5 Minutes for Books:
The Threadbare Heart

by Jennifer Donovan

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

Email Author    |    Website About Jennifer Donovan

Jennifer Donovan has been a part of the 5 Minutes for Mom team since 2007. She writes product reviews, covers events, and manages the 5 Minutes for Books weekly column and website. She lives in Houston and blogs at Snapshot about life with her family.

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