“Another Piece of My Heart” by Jane Green (2012)
Genre: Contemporary, Fiction, Drama
Page Length: 416 pages (hardcover edition)
Our story is about thirty-seven year old Andi. She has spent most of her life alone until now. She is happily married to Ethan who has two daughters, named Emily and Sophia, from a previous marriage. Andi always hoped she would be a mother and loves the girls as her own.
However, there is a rift between Andi and Emily, the older daughter. She sees Andi as an obstacle to her father’s love and hates her for it. Though Andi knows how Emily truly feels about her, she strives to break Emily’s barrier down no matter what. As their relationship escalates into heavy tension, it will not only put strain on the two, but affect the entire family as well.
I am a huge fan of Jane Green’s novels, so I was really excited to read this book. I felt that overall the story was very realistic and is even a topic that people can relate too. Although the entire novel is about family, I saw that it was even more focused on the relationship between mothers and daughters. It’s a deep novel and it deals with some light and heavy issues. The story focuses of the viewpoints of the family and Ethan’s ex-wife as well. We get to see different glimpses of the events that are happening before our eyes and ultimately understand the reasoning why each character does what they do and how the feel about each situation. Green is a detailed writer, and she captures these snapshots very well. I liked the novel being written with various viewpoints so you couldn’t just jump to conclusions and make accusations against the characters.
Now let’s talk about the mother and daughter. We have Andi, the step mom and Emily, the troubled teenager. At times I got really frustrated with the novel because there was so much animosity between the two and partly it came from each of the women being biased against the other. Andi’s overprotective neurotic-ness (if that even is a word?) allows her to judge quickly and easily. Like Emily sees Andi as an obstacle to her dad’s love, the same goes for Andi. Andi views Emily as a threat to her and Ethan’s marriage. She also doesn’t realize the effect of smother Emily with so much love. As for Emily, she is so stuck up in her ways, that is blocks her from obtaining that love she so desperately seeks. She knows is deliberately hurting Andi, but she doesn’t care. She pushes everyone away from her and bottles up her feeling inside.
Both of the two women sitting down and talking it out with one another could have a resolved a lot of problems/situations that didn’t need to happen. As I was reading the novel, I was so angry as to why they were so stuck in their ways. After I finished the novel, I understood why Green wrote the characters this way and became less upset about it. She wanted to keep it as realistic as possible, knowing that mothers and daughters don’t necessarily get along all the time.
Great novel about family, life, and relationships. It dealt with some heavy stuff, but was realistic with a good story line. A recommended read for anyone, especially Jane Green novel readers.