Saturday, March 24, 2012

(41)Another Piece of my Heart by Jane Green

Another Piece of my Heart 

Publication Date: March 13, 2012
Pages: 400

Jane Green is one of those author's that I will read whatever she writes. It could be instructions to changing a light bulb and I will be the first in line to read buy her book.  I was excited to hear that Another Piece of My Heart  was about a new "Step-Mom" and her new family, well I was excited to pick it up, because I am in that role myself.

Andie was excited to find the man of her dreams.  She has been eager to get married and "settle down" for sometime now.  She was even more excited to find out that Ethan has two daughters from his first marriage, because she got to find out first hand that he was an amazing father.  And even more than getting married, she wanted to have a  baby of her own.

But as Andie and Ethan started to blend their lives together Andie was a bit saddened to be told by Ethan that he didn't want anymore children.  Coupled with the rebellious and disrespectful attitude of  Emily, Andie is about ready to call it quits and walk away from all of them. The division caused by Emily is not what she signed on for when she married Ethan, no matter how much she loves him, the constant turmoil is too much.   But when an unexpected change of events gives Andie the child she always dreamed of, she lives in constant fear of Emily ruining everything.  And when Emily actually tries to ruin everything the battle between a Step-Mother and her Step-Daughter explodes into epic proportions.  Which side will Ethan come down on?  Will he side with his wife or his daughter? And will they ever be able to become a united family?

While I identified with Andie on a lot of her feelings as a new Step-Mom, I mostly identified with Emily (even though she was a Monster at times) in this story. As a Step-Mom, I got pretty lucky with my Step-Kids.  While it isn't perfect all of the time, they are fun, good kids who are respectful of me and ultimately fun to be around. Before I was a Step-Mom though, I was a Step-Daughter. When I was a kid, being part of a "blended family" was still a relatively "new" thing.  Most of my friends had Moms & Dads that were still married to each other and the only "Steps" in the house led upstairs or downstairs.   My parents divorced when I was four and my mom remarried when I was eight.  My Step-Dad and his two kids moved into the house creating a situation that, while explosive at times, turned out to be one of the best experiences in my life.   Lord knows I had my moments of "Emily type  horrific behavior", - times that by a lot of children, one could see on how the marriage would be doomed,  but thank God my parents stuck it out and they have been married for 28 years this year.

Bottom line,in my opinion,  Another Piece of my Heart is Jane Green at her finest. She has taken the Step-Mother/Step-Daughter relationship and given it a story of it's own. There are many women out there who can either identify with Andie or  Emily, or even both, like myself..  Whether it be Andie or Emily that you identify with, you see both the good and the bad in their characters.  The first half of the book is told from Andie's viewpoint, but it isn't until Emily starts telling her story that you realize there are three sides to every story.  Andie's viewpoint, Emily's viewpoint, and the truth that lies in the middle.

I really enjoyed Another Piece of my Heart.  Since I have lived both sides of the story, I could really relate to the characters and not only their hopes, but their fears.  Even if you haven't experienced a blended family experience, I bet you know someone who has, and Another Piece of my Heart will help you understand a bit of what it is like to be a "Step".   Let me know what you think!


Lisa Mandina said...

I loved Jane Green's books about being a single woman, because I relate to that. This one sounds good to me because at this point in my life I'm most likely to get married if I ever find someone, to someone who already has kids, and so I could see this being a role I'd have to deal with. Great review, I'll have to pick this one up!

Amber @ A little pink in the cornfields said...

I agree with you! I have no experience with blended families, but I really enjoyed learning about the struggles that a step mom and step children go through.

Jane Green is fantastic and always gobble up just about anything she produces!

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I remember the carefree summer days when I used to ride my bike to the public library to pick out new books. I would go almost daily to find books to read. I read to learn. I read to explore the world. I read to escape. I read because not reading is not an option.

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