped them to develop a weird type of bond. The psychic convention and another back story were a little over the top and I am not sure if these elements were even necessary to a book that may have been stronger without them. I didn't like this one as much as I did The Elegant Gathering of White Snows, but it's a engaging story of unlikely friendships.
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Format: Paperback
The extreme weather conditions running across much of the country shuts down the Tampa International Airport. Five women waiting for flights meet and agree to share a luxury suite at a nearby hotel on the beach. Tense Nan arranges the stay. Joining her are Vegas lounge act Patti, house-mom of three teens Margo, reticent Buckeye hair stylist Holly and sex oozing Cathy.

Each shares their personal tale of triumphs and much more defeats. However, the encounter rejuvenates each of the females; as they make more than just make due of a bad situation; instead being grounded has helped them become grounded.

Each one of the fearsome fab five females has a distinct personality that in turn makes their sisterhood bonding that much stronger. However, instead of only focusing on the quintet's personal life sagas; subplots also involve psychics and secret agents that detract from the group. Still fans of Kris Radish will enjoy being grounded by weather in Tampa with the Hearts on a String quintet.

Harriet Klausner
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VINE VOICEon July 20, 2010
Format: Paperback
I liked this book a lot more than I originally thought I would. This is the story of 5 women who meet in an airport restroom and form a bond over the following 4 days. They didn't always get along and they didn't always like each other, but in the end, they formed a wonderful bond.

This is a wonderful story of womanhood, strength, companionship, and adventure. It's not just a fluff-filled women knitting and drinking tea story. There is a surprisingly exciting adventure that I don't want to give away.

Toward the end of the story I thought it was dragging on a bit and I was waiting for the last page. However, at the very end, everything came together very nicely and I was happy with the ending.

One thing I did not like was the cover. I think the women riding down stair railings is very cheesy and has nothing to do with the story at all. If I had not won this but had seen this book at the bookstore, I would not have even picked it up based on the cover and the title.
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on December 30, 2013
Format: Paperback
Five strangers meet in an airport bathroom. Then comes the news that a hurricane is on the way, suspending all their flights. The five woman decide to share a room together in a luxury hotel. There, the five woman propel each other out of their old lives and into a new future.

The whole book is wacky. But for anyone who has had one of those crazy girls nights that only you actually believed happened as the stories from that night are to crazy to believe, you'll enjoy the sheer craziness of the shenanigans that the girls get up to in the hotel. Drunken madness is definitely the theme of the hotel trip. But the ending for me kind of ruined the fun of the rest of the story. I thought it to be a bit to cheesy and just kind of over-the-top in the message department.
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