Tag Archives: Jane Green

Life in a Minor Key

Saving Grace (Amazon)

Saving Grace: A Novel by Jane Green (St. Martin’s Press, $26.99, 320 pages)

Take one bratty American husband and pair him with an English wife who walks on eggshells. Next, stir in a sense of impending doom. Jane Green, a prolific author (Tempting Fate: A Novel), casts an easily believable couple in this, her 16th novel. As one who has, in a past marriage, known the atmosphere in which Grace Chapman lives, this reviewer was initially hesitant to read through the novel.

The slightly off-kilter telling builds a sense of gloom and has a hint of the Ingrid Bergman movie, Gaslight. Ted Chapman, an aging author, takes on a new assistant named Beth. Beth quickly takes over the household and pretty much shoves wife Grace to the side.

By page 150, there is a strong question bound to pop up in the reader’s mind, “Is this entertainment?” If not, it might drag the reader into a past best forgotten. As it is, the tale has many lessons to teach, the best of them is to take care of yourself! Being who you are is a reward!

Well recommended.

Ruta Arellano

A review copy was provided by the publisher.

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Piece Of My Heart

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.

Highly recommended.

Ruta Arellano

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.

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Coming Up Next…

A review of Another Piece of My Heart: A Novel by Jane Green.

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Kosmic Blues

Jane Green is a New York Times bestselling author (Promises to Keep, The Beach House, Jemima J).   Her latest work,  Another Piece of My Heart: A Novel, was released on March 13, 2012.   Here is a synopsis of the story:

Andi has always dreamed of becoming a wife and mother.   At age 37, Andi finds Ethan and quickly finds herself being both a wife and the stepmother of two daughters.   Teenaged Emily, the apple of Ethan’s eye, decides to reject Andi from the start.   In her eyes, Andi is the other woman; no replacement for her “real” mother, and – most critically – a gigantic obstacle between her and her father’s affection.   The tension from Emily’s issues begin to infiltrate Andi and Ethan’s marriage until dramatic events threaten to destroy everything that the members of the family have come to rely on.

Library Journal called Another Piece of My Heart:  “Green at her best…  (a novel that delivers a) clear-eyed look at our idealized notions of love, family and motherhood.”   Adriana Trigiani, author of Lucia, Lucia and the Valentine series says about Another Piece:  “You will laugh and cry as you read…  and you’ll be inspired to pick up the phone and call your best friend.   It’s that good.”

You can begin reading Another Piece of My Heart now by clicking on this link:

http://us.macmillan.com/BookCustomPage_New.aspx?isbn=9780312591823

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