Heart Like Mine

Amy Hatvany, Author
Amy Hatvany. Simon & Schuster, $15 trade paper (345p) ISBN 978-1-4516-4056-4
Reviewed on: 01/28/2013
Release date: 03/19/2013
Open Ebook - 352 pages - 978-1-4516-4057-1
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4423-6188-1
Library Binding - 447 pages - 978-1-61173-801-8
Ebook - 356 pages - 978-1-74343-455-0
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When Hatvany (Best Kept Secret) first introduces readers to Grace McAllister, the thirty-six-year old feels content that children have never been a part of her life. When she meets Victor Hansen, a divorced father of two, she decides to give him a chance, with the knowledge that his custody is limited to alternate weekends. Shortly after he proposes, though, Grace is unexpectedly thrust into the role of full-time stepmother when Victor’s ex-wife dies of a heart attack. With Victor running a busy restaurant, Grace assumes the difficult job of managing seven-year-old Max and Ava, 13. If that weren’t difficult enough, Ava becomes determined to learn everything she can about her mother, a task made more complicated by Victor’s unwillingness to discuss his ex-wife. Grace generously explores memories and old photo albums with the children, but what Ava discovers on her own roils this fragile arrangement as the incipient family unit tries to start a new life. Hatvany maintains a difficult balance between compelling and saccharine prose, and readers will appreciate the effort. Forced into a tough position, Grace is an easy protagonist to root for, at times overshadowing the broadly drawn, less relatable Victor. Look beyond the more melodramatic aspects and there’s a lot to like. (Mar.)
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