Expected Publication is March 19, 2013 and Will Be Published by Washington Square Press
E-book from NetGalley|370 pages
Genre: Fiction: Chick Lit
Summary: 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 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 that 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, hopeful portrait of womanhood, love, and the challenges and joys of family life.
Heart Like Mine was a quick but enjoyable read, and I liked it. The story itself was an interesting one, and I liked the relationships between Ava, Grace and Kelli.
I found myself really drawn into Kelli’s story- partly because we’re not sure how she dies, and partly because we see only a handful of flashbacks of Kelli. I think it’s the whole mystery of her death and her past, which we get bits and pieces of throughout the book. And it is sad that she never got the answers she was looking for. Of the three main characters, I found myself relating to Kelli the most.
I could relate to Ava in a lot of ways, but I never got the sense that she was mature beyond her years. In fact, she seemed a bit younger than her 13 years. I think it’s because we see her life after her mother dies, and because we don’t really see her life with her mother. And while Ava’s mad at her mother for leaving- which is understandable- a lot of the things she’s done didn’t really show how mature she was. Again, sort of understandable, because she’s lost her mother and is experiencing and feeling things that she (in my opinion) doesn’t know what to do with.
As for Grace…she was an okay character. Grace has her own story but I just wasn’t as interested in her story as I was with Kelli, and, to some extent, Ava. I kind of feel for her- I mean, she goes from not wanting kids and not considering dating a guy who has kids to getting engaged to a guy and not having a huge role in Max and Ava’s life to having a huge role in their life after the death of their mother.
Overall, I liked the story, and how Ava wanted to like Grace but also wanted to be loyal to her mother by not liking Grace. And I did (sort of) like seeing Grace come to terms with her role in Ava and Max’s life. I liked that Grace and Ava narrated the novel, with flashbacks to Kelli’s life. It worked well, and I liked seeing how they both learned bits and pieces of Kelli’s life and their reactions to everything that happened.
I liked Heart Like Mine. It was definitely heart-warming at the end, and while some things weren’t completely resolved, things were headed in the right direction for all the characters. You get drawn in, and you can’t help but want to see how things work out for the characters. Heart Like Mine gets 3 stars.