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Hating Heidi Foster Paperback – October 25, 2012
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"Blount delivers an emotional exploration of the power of grief and loss..."
- Publishers Weekly
About the Author
Jeffrey Blount is an award-winning author, an Emmy award-winning television director and an award recipient for scriptwriting on multiple documentary projects. Born and raised in rural Virginia, he now lives in Washington, DC with his wife, Jeanne Meserve. They have two children, Julia and Jake.
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This book, instead of overwhelming the reader with a throng of shallow yet barely distinguishable characters who seem to bounce from one predictable situation to another, focuses on one character and the entire story is told from her perspective - an emotional roller coaster ride that even a grown man of my age could find believable and heart wrenching. One aspect I found fascinating was the author's style of exposition - reading this book is like watching a flower bloom or a thunderstorm build on the high plains. Instead of feeling as if I was being 'sold' on someone else's view, the way this story unfolds allowed me to change my view and opinions about events as they unfolded, just as the main character was allowed to evolve instead of being molded to fit into a simple tragic figure. In that sense the style is closer to that of a well written thriller, where you think you know what's going on yet you always feel you're missing something until the end.
In conclusion, my opinion is that 'Hating Heidi Foster' is a thoughtful, well written, and highly enjoyable book for ALL adults. In fact, all it would require to transform this taut story into a classic movie would be to further flesh out the characters of Heidi and Eddie so parts of the story could be presented through their eyes. That is not however a criticism of the written story, simply my opinion on what it would take to make a great book into a great movie.
It's deep, personal, full of passion ~ and sorrow. Having never lost anyone close to me I can't imagine the pain and devastation that Mae goes through losing her father. Jeffrey Blount is a very accomplished writer and fully able to describe the pain and loneliness both girls feel while coping with a man who has been a huge part of each of their lives. I loved how he stretched the story to include Heidi who is Mae's best friend and the reason Mae's father dies. I often felt like I was onsite as I read the story whether I was in Mae's home, at her high school or during the conclusion when Mae works through her grief by compiling a "scrapbook" of sorts so she can remember her dad.
It's a fast read (it took me only a couple of hours) and it will touch each person differently. I think younger teens (12+) could read it and parents could easily use it to open the gates of conversation to encourage their teens to talk about loss. I strongly encourage book groups, parent/kid book clubs and English teachers to read this as a group. The only thing Hating Heidi Foster is missing is discussion questions at the end of the book.
Outstanding book & one of the few books I give 5 stars to. Hating Heidi Foster will have a permanent place on my bookshelf unless I find a family perhaps that will benefit from it.
Disclaimer:I received a copy of Hating Heidi Foster to read and review on GivingNSharing. I was not required to have a positive review and no money exchanged hands.
Written with a pitch perfect sense of how a child moves from grief to healing, the novel takes the reader through the months of sorrow, hate and rage that any Daddy's Girl would feel after such a loss. But the book is so much more, a celebration of loving families and how they find the courage to rebuild shattered lives. The scenes depicting Mae's mother and grandparents as they help her to heal are heartwarming; the final closing scenes, which I won't reveal for fear of spoiling the read, provide a true celebration of the father-love that should be every child's birthright.
Buy this book for your sons and daughters. After they read, settle in and enjoy a story sure to restore your faith in the human heart.