Jane Green's latest, Another Piece of My Heart, is the story of a dysfunctional family at it's finest. Andi, who in her late 30's feels like she's finally met "the one" gets married to Ethan. Ethan has two daughters, Emily and Sophia, from a previous marriage. Of course it wouldn't be a good story without conflict so inevitably one of the girls dislikes Andi, the stepmom. The story is told from Andi's perspective (at least initially) and we really feel for her. She's wanted a child forever but she's been terribly unsuccessful. She's sweet and kind to her step daughters but Emily takes advantage of Andi and Ethan over and over again. Combine Emily's horrible behavior with the fact that Ethan constantly sticks up for Emily and makes excuses for her, and it pushes Andi to the brink...until something happens.
Although I'm a fan of Green's work, I can't
say that this was my favorite book of hers. I found it simply pleasant and enjoyable. It was a quick read and I wanted to find out what was going to happen but there wasn't necessarily that urgency that made me not want to put it down.
I liked the plot of the story and the idea
behind it. I think overall Green did a solid job with creating the family dynamic. The arguing, the crying, the resentment, the anger, and frustration were all very realistic. I think the character development was alright, but could've gone a bit deeper. We hear over and over that Andi can't have children of her own but we never know why that is the case. Emily is a bit too wishy-washy in my opinion too; she's a brooding angry teen one moment and then the next she's wanting bedtime stories and comfort. I would've liked to understand more about Ethan and more about Michael, who is the love interest in Emily's life.
I liked that the conflict in this story is real. I liked that the emotions and language of the characters felt real too. They spoke from their hearts about their pain and hurt. The situation surrounding them is one which many women can relate and therefore makes for a successful story.
As I said, it's a sold story and enjoyable. It's not Miss Green's best work, however. If you've got an afternoon free and looking for a story with a little heart, but doesn't cause you to think too much, this is the one for you!