5 Minutes for Books:
The Threadbare Heart

This book arrived at the perfect time. I was fairly caught up on my household chores, and it was a beautiful spring day. I sat out on the driveway while my son played in the dirt and drew chalk drawings all around me. I didn’t finish it in one day, but it didn’t take me long to read it, because it was the kind of book I wanted to take every free moment to finish reading.

I reviewed Jennie Nash’s book The Only True Genius in the Family last year, and it was another book that I just couldn’t put down. Jennie Nash is one of those authors who “gets” people, and as you read about the fictional characters, you can relate perfectly to their struggles, imperfections, hopes and dreams.

The Threadbare Heart is a character-driven novel, and deals with such themes as

  • The nature of marriage (and how it changes over the years)
  • lifelong friendships
  • mothers and daughters
  • husbands and wives
  • sacrificing your dreams
  • following your dreams
  • grief

The Threadbare Heart tells the story of Lily as she grieves the loss of her husband Tom and embraces the new life that they decided to take on, and her mother Eleanor who seems a bit jealous of her daughter’s life (or at least was before her sudden loss, for which she still doesn’t seem to be able to show much compassion).

The first sentence of the book is “Love was the one thing Lily always thought she did better than her mother” (page 1).

And with that, the stage was set. Aren’t we always comparing ourselves to our mothers? Or our sisters? Or our friends? Isn’t there always a kernel of self-doubt as we evaluate ourselves and the choices we’ve made, especially in comparison to other women in our lives?

Some people avoid novels dealing with grief, but if you like popular women’s fiction, I know you will love The Threadbare Heart. It is smart, analytical, thought-provoking, honest and true, but avoids being grim or bitter.

Read the first chapter of The Threadbare Heart and see if you like it as much as I do.

Leave a comment here to win a signed copy of the book. We’ll announce a winner (U.S. only) on May 17, right here in the 5 Minutes for Books column.

I’d also like to invite you to enter The Threadbare Heart Mother-Daughter Duo contest on 5 Minutes for Books. Click over to see all the details, but basically, you just have to write up to 250 words about your favorite fictional mother-daughter team. The winner’s entry will be published on 5 Minutes for Books on Mother’s Day, May 9, and will win a signed copy of the book and be entered to win the grand prize — 10 books and a rum cake, perfect for a girls’ night in or a bookclub meeting. Hurry! You only have until 8:00am Eastern to enter (U.S. addresses only). Get all the details and leave your entry on this post at 5 Minutes for Books.

The winners of Healthy Sex Drive, Healthy You are #27 Jenn of the Roof, #4 Stacy, #32 Alison S.

Five copies of Who Loves the Little Lamb are still up for grabs here at 5 Minutes for Mom,

and 5 Minutes for Books has FIVE book giveaways open this week.

Written by book blogger Jennifer Donovan. Thanks to the publisher for the review copy


  1. says

    I sooo enjoy reading. Nothing beats a good book and tall glass of fresh-squeezed lemonade on the back porch on a midsummer’s night!
    Would LOVE to win this autographed book!

  2. Mary Ward says

    I loved her book The Last Beach Bungalow and I have The Only True Genius in the Family in my TBR pile.

  3. Alicia Webster says

    I have never read anything by this author, but I love books that center around family issues.

  4. says

    Don’t need to win a copy (hee hee) but just wanted to stop by to thank you for your thoughtful review. It’s such an honor to be read by such a smart reader who “sees” all the things I was trying to do. I also loved your description of the chalk art in the driveway. What a happy scene! Thanks again….

  5. Eileen says

    Books are like fine gold to me now…this one sounds SO meaningful. Id pass it on to all my sisters and my mom too. We love to share the dreams of others on pages!

    thank you!

  6. says

    I haven’t read a novel in ages and the idea of one that can suck me in has me inspired to escape into pages! Enough of the non-fiction and required reading, time for some pleasure reading!

  7. riTa says

    Loved it!
    So much in there i could relate to: teacher , grandparent, empty nester, loving husband, love for books, on and on…now I MUST read the rest of the story.

  8. says

    thanks for the review, sounds like a great read! read the first chapter posted and woud love to win a copy.


  9. says

    I’m not very good at facing others loss since experiencing my own. But having read the first chapter, I’m sucked in! Either you win it to me,, or I end up buying it! 😉

  10. Shantel Cannon says

    Your review made me read the first chapter now that I have I am hooked! Would love to snag a copy and share with my family! Thanks for the review. I am defintely reading this no matter what!!

  11. Joanne Schultz says

    That book sounds great! It would make a welcome break from serial killer books :-)

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  12. Charlene Kuser says

    I enjoyed the excerpt from the book and would love to know more about Tom and Lily.The
    book sounds wonderful


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