Another Piece of My Heart by Jane Green (St. Martin’s Press, $25.99, 400 pages; Macmillan Audio, $27.99, 13 hours and 42 minutes)
Author Jane Green created a serious and gripping novel when she wrote Another Piece of My Heart. Moreover, when it came to the audio version, she felt compelled to be the narrator. Green was so committed to the project that she went through the audition process to ensure that hers was the proper voice behind the story. Let there be no doubt, the voice and the tale are a perfect match. Never mind that Green has a lovely lilting British accent and her story is set on the West Coast of the U.S. Maybe it’s the depth of understanding that she brings to her narration. Who but the author really knows what emotions the characters feel and what they mean to each other?
Actually, there are several narratives offered up within the 11 CD set. Each one is voiced by Green; however, the person featured shifts from the first character in the novel, Andi, to her older stepdaughter Emily. This takes place farther along in the story. This reviewer was a bit weary of Andi’s frustration. The introduction of Emily’s perspective gave the tale a fresh dimension.
There’s nothing new or remarkable about the situations Andi, Emily, younger sister Sophia or dad, Ethan, find themselves immersed in throughout the story. Teenagers like Emily have been rebellious for generations and folks who live in Mill Valley, California more often than not fit into the stereotypical suburban blended family. Stepmothers often find themselves desperate to receive love from their stepchildren. They may even entertain hopes of having their own babies.
Where Green moves the basics along to a level of superb listening enjoyment is her shifts in point of view from adult to teen. Although the majority of readers will most likely be adults who can relate to or imagine the heartache and frustration of a blended family, it is younger readers who would be wise to have a listen. Teens aren’t the only ones who are misunderstood.
A review copy was provided by the publisher. The audiobook version was purchased by the reviewer’s husband. Another Piece of My Heart is also available as a Nook Book or Kindle Edition download.
In the United Kingdom, this novel has been released with the title, The Patchwork Marriage.