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Another Piece of My Heart

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From The New York Times bestselling author of Jemima J and The Beach House comes Jane Green’s most emotional and powerful novel yet:  a story that explores the complications of a woman marrying into a ready-made family. Andi is a woman who has spent much of her adult life looking for the perfect man, and at thirty-seven, she's finally found him.  Ethan—divorced with two dau From The New York Times bestselling author of Jemima J and The Beach House comes Jane Green’s most emotional and powerful novel yet:  a story that explores the complications of a woman marrying into a ready-made family. Andi is a woman who has spent much of her adult life looking for the perfect man, and at thirty-seven, she's finally found him.  Ethan—divorced with two daughters, Emily and Sophia—is a devoted father and even better husband.  Always hoping one day she would be a mother, Andi embraces the girls like they were her own.  But in Emily’s eyes, Andi is an obstacle to her father’s love, and Emily will do whatever it takes to break her down. When the dynamics between the two escalate, they threaten everything Andi believes about love, family, and motherhood—leaving both women standing at a crossroad in their lives and in their hearts. Another Piece of My Heart is a novel that illuminates the nuances and truths about relationships and is Jane Green at her absolute best.


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From The New York Times bestselling author of Jemima J and The Beach House comes Jane Green’s most emotional and powerful novel yet:  a story that explores the complications of a woman marrying into a ready-made family. Andi is a woman who has spent much of her adult life looking for the perfect man, and at thirty-seven, she's finally found him.  Ethan—divorced with two dau From The New York Times bestselling author of Jemima J and The Beach House comes Jane Green’s most emotional and powerful novel yet:  a story that explores the complications of a woman marrying into a ready-made family. Andi is a woman who has spent much of her adult life looking for the perfect man, and at thirty-seven, she's finally found him.  Ethan—divorced with two daughters, Emily and Sophia—is a devoted father and even better husband.  Always hoping one day she would be a mother, Andi embraces the girls like they were her own.  But in Emily’s eyes, Andi is an obstacle to her father’s love, and Emily will do whatever it takes to break her down. When the dynamics between the two escalate, they threaten everything Andi believes about love, family, and motherhood—leaving both women standing at a crossroad in their lives and in their hearts. Another Piece of My Heart is a novel that illuminates the nuances and truths about relationships and is Jane Green at her absolute best.

30 review for Another Piece of My Heart

  1. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    Contains spoilers! I used to work for Jane Green's former publisher, so I've read most of her books. I used to be a big fan, but now I think you can separate Green's work into two categories: early Jane Green (witty, charming, compulsively readable) and late Jane Green (trite, meandering, still readable, but full of holes and inconsistencies). Another Piece of My Heart is late Jane Green. My main problem with the book is that it felt as if Green was making up the plot as she went along - changing Contains spoilers! I used to work for Jane Green's former publisher, so I've read most of her books. I used to be a big fan, but now I think you can separate Green's work into two categories: early Jane Green (witty, charming, compulsively readable) and late Jane Green (trite, meandering, still readable, but full of holes and inconsistencies). Another Piece of My Heart is late Jane Green. My main problem with the book is that it felt as if Green was making up the plot as she went along - changing gears and rewriting histories that had been established earlier in the book. One small example: at one point in the book, Andi's friend Deannna was described as being friendly with her ex-husband and his long term girlfriend. Pages later, Deanna's ex-husband is suddenly married and has been for years. When Green would write in the voice of 18 year old Emily, she attempted to sound like an 18 year old girl who grew up in California, peppering her vocabulary with words like, "totally," and "lame." But both Green and her editor forgot that 18 year old American girls do not say things like, "If I'm going to be a proper artist..." describe their moms as "crap," instead of "crappy" or refer to parts of things as "bits." (Ex: I'm terrified of that bit.) It's as if Emily was a hodgepodge of California girl and British woman. It was very distracting. Main character Andi and her husband Ethan were on the outs before daughter Emily gives birth, but reconcile in the hospital shortly after the birth of their grandson, Callum. Andi promises Ethan that she will stay with him and see the situation through. Later on in the book, though, Andi looks back at this time in her life and recollects that she was considering leaving Ethan shortly after the birth of the baby and struggled with her attraction to her neighbor's trainer. It's as if Green has forgotten the timelines of her own characters. Green couldn't even decide if Andi was actively trying to get pregnant or had resigned herself to her perimenopausal state. It seems to me that there is a big difference, but Green flip flops on this throughout the book. These inconsistencies make it hard for the reader to enjoy the plot or care about the characters. It's hard to care when the characters are so thinly drawn with details constantly changing. The book's Amazon description says that Another Piece of My Heart is "Jane Green at her absolute best." I disagree. Jane Green was at her best with Jemima J and Mr. Maybe. Late Jane Green doesn't hold a candle to those earlier books.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jessamyn Ayers

    I picked up Jane Green's Another Little Piece of My Heart because I liked Beach House enough to give this new title a shot. Oh. My. Gosh. I will have to resuscitate the parts of my brain that I lost reading this. Key to reading this book is knowing what you are getting into. Jane Green is light, perfect for the beach. I think of Green as a Danielle Steele in capri cargo pants. I was looking for a light read and the book certainly lived up to that expectation. I think, though, that the book is un I picked up Jane Green's Another Little Piece of My Heart because I liked Beach House enough to give this new title a shot. Oh. My. Gosh. I will have to resuscitate the parts of my brain that I lost reading this. Key to reading this book is knowing what you are getting into. Jane Green is light, perfect for the beach. I think of Green as a Danielle Steele in capri cargo pants. I was looking for a light read and the book certainly lived up to that expectation. I think, though, that the book is undermined by an over-reliance on current family therapy. To me, it was like the story rolled in Healthy Family Relationships 101 and was parading around the pages like a dog that rolled in something gross. The basic plot goes likes this: After years of looking for the right man, Andi, a forty-something interior decorator/stager, finds Ethan, a successful landscaper who has primary custody of his two teenage daughters, Emily and Sophia. Andi, happy to step into this jiffy-pop family, dotes on the girls with mixed results. Sophia, the younger sibling, appreciates the stability and warmth Andi provides in contrast to the combustibility always present at their alcholic mother's house. Emily's vitriol toward Andi, on the other hand, simply adds fuel to her already rebellious adolescence. The family tensions escalate into high drama (which I will not divulge here). If you read this book, set reasonable expectations. Cardboard characterization, politely affluent setting and a contented ending are all here--just the getting there was a little eye-rolling. The dialogue seems like it is lifted straight from some of the worst self-help books ever. Everyone is affirming everyone else's feelings and setting their boundaries and identifying how they contribute to a situation--it was laid on thick. The narration of the book is a little odd, too. Andi dominates the first part of the story and is its emotional center; however, Green uses first person with Emily--something, I thought, that disrupted the story like a skip on a song track. Aside from this, though, the book is readable and will entertain you with less of a headache than "The Real Housewives of New Jersey."

  3. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    I expected it to be brainless fluff (not saying that's a bad thing necessarily, just that in general I don't read "chick lit"), and it was. Would've been a good beach read. I rolled my eyes about ten times, but I still finished it, so I don't even know what to say about that except that I'm obviously still sentimental about Jane Green, since I read Jemima J when I was sixteen and enjoyed it a lot at the time. I liked Andi, but Emily was so annoying that I wanted her to be real, just so I could p I expected it to be brainless fluff (not saying that's a bad thing necessarily, just that in general I don't read "chick lit"), and it was. Would've been a good beach read. I rolled my eyes about ten times, but I still finished it, so I don't even know what to say about that except that I'm obviously still sentimental about Jane Green, since I read Jemima J when I was sixteen and enjoyed it a lot at the time. I liked Andi, but Emily was so annoying that I wanted her to be real, just so I could punch her in her stupid face. I understand that I'm supposed to cut her some slack because of her family troubles, but I couldn't. I spent the whole book waiting for her to grow up, and even at the end, I still didn't feel like she matured much at all. Also, Ethan is kind of a douchebag. I also wanted him to be real so I could tell him to grow some balls. I don't think he deserves the happiness he ends up with, because he was too afraid of his bitchy daughter to make his wife happy and adopt. Finally, while I love the little british expressions ("proper", "ring up...") they were really out of place coming from Americans, especially because Emily said "a proper job/breakfast/etc" all the time.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    At first, I was drawn into Andi's story and point of view. But I think about the time her stepdaughter's screaming fits were described, I started to lose patience with every character. It seems like Emily could have benefitted from some serious psychiatric help, Andi's husband Ethan was utterly in denial about how messed up his daughter was and how his style of parenting was ruining his daughter's life as well as his relationship with his wife, and Andi was just such a martyr. It all kind of went At first, I was drawn into Andi's story and point of view. But I think about the time her stepdaughter's screaming fits were described, I started to lose patience with every character. It seems like Emily could have benefitted from some serious psychiatric help, Andi's husband Ethan was utterly in denial about how messed up his daughter was and how his style of parenting was ruining his daughter's life as well as his relationship with his wife, and Andi was just such a martyr. It all kind of went downhill for me after that. I think the author really explored what having a child means. It is very hard work. But it was just too painful hearing how Emily messed up over and over. Obviously the tension in the story relied on her inability to be a real mother, but honestly, by the end of the book, I felt like Andi and Emily were both selfish drama queens. In what I assume was an attempt to be realistic and honest on the author's part, I totally lost sympathy for every character except the little boy (and the poor Hispanic guy who picked him up from school one time). I just kept wondering, is this how middle class educated intelligent people act in this situation? <(view spoiler)[> and is Emily's boyfriend really that blind to what a crappy mother she is? Oh well. It is easy to criticize. More than anything, I hope I learned what not to do if I ever marry someone with kids. Which after this book, I don't intend to do. (hide spoiler)]

  5. 4 out of 5

    Antoinette

    Well, Jane Green has done it again! And by "done it again," I mean bored me to tears. What happened to the witty, smart writer who made me not quite as ashamed to read a book in the chick-lit genre? Granted, perhaps I shouldn't have read this fresh off a re-read of her To Have and To Hold, but I'm not sure it would have mattered. Clearly she phoned this one in. Where to start? One pet peeve, and I know many other readers have mentioned this in their reviews, is her use of Briticisms. Green has l Well, Jane Green has done it again! And by "done it again," I mean bored me to tears. What happened to the witty, smart writer who made me not quite as ashamed to read a book in the chick-lit genre? Granted, perhaps I shouldn't have read this fresh off a re-read of her To Have and To Hold, but I'm not sure it would have mattered. Clearly she phoned this one in. Where to start? One pet peeve, and I know many other readers have mentioned this in their reviews, is her use of Briticisms. Green has lived in the States for some time and should know that Americans don't say "a spot of " or otherwise use the Queen's English. Especially when a forty-something British writer is attempting to write as a teenage American girl. I wound up not caring whatsoever what happened with the family at the center of this book. SPOILER coming in 3, 2, 1... And you could see a mile away that said teenager was pregnant, but apparently said teenager was experiencing morning sickness into her seventh month. What? OK, granted, it can happen, but someone needs to address that this isn't common. I'm not sure if the writer's the problem or maybe it's the editor, but somebody should have pointed out these problems (especially the Briticisms) well before the book was published. I dunno, maybe Green is the type of writer who nixes every suggestion (as is every writer's right, since it is after all their book). What a disappointment.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Cee

    After the absymal read that was DUNE ROAD, I swore off buying Jane Green's novels. This one just happened to be at my library, so I thought I would try again. After all, Green used to be an auto-buy author for me. The good news is that ANOTHER PIECE OF MY HEART (APOMH) is ten times better than DUNE ROAD. The bad news is that DUNE READ was a such disappointment, it didn't set the bar very high. APOHM is the story of a family that doesn't appear to have a last name (that I could find). The first thi After the absymal read that was DUNE ROAD, I swore off buying Jane Green's novels. This one just happened to be at my library, so I thought I would try again. After all, Green used to be an auto-buy author for me. The good news is that ANOTHER PIECE OF MY HEART (APOMH) is ten times better than DUNE ROAD. The bad news is that DUNE READ was a such disappointment, it didn't set the bar very high. APOHM is the story of a family that doesn't appear to have a last name (that I could find). The first third of the book is devoted to Andi, a forty-something interior designer who waited until her late thirties to get married. She is head-over-heels in love with her husband Ethan and her practically perfect younger stepdaughter Sophia. But the older stepdaughter, Emily, is every troubled teen stereotype one can cram into a book: emo, goth, cuts classes, does drugs, binge drinks, and sleeps around. Emily views Andi as the usurper who stole her father from her, and Ethan allows Emily to manipulate him dreadfully. Andi would love to have her own baby, but perimenopause has set in and Ethan is less than enthused about trying adoption or IVF. The second and last thirds of the book follows several different POVs, from Emily's first person narration to Brooke, Ethan's alcoholic first wife, plus Andi and Ethan and a few assorted others. Ostensibly, the story follows the arc of a family in crisis, the resolution of the crisis, and the fallout from the resolution. But anyone looking for deep meaning or wise insight would be better served elsewhere. For all that the subject matter tugs on the heart (and yes, damn you, Jane Green, I fell for it and had wet eyes at a few spots) this is really a very fluffy, light, chick lit in every pejorative sense of the term read. Green loves to dwell on details that ultimately matter not one whit to the story - we're given pages of Martha Stewart catalog descriptions of Andi's gay neighbors' fabulous dinner party hosting skills - but the emotional moments, the key definining character turning points, are glossed over and tossed aside. It's the equivalent of having a good gossip with your best friend about a couple she knows from her kids' school: sure, it's interesting, but at the end of the day, you have no insight into why those people did those things. And why they didn't seek out family counseling years before the novel started. I really wish Green would stop writing about Americans. We don't call each other "love," we don't refer to being a "proper" artist, we don't "ring up" people. This time she moves the book's setting from Connecticut, where Green lives, to the San Francisco Bay Area - and as a Bay Area resident, it appears to me her research consisted of a week at some rustic yet five star Napa resort. Nothing about the setting rang authentic. But my favorite nitpick came at the end, when one character goes to London, raves about the Tube's Northern Line (Jane, NO ONE likes the Northern Line, Californian expats least of all, and I can introduce you to several) talks about how cold London is (apparently Jane never heard HL Mencken's quote - usually attributed to Mark Twain - that the coldest winter he ever spent was summer in San Francisco) and then said character goes on to complain she doesn't own a hat or gloves despite having spent three winters in London (and time in Oregon). But then, said character is not the sharpest pickaxe in the diamond mine, so perhaps it is to be expected. So, a marked improvement from the festival of character stupidity that was DUNE ROAD, but far, far below the heights set by JEMIMA J and BOOKENDS.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Northwestreader

    I was excited when the UPS guy rang my doorbell and handed me a big box of unexpected books. Apparently I had won a box of 10 fresh-off-the-press copies of Another Piece of My Heart to share with my book club. I immediately sent out an email to my book club friends heralding this windfall. I knew nothing about the book; only that I had won it. Within a day or two all the copies were distributed and I eked out some time to read. It was an OK but unsatisfying read that is ultimately forgettable. Th I was excited when the UPS guy rang my doorbell and handed me a big box of unexpected books. Apparently I had won a box of 10 fresh-off-the-press copies of Another Piece of My Heart to share with my book club. I immediately sent out an email to my book club friends heralding this windfall. I knew nothing about the book; only that I had won it. Within a day or two all the copies were distributed and I eked out some time to read. It was an OK but unsatisfying read that is ultimately forgettable. The characters and the storyline all have elements that are quite universal and that most women have some exposure to or knowledge of—relationships, child-rearing, alcoholism, infertility, and so on. And multiple questions that the characters pose to themselves so that the reader can “really” understand their angst as they deal with their situations. It almost seems formulaic. And I have encountered it before and it has a name—it’s Chick Lit. This book and this reader are not a good match. Give me a book with an interesting plot! Give me a book with twists and turns! Give me some interesting characters, not stereotypes! Give me some content to think about! Need I say more?

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kristin Strong

    This book was such a disappointment to me that I hardly know where to start. Jane Green has been one of my favorites for some time now. Her books are not challenging, and I've turned to them for lightweight summer reading several times, knowing that I can expect interesting characters, snappy dialogue, witty bits, and a satisfying ending. So when I picked this one up at our local library, I figured I was in for more of the same. Oh, how wrong I was. This is one of the worst pieces of junk I've rea This book was such a disappointment to me that I hardly know where to start. Jane Green has been one of my favorites for some time now. Her books are not challenging, and I've turned to them for lightweight summer reading several times, knowing that I can expect interesting characters, snappy dialogue, witty bits, and a satisfying ending. So when I picked this one up at our local library, I figured I was in for more of the same. Oh, how wrong I was. This is one of the worst pieces of junk I've read in a while -- and I've read some REAL pieces of junk in the last couple of years. Let's start with the premise. Troubled step-family, well-meaning stepmother, alcoholic mother, disaffected and dramatic and borderline delinquent stepdaughter, and doormat dad all come together to create a seething morass of malaise. How does this happen? Well-meaning Stepmom (hereafter known as WMS) adores Doormat Dad (DD), KNOWS she can get the Borderline Delinquent (BD) to come around and love her and jump onto the happy-family bandwagon; BD acts out, pitching fits, screaming, guilting DD, doing all she can to cut out WMS; DD believes that BD just needs to feel LOVED, so he appeases, snuggles, disregards WMS's repeated assertions that BD is doing all this ON PURPOSE (which she is), and ignores outsiders' (accurate) assessments that BD needs limits and to be ignored when she acts out as she is just seeking attention. Drunk Mom (DM) reinforces BD's negative opinions of WMS, and provides a motivation for BD's dysfunction by being a nightmarish, screaming, insulting shrew who is incapable of displaying enough regard for her children (oh, yes, there's a peacekeeping younger one, too) to show up on time to pick them up from school. WMS desperately wants a child of her own, too -- adding to the mix, she's in her early 40's and unlikely to conceive on her own; IVF is too expensive and uncertain, plus DD doesn't want to adopt and upset their family further by adding a child in and he feels he's too old to start over with a baby. First issue: FIGURE THIS OUT BEFORE YOU GET MARRIED. Just like you would haggle over who takes out the trash and who changes the sheets, call me crazy, but I think you should probably have a five-minute chat about reproduction. Just a thought. Now to the second issue. BD, as previously mentioned, acts out, swears, drinks, probably gets high, and breaks curfew; she is disrespectful to WMS and DD. THEY DO NOTHING. Please -- these are educated people. Do you expect me to believe, in our enlightened times, AND LIVING IN CALIFORNIA, that they never consider getting BD some therapy? Really? As loving parents, you're going to sit by and watch your child in what is obviously excruciating pain and DO NOTHING? Sure. Of course, if they had gotten the kid into counseling earlier, the whole plot would probably have been out the window. (Don't make me say this would be a mercy.) But for the love of God, I cannot believe that at least BD, and probably the whole family, would not have been involved in some sort of professional interventions. When you come to the end of your rope, and these people do on several occasions, don't you call for reinforcements? I would, and I am FAR from the Mother of the Year. Even if it were only for my own sanity, I would be on the horn to the nearest mental health facility in a New York minute. Third issue: LISTEN TO YOUR FRIENDS. When they say your kid needs limits, and needs to have her behavior ignored on occasion, THEY'RE RIGHT. They have the luxury of distance, they can see the forest for the trees, and this gives them clarity, WHICH YOU LACK. Be a grownup and put the kibosh on the disrespect and misbehavior. Tell the little monster she's a monster, discipline her, and STICK TO THE PUNISHMENTS. I'm not saying that this always works, but it's important that kids know your feelings about their actions and that those actions have consequences. Again, these are educated people and you cannot expect me to believe that at least WMS wouldn't have hit the library and cracked a book or two, or at least (after one of her caffeine-enhanced chats with a close friend) taken some of the advice offered. Really. Of course, DD doesn't want to hear the little reasonable counsel WMS DOES have, so I don't know what difference it would have made, but anyhow. Fourth issue: Dropping brand names is no substitute for character development. When you tell me (twice) that characters wear Patagonia and Reef flip-flops, all I know is that said characters have no problem with overpaying for status symbols. The people who slump through this book are two-dimensional at best. This is lazy. Fifth issue (stemming from the fourth issue): Using stereotypes as characters is also lazy. DD, WMS, DM, BD...all formed from the chick-lit mold and about as interesting as you'd expect mass-produced interchangeable parts to be. Plus, when a rubber-stamped personage turns shrewish, say, as WMS does when she needs to show some emotion (or what passes for it), it's jarring because we don't know where it's coming from. Additionally, here we are in California, so sure enough, we are presented with the "Down-to-Earth Dot-Com Gazillionaire", who wears the aforementioned flip-flops and travels by private jet to his multiple homes; and with the "Warm and Wise and Oh-So-Kind Yoga Teacher", who offers tea and sympathy (and child care) to WMS when she most needs it. And then she goes away, bringing us to... Sixth issue: These stereotypes show up only when absolutely needed and then disappear. So why waste pages on them at all? They add nothing to the story and the Yoga Teacher is just a flimsy foil for WMS, and the fact that they're total stereotypes just annoys me. Spend more time on plotting, which brings me to the... Seventh issue: If you can't see the giant conflict in the plot coming down the pike from a mile away, then I have no hope for you. There are more problems, and more characters to deal with, but I'm still lethargic from reading this snoozer, so I'll leave off here, but I simply must mention the amount of New Age-y psychobabble the characters spout, and the predictability of the whole ensemble. These were the last straw for me. Yes, I finished the whole thing -- hope springs eternal, and I was really hoping things would get better -- and I'm sorry it just resulted in a negative review. I had higher hopes for the outcome based on the author's track record, but I'm sad to say she failed miserably to deliver this time around.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ellie

    When Andi met Ethan, should found a man with a ready made family. He came with his two daughters, twelve year old Emily and seven year old Sophia. Whilst she and Sophia instantly bond, Ethan's older daughter resents the new woman in his life, usurping her mother's rightful role. But Andi is desperate to be a mother, she was planning her family from the very first date so she throws herself into making a patchwork family, no matter what Emily throws at her. Female characters whose only purpose in When Andi met Ethan, should found a man with a ready made family. He came with his two daughters, twelve year old Emily and seven year old Sophia. Whilst she and Sophia instantly bond, Ethan's older daughter resents the new woman in his life, usurping her mother's rightful role. But Andi is desperate to be a mother, she was planning her family from the very first date so she throws herself into making a patchwork family, no matter what Emily throws at her. Female characters whose only purpose in life is to reproduce irritate me. I know so many people will enjoy this book and completely relate to Andi but she made me want to throw the book out the window. I'm not saying it's not life-changing to find out you won't have kids but she has an amazing job, a too-good-to-be-true husband and at least one step-daughter who dotes on her. Yet she goes on like she has nothing else in her life. She is completely obsessed with getting Emily to treat her like a mother and I just wanted to side with Emily even though she was being a selfish teenager. She has got a selfish role model after all, Andi never really thinks what anyone else wants or needs. Even when she is momentarily distracted, the hope of a baby is dangled in front of Andi and she loses all reason again. Emily's character actually saved the book for me. Yes she treats her step-mother horribly but Andi is such a wet blanket that she is just providing rope to hang herself with. A product of a broken home, Emily not only has to deal with every day school life but she has a mother who is an alcoholic and a step-mother that sees her as a replacement daughter that's not quite perfect enough, especially not when compared to her sister, Sophia. I loved the rollercoaster ride of Emily's side of the story. Her narration doesn't start until after the bombshell has been dropped and you've already been painted a picture of her as a rebel teen. She understands a lot more than Andi would expect and she's been really stupid but she's also been used. To see her grow into an adult from her very lowest point in life is really touching, even though she makes irresponsible choices again and again.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Me Alley

    The book often refers to Ethan as "perfect" and a "wonderful husband and father." I am sorry, but someone that allows their teenage daughter to verbally abuse their spouse is not perfect. This really bothered me and I never really got over it. It is NOT okay to scream that you HATE someone and call them abusive names, especially when they are your father's wife. Emily was a very depressed girl, and I won't discount her abuse or pain, but the fact that Ethan enabled this abuse is disgusting. It i The book often refers to Ethan as "perfect" and a "wonderful husband and father." I am sorry, but someone that allows their teenage daughter to verbally abuse their spouse is not perfect. This really bothered me and I never really got over it. It is NOT okay to scream that you HATE someone and call them abusive names, especially when they are your father's wife. Emily was a very depressed girl, and I won't discount her abuse or pain, but the fact that Ethan enabled this abuse is disgusting. It is hard to get into a book when you do not like any of the characters. It's like the author kept repeating how "perfect" Ethan was in order to convince us, but I never saw anything to see him as this. I will read Jane Green again, and I am a fan of her other books, but this was tough to swallow. Disappointed.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Elena

    A friend lent me an advanced reader's copy of this book, which I thought was incredibly cool. This was a very engaging book, in fact I found myself reading really late into the night because I so desperately wanted to know how things turned out. Andi marries Ethan later on in life, and is stepmother to Sophia and Emily, who are the daughters of an alcoholic mother. Emily is on a path of self destruction and she is bringing down everyone around her....but there is an interesting twist of events, o A friend lent me an advanced reader's copy of this book, which I thought was incredibly cool. This was a very engaging book, in fact I found myself reading really late into the night because I so desperately wanted to know how things turned out. Andi marries Ethan later on in life, and is stepmother to Sophia and Emily, who are the daughters of an alcoholic mother. Emily is on a path of self destruction and she is bringing down everyone around her....but there is an interesting twist of events, one I think the reader sees coming even though the main characters did not, and this one twist leads to many other twists. One of the things that always bothers me with Jane Green books is her narration. I don't think she does the perspective switching as well as some other authors (Picoult comes to mind), and she goes a little too far with the omniscient narration which often takes her books all over the place. She also becomes a little ...lofty?.... and I've always found that off putting in her books, however she manages to reign that in for this one. Some of the best parts of the book I found was when you saw things from Emily's first person perspective- it made you not hate her like you thought you would the whole time. Anyway, it's "chick lit" but with an edge that makes it not so fluffy.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lori Anaple

    4 is a bit high. But I thought it needed to be separated from the 3's. I related to both Andi and Emily. Andi, being the stepmother is in a precarious position. And Emily, being the teenage brat that I once was. OK, not as bad....but I had my moments. I didn't like how Green changed POV in the second section. It isn't that I mind differing points of view, but I don't like getting into a flow with a character in third person and then getting tossed a first person POV. It made it a jarring transiti 4 is a bit high. But I thought it needed to be separated from the 3's. I related to both Andi and Emily. Andi, being the stepmother is in a precarious position. And Emily, being the teenage brat that I once was. OK, not as bad....but I had my moments. I didn't like how Green changed POV in the second section. It isn't that I mind differing points of view, but I don't like getting into a flow with a character in third person and then getting tossed a first person POV. It made it a jarring transition. I see what she is trying to do there, give Emily a voice that is her own and let us readers in on her inner thoughts. It just didn't work for me. The biggest issue I have is that it seems so trite. Everyone is oh so proper. Even the fights seem delineated. There is a correct way to have the conversation that they are having and that is who they have it. Seriously, I come from a divorced family and I was a stepmother. We all don't talk like we are in a therapy session. And that is my biggest disconnect. I did like it but I am finding Green to be hit or miss with me. Nothing speaks to me like Jemima J did.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Leona

    I was looking for a book that was fast paced and an easy read for a Cross Atlantic flight. This book did not disappoint. I found myself turning the pages engrossed in the hardships a ready made family faces when one child refuses to accept that their parent has moved on. Typical of Green's writing, she sucked me right into a very complex journey with fascinating multidimensional characters that entertained me. But I was somewhat disappointed when she whipped out her magic wand to create the wond I was looking for a book that was fast paced and an easy read for a Cross Atlantic flight. This book did not disappoint. I found myself turning the pages engrossed in the hardships a ready made family faces when one child refuses to accept that their parent has moved on. Typical of Green's writing, she sucked me right into a very complex journey with fascinating multidimensional characters that entertained me. But I was somewhat disappointed when she whipped out her magic wand to create the wonderful HEA. For the most part, I am pretty accepting of Green's magic wands because they are usually more subtle and fit into the overall scheme of character development. However, here it just didn't work. I could never see Emily and Andi sitting down to a lovely Thanksgiving dinner after everything that went before. I felt cheated that I didn't get a real view as to how Ethan and Andi rebuilt their marriage after such devastating destruction. I am giving this 3.5 stars for keeping me entertained. However, the story could have been much more powerful had Green spent more time building a more credible recovery.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kelly &#x1f49c;☕️

    I tried listening to the audio, but quit after I was 10% in.... Jane Green is a great author, but I don't understand why she would narrate her own audio books! She has a very distinct British accent and this book was set in Connecticut. WTF?! I tried listening to the audio, but quit after I was 10% in.... Jane Green is a great author, but I don't understand why she would narrate her own audio books! She has a very distinct British accent and this book was set in Connecticut. WTF?!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Erika

    Uhhmm, I think what bothered me the most was the sudden switch of POV in the middle of the story. I did not like any of the characters and I wanted everyone to just grow up.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jen Fabico

    Another Piece of my Heart by Jane Green is book no. 15 in my 50 book challenge of 2012. In addition it is my first first-reads book from Goodreads. There are several mini celebrations and milestones that I had upon beginning this book, which perhaps is the perfect way to introduce it. At the age of thirty-seven years old, Andi has finally found her perfect man. Never been married before, Andi has never really felt the need to search high and low as other women may have; although, as she feels her Another Piece of my Heart by Jane Green is book no. 15 in my 50 book challenge of 2012. In addition it is my first first-reads book from Goodreads. There are several mini celebrations and milestones that I had upon beginning this book, which perhaps is the perfect way to introduce it. At the age of thirty-seven years old, Andi has finally found her perfect man. Never been married before, Andi has never really felt the need to search high and low as other women may have; although, as she feels her youthful days beginning to ripen, she begins to feel the urgency, the need, and the want to have a child. Ironically enough, the man in her life comes with a ready-made family of two daughters and the baggage of an alcoholic of an ex-wife. And it is up to Andi to find the perfect balance in proving her love for her stepdaughters, supporting her husband through trying situations, and keeping enough love to hold herself grounded. Husband, Ethan, has always been able to keep the family running. After separating and divorcing his alcoholic ex-wife Brooke, he has felt the heavy burden of taking care of his two daughters: Emily and Sophia. His younger daughter adores Andi and similarly, Andi adores Sophia viewing her as the daughter she had always wanted. Emily on the other hand was more of a handful. Having resented her father's new relationship from the get-go, Emily is compelled to treat Andi as nothing more than a parasite to her family, causing tantrums and creating havoc whenever she can. And it's her rebellious manner that keeps Ethan on bended knee, waiting on her every command and willing to soothe her pain away, even if it compromises his own marriage and happiness. This book tells the altruistic tale of the balance of a family without the boundaries of etiquette. It delves into the realistic recesses of the family life that no one ever sees beyond the front door. And like a good novel, Another Piece of my Heart has found ways to break even my heart, as a reader, over and over again, to the point where I had to pause, put the book down and catch my breath. The narrative whisks you away in whirlwind of drama and events, that similar to the characters, seek a sense of peace and resolution that can only come by enough experience of heartache, loveloss and resentment. And of course, that is just how it happens. Finding this fictional story almost parallel to my own realities of finding a nice man born into a certain type of family, I felt myself instantly drawn towards Another Piece of my Heart, its trials and tribulations, and the overbearing flood of emotion that leaves you with an ache in your chest that is so bad that it gives you butterflies --and that was a constantly happening as I read this book. Read in a day, I found myself remembering back to a time when I felt like Emily --lost in my own home, receiving the support I needed but not necessarily feeling it since it was not the attention that I wanted as well as Andi --controlling a patience that has run its course to the grave. Families truly are a tricky thing to balance and this book will definitely reinstate that into your mind. Admittedly, there is one setback which I had with this book: it's lack of consistency in writing styles. At times, I caught myself flipping back a few pages to see when the point of view had changed. And as much as I enjoyed this book, I do have to say that it was confusing at times. The verb tenses are inconsistent and the point of view changes constantly, even several times within the same chapter. If the writing technicalities were not so overbearing that it interrupted reading ease, I would have loved this book even more. Overall, I am rating Another Piece of my Heart by Jane Green 4 stars out 5 stars. The book is definitely one that connects to a person's life experiences. However, I must admit that I may not have enjoyed this book as much if I had read it when I was younger and was still facing the difficult in-law familial distresses. But there you have it! Another Piece of my Heart - 4/5 Thank you to St. Martin's Press for sending me a read that was so fitting! I am still in awe that this book would find me and that we carried out a fabulous relationship from the get-go. The next book lined up for my 2012 reading challenge is 2011's award winning book: The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Nikki Wilde

    I'm not sure I've ever written a review where I said I hated a book up until the ending. That's never really happened before. I can say with all honesty that this is what happened when reading this one. Andi finally feels like she's getting the perfect family. A husband with two daughters of his own. She's always wanted children and Ethan is perfect. However, 5 years into their marriage and she's having second thoughts. His oldest daughter Emily is terrible. She's mean and spiteful and trying to I'm not sure I've ever written a review where I said I hated a book up until the ending. That's never really happened before. I can say with all honesty that this is what happened when reading this one. Andi finally feels like she's getting the perfect family. A husband with two daughters of his own. She's always wanted children and Ethan is perfect. However, 5 years into their marriage and she's having second thoughts. His oldest daughter Emily is terrible. She's mean and spiteful and trying to drive a wedge between them. His youngest daughter Sophia is the opposite of Emily but she's not quite enough and Andi's almost at her breaking point. Andi is terrible. Always letting Ethan fight her battles. I can't believe how she treated him. I understand she didn't want to step in and handle things on her own but someone really needed to. Emily was forever getting her own way and causing friction. How Ethan couldn't see that and change things was beyond me. I felt for Andi at first and then I started despising her. I didn't like how she would always bicker with Ethan behind closed doors. I found Andi to be whiny and almost as childish as Emily at times. Emily is a nightmare. A child that was never disciplined and led to believe that by crying she can get anything she wanted. She was hateful and mean and the worst person. What she did to her family was disgusting. Her entire family enabled her to act the way she did. Ethan being the worst offender. What finally turned me around a bit was the last few chapters. Where everything really comes to a head. The speeches and explanations that come from both sides are thought out, heartfelt and meaningful. I was glad that both sides were getting everything out and I enjoyed that a lot. There were so many different family dynamics going on in this one. I feel like a lot of families do go through similar problems and situations as this one but I want to believe that Stepmothers like Andi actually speak up and not tiptoe around their own homes. I want to believe that Emily as spiteful as she was can open her eyes and try to change. Towards the last few pages we see some growth and I feel it was a long fought battle that took entirely too long to reach. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad it ended up the way it did but it was just so full of drama and stress that it was so depressing to get through. One thing feel the author needs to be commended for was switching POV's from Andi to Emily the switch was definitely something I felt. You could just tell you were reading a teens thoughts and emotions they were so completely different and childlike that it was like I was almost a teen again myself. Pretty amazing. However, I wanted to love this one as much as I loved Jemima J but I just couldn't. I was frustrated throughout the entirety of this novel.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    I received Another Piece of My Heart as a First Read and was excited to read it as I loved Jane Green's book Jemima J. This story was entirely different from Jemima J which I remember as being light-hearted and humorous. In Another Piece of My Heart, Andi is a forty-something married to a man named Ethan who has two daughters from previous relationship. While Andi loves Ethan and has developed a mother-daughter relationship with his youngest, Sophia, Ethan's elder daughter Emily threaten to ru I received Another Piece of My Heart as a First Read and was excited to read it as I loved Jane Green's book Jemima J. This story was entirely different from Jemima J which I remember as being light-hearted and humorous. In Another Piece of My Heart, Andi is a forty-something married to a man named Ethan who has two daughters from previous relationship. While Andi loves Ethan and has developed a mother-daughter relationship with his youngest, Sophia, Ethan's elder daughter Emily threaten to ruin her relationship with Ethan. Emily resents Andi's place in her father's life and appears to have resolved to make Andi's life miserable by throwing tantrums and manipulating her father into feeling so guilty for his second marriage that he consistently gives into Emily's demands. Andi tries to be patient but, as Emily grows increasingly out of control and Ethan fails to intervene, Andi must make a difficult decision. Does she leave the man she loves and the hope of having a baby of her own to find peace in her own home or does she stay and continue to face Emily's increasingly erratic and destructive behavior, feeling like a prisoner in her own home? While reading, I felt my toes curl and my heart race with anger and frustration. Readers looking for a light beach read will not find it here; rather this story is bibliotherapy for those exploring the dark side of blended families. The writing is strong enough for readers to have a physical reaction to events in the story, however midway through the point of view begins to fluctuate and the transition between characters is awkward at times. Having access to multiple characters' experiences and points of view does serve to accentuate the fact that there are at least two sides to every story and arguments are not black and white. Jane Green certainly understands perspective and allows readers to experience differing points of view in order to take their own place in the story's conflict. Well written and enjoyable but tough on the emotions. Readers looking for a light, beachy read to take the edge off of real life will not find it here. Fans of drama will revel in the emotional roller coaster created by the family saga in Another Piece of My Heart.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Christina

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I tried, I really, really did. I had to put it down about two-hundred pages in. I did skim to read the end, and wasn't all that surprised by the outcome. I've never read Jane Green, and the first twenty pages really grabbed me, so I was horribly disappointed when I just couldn't finish it. I found the characters, adults and children alike, to be incredibly immature. The only character I actually empathized with was Brooke, the alcoholic Mother. The storyline is full of holes, and the characters a I tried, I really, really did. I had to put it down about two-hundred pages in. I did skim to read the end, and wasn't all that surprised by the outcome. I've never read Jane Green, and the first twenty pages really grabbed me, so I was horribly disappointed when I just couldn't finish it. I found the characters, adults and children alike, to be incredibly immature. The only character I actually empathized with was Brooke, the alcoholic Mother. The storyline is full of holes, and the characters are not likeable at all, one more selfish than the other. The concept of Andi coming into a marriage with stepchildren was interesting, but I watched her and Ethan become pathetic, especially when she discovers Emily is pregnant. I thought it was slightly pathological to expect the stepdaughter to let her raise the baby as her own. Rather than accept the fact that you married a man without knowing how he felt about children one way or the other (although Ethan can be partly to blame for this as well), becoming a bitter betty over the situation was bizarre. I had the *slightest feeling of empathy for Andi at the beginning, when they were introducing the problems between her and Emily, but the storyline just couldn't keep me entertained. Also, the secondary characters such as the neighbours, were so poorly written. I found the neighbours to be immature, and I don't mean in personality; I felt as though they had no depth, and Green threw them in without thought or placement. Also, I read quite a bit of LGBT fiction, and I found the neighbours so stereotypical. I don't just blame Green for this, I see it all the time. Kudos for adding some gay characters, but can we give them a little bit of depth? Just a little? Just my opinion.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sabrina

    While this book is Women's Fiction and not a Romance, the story itself does contain a very interesting romance for me between Andi and her husband Ethan. Although already married, this book takes you through the ups and downs they experience over a span of years that to me is nothing less than a romance story. There are so many possible things I could say about this book that would be a spoiler, so while my review is short please don't think this book doesn't deserve your attention - it totally While this book is Women's Fiction and not a Romance, the story itself does contain a very interesting romance for me between Andi and her husband Ethan. Although already married, this book takes you through the ups and downs they experience over a span of years that to me is nothing less than a romance story. There are so many possible things I could say about this book that would be a spoiler, so while my review is short please don't think this book doesn't deserve your attention - it totally does! As a fan of Jane Green books, I was excited to read this but must say it was slightly different from what I've read of hers before. There is still all the depth of emotion and insight readers would expect, but I was pleasantly surprised by the book's set-up in multiple Point of Views. You get to really see and understand how every bit of this book affects each of the characters. What's even more interesting to me as a reader is that Mrs. Green does not make these characters insanely likable, nor does she write them were they do everything perfectly. There are times you'll want to scream at the characters for being stupid or doing the wrong thing, but that's how life really is. Again, you won't fall in love with these characters, because they are so real and their shortcomings and issues are presented along with their strengths, but you will become engrossed in their story and want to see how it ends. A compelling and insightful look at the deep emotional bonds and turmoil that families face, you'll find yourself feeling like the author has tapped into the emotional vein of a specific family and shared it with you.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ellon

    Ugh, I'm not sure if Green could have made more selfish characters if she tried. Emily was a spoiled little brat who wanted her daddy all to herself and blamed everyone else for every problem in her life (Although she was slightly redeemed towards the end). Andi was one of those women (whom I cannot stand) that think the end-all, be-all in life is to have a baby. She didn't care about anything other than getting her baby. She was more and more unlikable as the story went on. I don't have any exp Ugh, I'm not sure if Green could have made more selfish characters if she tried. Emily was a spoiled little brat who wanted her daddy all to herself and blamed everyone else for every problem in her life (Although she was slightly redeemed towards the end). Andi was one of those women (whom I cannot stand) that think the end-all, be-all in life is to have a baby. She didn't care about anything other than getting her baby. She was more and more unlikable as the story went on. I don't have any experience with divorce and step-parents so maybe I didn't like the book because my lack of experience with the subject but it just seemed like it was a constant battle between Andi and Emily and neither of them were right. Also, I listened to the audiobook version of the book, which was narrated by the author. That's a cool concept but when your characters are Californians and you are British, you probably shouldn't narrate that book. I spend a good portion being very confused at hearing this British accent talk about American things. There were also some very British phasing within the book that took away from the characterization.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Hawraa Srour

    When i read people’s comments about this book i was afraid i will be disappointed when i finish it. But actually the opposite thing had happened, i really love this novel and what people said about the events that are not related at all is so fake! They are completely related and logical, maybe they got lost or did’t have the ability to relate between the characters and the events and thats all! And yes “Green is at her finest” as the Library Journal stated. What i most liked about it is that Green When i read people’s comments about this book i was afraid i will be disappointed when i finish it. But actually the opposite thing had happened, i really love this novel and what people said about the events that are not related at all is so fake! They are completely related and logical, maybe they got lost or did’t have the ability to relate between the characters and the events and thats all! And yes “Green is at her finest” as the Library Journal stated. What i most liked about it is that Green had the ability to switch from a character to another giving each its right in description and expressing the characters feelings and self state. She had the ability to make a whole life with all its ups and downs in a 400 page novel. Showing us more than one case with all of its details, and prospects. This novel took another piece of my heart🔥❤️!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    CD/Unabridged/Fiction: I finished this book yesterday, and I kinda miss it. I did invest over 11 hours of my life to it. There are a lot of things to like about it, but there are issues that I didn't like. First, and the biggest problem I had: I don't know what the publisher was thinking when they let Green narrate her own book. Green is British and the story takes place in San Francisco. There were parts of the book I should have been engrossed with, but her heavy accent took away from that mom CD/Unabridged/Fiction: I finished this book yesterday, and I kinda miss it. I did invest over 11 hours of my life to it. There are a lot of things to like about it, but there are issues that I didn't like. First, and the biggest problem I had: I don't know what the publisher was thinking when they let Green narrate her own book. Green is British and the story takes place in San Francisco. There were parts of the book I should have been engrossed with, but her heavy accent took away from that moment. Also, Green used some British slang, such as "Hello, love", "mummy", and calling a toilet a "bowl". Since this was a CD, I can only hope that she took liberties with her own book. I would hate to think her editor let the slang go onto the written page. Green is a very good narrator, but this was the wrong piece for her accent. SPOILERS: The first third of the book is Andi's story and her problems not being able to conceive. I think her Peri-menopause is only part of the problem. I think part of her problem with conceiving is the stress of her step-daughter Emily. Emily is my sister at that age. Seventeen, selfish, doing drugs, dramatic outbursts, no self-esteem, multiple sex partners, and staying out all night. My sister's story is not HEA like Emily's, but my mother did know enough to get her professional help before she became 18. Emily's father does not, because he is a weenie and "doesn't want to upset her". Emily's biomom is an alcoholic, RED FLAGS. Get you kid some help. The rest of the book is Emily's story, part in her words and part in third person. This is where the author goes in too many directions. First she has the two neighbors who were so great in the beginning of the book, but move away. Andi's girlfriends are a big part of her live and they disappear. The book finally explores the feeling of the silent sister, Sophia, near the end. In a way, the book is two books or two different ideas. I hate to say this, but in the end, I didn't forgive Emily. I was glad she listens to others, finally, but it was too late for me. Her drama was "enough" for me. I loved disc 10 when Emily tells her parents her decision and they abjure her. I sat in my car for over five minutes in my garage listening to it. I really could not Emily ever being happy with someone because she is so selfish. Finally, a word to the wise. If someone abandons a child, get custody immediately. Don't wait three years and I'm pretty sure the grandparents would have to get temporary custody to take the baby to the doctor or enroll him in kindergarten. I think Green should have researched CA laws first. Overall, the story is good. Green really makes you hate Emily. I'm sure the actually book is really good, but I had such a hard time staying in the moment with that British accent. Skip the CD and try the book.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Laurie • The Baking Bookworm

    My Review: This past year I've found the wonder that are e-audiobooks. I love to download them from our public library (they're free from the library, people!!) onto my iPhone and listen to them when I'm on a walk or driving. They make me feel like I'm doing something other than just walking or driving and on a long 10 hour trip recently e-audiobooks were a great way to pass the time. Brad, my husband, especially likes me listening to them for part of long trips because that ensures that I'm not My Review: This past year I've found the wonder that are e-audiobooks. I love to download them from our public library (they're free from the library, people!!) onto my iPhone and listen to them when I'm on a walk or driving. They make me feel like I'm doing something other than just walking or driving and on a long 10 hour trip recently e-audiobooks were a great way to pass the time. Brad, my husband, especially likes me listening to them for part of long trips because that ensures that I'm not talking his ear off about any and all topics that enter my head. I have read at least one book by Jane Green (over ten years ago) and I remember enjoying her writing style. Another Piece of my Heart showcases the intricacies of step-family relationships and I thought that the premise was interesting but unfortunately the execution was quite weak. As lovers of audiobooks, we know that the narrator can make or break our enjoyment of a book. This book was read by the author who is British and while I love to listen to a British accent I have to admit that her accent threw me several times since the characters are all from California. My mind kept placing the characters on the west coast of England, not California and that really distracted me in the beginning. Unfortunately I also felt that the characters were underdeveloped and felt very clichéd -- the step-mom trying to fit in, the sullen, rude and obstinate teenage daughter who hates her father's new wife, the perfect younger sister ... At first I found the issues between Emily and Andi interesting and complex but their issues soon felt very repetitive as they kept having the same arguments over and over again with no resolution in sight. Emily's noxious behaviour and feelings towards Andi also seemed over the top at times and paired with her dark moods, psychological manipulations of her father and Ethan's rather great impression of an emotional doormat and I can't say that I had anyone to really root for or connect with. This isn't a bad book but it could have been so much better. Green managed to keep me interested (but barely) and I can't help but feel that there could have been more drama and energy into the plot. While the premise was interesting, unfortunately the plot was rather predictable and not very well executed. Add to this the cliched characters with the contrived ending and this wasn't a favourite Jane Green book of mine. My Rating: 2.5/5 stars ** This book review, as well as hundreds more, can also be found on my blog, The Baking Bookworm (www.thebakingbookworm.blogspot.ca) where I also share 'tried and true' recipes. **

  25. 5 out of 5

    Meg

    Jane Green's Another Piece Of My Heart was not my cup of tea. I only stuck with it because I was determined to find if these characters would reach some peace or redemption, but never felt invested in their journeys. Though I thought I was supposed to sympathize with Andi against monstrous Emily only to "get" what Emily was going through later in the story, all I felt was endless frustration at both women and lukewarm Ethan, Andi's husband and Emily's father, for being so blind. Lest this dissolv Jane Green's Another Piece Of My Heart was not my cup of tea. I only stuck with it because I was determined to find if these characters would reach some peace or redemption, but never felt invested in their journeys. Though I thought I was supposed to sympathize with Andi against monstrous Emily only to "get" what Emily was going through later in the story, all I felt was endless frustration at both women and lukewarm Ethan, Andi's husband and Emily's father, for being so blind. Lest this dissolve into a rant, I spent most of the book wanting to put Emily in time-out -- forever. The way she manipulated her father and did the whole "evil smile while hugging you" bit was so over-the-top, so cliché, that I often couldn't help but roll my eyes. I haven't read much fiction about blended families and can only begin to appreciate the difficult position in which many families find themselves while journeying toward becoming a happy family. That's not easy. And if Emily wasn't such a stone-cold, selfish brat, I might have felt something for her. I mean, Andi isn't her mother; her own mom is passed out somewhere after going on another tear about how "fat" Emily has become, etc. and so forth. She's in the bottom of a wine glass with no hope of climbing out . . . for a while, anyway. Another Piece Of My Heart held few surprises and was painful to follow on audio. Aside from the strangeness of having the author herself narrate a story about an American family with her British accent, complete with British slang that would never fall from an American's lips, I couldn't stand the portions featuring Emily's ranting and screaming. The story was so repetitive: Andi pretends to be nice to Emily, assuaging her guilt that she isn't treating her right; Emily rebels against Andi's attempts at said niceness, rightfully calling her out for being "fake" with her, "Emily, honey?" nonsense; the two get in a battle royale; Ethan admonishes the women to "talk it out" or some such and completely ignores the fact that he's part of the problem. Suffice it to say I was not a fan. While others found the story realistic, it was far too overblown for me to enjoy. I don't welcome drama this epic in my own life, and it wasn't entertaining or enlightening for me. I felt some relief when it was over. But two stars for Janice, the alcoholic mother who undergoes a transformation throughout the narrative. When everyone else goes crazy, she manages to stand as the only voice of reason toward the close.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    What the book is about: This is a story of a ‘modern family’ where you have a second wife, Andi, dealing with her infertility, her marriage, and the angry teenage daughter, Emily, of her husband, Ethan, who gets caught in the middle of two of the women he loves the most in life. What I liked: Jane’s writing style is great, even if the story line was not really my cup of tea, she manages to hook you up from the start with the reality of her characters, and even if the story by itself is not super What the book is about: This is a story of a ‘modern family’ where you have a second wife, Andi, dealing with her infertility, her marriage, and the angry teenage daughter, Emily, of her husband, Ethan, who gets caught in the middle of two of the women he loves the most in life. What I liked: Jane’s writing style is great, even if the story line was not really my cup of tea, she manages to hook you up from the start with the reality of her characters, and even if the story by itself is not super exciting she puts enough tension in it to make you want to turn page after page. What I did not like: At about half, the book becomes such a pool of darkness I was upset; it is a vortex of negativity repulsive and compelling at the same time. The life of the teenage daughter disgusted me so much I wanted to close the book, or shut off the e-reader, for good. It was too dark, and frighteningly believable. I hope teenagers don’t really live like that, and behave so recklessly with no respect for themselves and their bodies. It was disturbing I think, not a light read for sure. You have alcoholism, drugs, emotional abuse. It is very hard to empathize with Emily for most of the book. The author gives you Andi’s perspective first, for about a third of the book, and by the time she moves into Emily’s you already hate her. Even by writing about Emily in the first person, the rest of the book is in third person, she didn’t manage to make me sympathize with her.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Cest La'Vie

    The earlier works of Jane Green are much more put together than her recent writings. Within this novel are step-mothers who act like children. Fathers who know nothing of a strict hand and children who are labeled as “adults” by their step-mothers! At 37 years old Andie settles down and marries Ethan, a divorced father of two girls and believes her wish of being a mom and a ‘perfect family’ is finally within reach. But when the eldest daughter, Emily shuts her affection out Andie is at first hu The earlier works of Jane Green are much more put together than her recent writings. Within this novel are step-mothers who act like children. Fathers who know nothing of a strict hand and children who are labeled as “adults” by their step-mothers! At 37 years old Andie settles down and marries Ethan, a divorced father of two girls and believes her wish of being a mom and a ‘perfect family’ is finally within reach. But when the eldest daughter, Emily shuts her affection out Andie is at first hurt and confused. After years of Emily getting “her way” Andie is no longer any of those things. She is now angry and has had enough! I don’t think I have ever disliked a character in a book so much until Andie. The woman claims over and over how desperate she is to become a mother and how much she wants a child but in my view she doesn’t want a child, she wants the perfect child. “As soon as Emily is gone everything will be perfect!” Why not help and love a broken child instead of wishing for a perfect one that does not exist. Andie has (in my view) no right in even being a mother if she cannot accept the flaws that the child may have. By the last chapter I nearly wanted Andie to be killed off! It may be a long time before I pick up another book by Jane Green again!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen

    A Piece of My Heart is a very intense, probably too intense, novel about a woman and her marriage. After the first 10 minutes I wanted to send Andi, a peri-menapausal stepmother, to a shrink as she needs major help to survive her teenage drama queen stepdaughter. The characters are well drawn and story kept me going. I didn't want to really, really like this book, but it is very realistic and I wanted to know what happens. I listened to this book, which was read by the author, with her very Briti A Piece of My Heart is a very intense, probably too intense, novel about a woman and her marriage. After the first 10 minutes I wanted to send Andi, a peri-menapausal stepmother, to a shrink as she needs major help to survive her teenage drama queen stepdaughter. The characters are well drawn and story kept me going. I didn't want to really, really like this book, but it is very realistic and I wanted to know what happens. I listened to this book, which was read by the author, with her very British accent. Her accent does not fit with the very American setting and characters and this was somewhat distracting. However I got used to her British voice and liked the emotion she gave her characters as she reads her book. While many of Jane Green's books are considered chick-lit, this book is too intense for that genre. This book is one of the March selections of the Friday Morning Book Club.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Would I expect anything less than fantastic? OF COURSE NOT! Even though it took me a bit longer to read than most books, I still devoured it. As always you can tell Jane Green writes from her heart....this is not meant to be a pun on words, I really believe she does. Her writing brings you right into the the lives of the characters. You can feel their emotions and you want to be right beside them, either enjoying a positive event or consoling them when they are down. A big thank you to Jane Gree Would I expect anything less than fantastic? OF COURSE NOT! Even though it took me a bit longer to read than most books, I still devoured it. As always you can tell Jane Green writes from her heart....this is not meant to be a pun on words, I really believe she does. Her writing brings you right into the the lives of the characters. You can feel their emotions and you want to be right beside them, either enjoying a positive event or consoling them when they are down. A big thank you to Jane Green for giving me a copy of the book. I know it will be a while but I can't wait till your next one.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn

    I was so excited to have won this book from First Reads and I was not disappointed! The main character, Andi has spent much of her adult life looking for the perfect man, and at nearly middle age, has finally found him. Ethan is a divorced father of two daughters. Andi takes on Ethan's daughters as if they were her own, but Emily is going to do everything she can to sabotage Andi. A wonderful story that reminds us all what relationships are really about. I loved it - five stars! I was so excited to have won this book from First Reads and I was not disappointed! The main character, Andi has spent much of her adult life looking for the perfect man, and at nearly middle age, has finally found him. Ethan is a divorced father of two daughters. Andi takes on Ethan's daughters as if they were her own, but Emily is going to do everything she can to sabotage Andi. A wonderful story that reminds us all what relationships are really about. I loved it - five stars!

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