Wednesday, February 13, 2013

REVIEW: Heart Like Mine by Amy Hatvany

Title:                       Heart Like Mine
Author:                   Amy Hatvany 
Release Date:      March 19/2013
Genre:                Adult Contemporary
Publisher:           Washington Square Press
Page Count:        384
Acquired:            NetGalley
Format:              Ebook (Kindle)
Read From:         Feb 3-12/2013
Goodreads:         ADD
Preorder:            Amazon/Indigo/The Book Depository

When 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.


There is something to be said about books that use alternating POV's. In my honest opinion, it works. I fell in love with the concept when I picked up my first Jodi Picoult book. Isn't it what we all want? Or should want? To hear everyone's side of the story? I do, and I did. I took something solid from this story. I found my younger self within these pages, or at least what I wish my younger self was brave enough to do. 

Ava Hansen is thirteen, and in the synopsis, is described as being "mature beyond her years." I didn't quite catch that. There isn't enough character development or back story in the opening pages for me to have fully grasped how "grown up" she actually was. We are given a very small window into the life Kelli lived with her children before she died. After her mother's death, Ava becomes even younger in my mind. The fact that she called her mother "Mama," didn't sit well with me for some reason. I felt like her dialogue, and even a lot of her actions, were reminiscent of a 8 or 9 year old.

I think I wanted more conflict in this book. Two children lost their mother, and are now under the care of their father and his new girlfriend-who was beyond considerate, she was like the IDEAL stepmother. It all seemed a bit too perfect for me. Though I suppose that has a lot to do with my own upbringing and cynical thinking, my own stepmother was and IS a horrible woman at the best of times, so I just didn't find it very realistic that Grace was so amiable-even considering the circumstances. Ava had realistic reactions to this "new woman" who wasn't her mother, but I just felt like she gave in way too easily.

Kelli's character however, stole my entire heart. The pain and angst she felt was palpable. My insides ached as I read through each one of her stories. I wish she would have stayed alive long enough to finally get SOME kind of peace, something to patch the open wounds on her heart. Her character was completely believable, and in definite need of a hero, I only wish she had gotten one.

Aside from the few character flaws, the story unfolded at a fast and satisfying pace. The few hours I spent not reading, I kept wanting to get back in and find out what the "big secret was." Once I did, however, the book just kind of fizzled out. There were a lot of loose ends I wanted tied up, but the author just seemed leave them hanging there. This was a quick read, and really touched on some sore spots from my own life, but it's not a book I will be thinking about too much a few days from now.


  1. I'm yet to read this one so I was interested to read your review. Personally I don't really like too many loose ends.

    1. Yeah, neither do I. I mean, I guess sometimes ambiguity is the better road to take, but more often than's uh..NOT lol. This was definitely a good read though, don't let that discourage you!


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