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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{ 78 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Cleo May 3, 2010 at 12:20 am

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!

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2 Deborah K May 3, 2010 at 12:22 am

A good book makes a great friend!

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3 Jeannette May 3, 2010 at 12:24 am

This sounds like a great book. I would love to read it.

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4 Deanne May 3, 2010 at 1:52 am

Oooo….sounds like a book I could really sink in to!

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5 Krista May 3, 2010 at 2:20 am

Sounds intriguing, thanks!

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6 staci May 3, 2010 at 6:26 am

that book sounds interesting.

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7 Karyn May 3, 2010 at 7:20 am

I love to read–looks like a great book!

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8 Ankit Porwal May 3, 2010 at 7:25 am

“Have you used BlogolB? Its an attempt to develop a searchable and categorized directory of the thousands of Wordpress Blogs out there.”..

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9 Michele Anne May 3, 2010 at 8:06 am

sounds good…sign me up

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10 Linda White May 3, 2010 at 8:59 am

Id love to read this book! It sounds so good, like what I like to read!

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11 Mozi Esmes Mommy May 3, 2010 at 9:48 am

I’d love to read this!

janemaritz at yahoo dot com

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12 Magi May 3, 2010 at 10:18 am

I’d love to read this book.

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13 rebecca May 3, 2010 at 10:19 am

pick me!

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14 Mary Ward May 3, 2010 at 10:58 am

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

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15 Michael Capp May 3, 2010 at 11:13 am

I’d love to win!

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16 Tishawn May 3, 2010 at 12:10 pm

This looks and sounds like a great book. Would be the perfect read for me.

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17 Alicia Webster May 3, 2010 at 12:25 pm

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

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18 Jennie Nash May 3, 2010 at 1:34 pm

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….

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19 Eileen May 3, 2010 at 3:17 pm

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!

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20 Jaime May 3, 2010 at 3:34 pm

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!

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21 riTa May 3, 2010 at 4:19 pm

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.

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22 Benita G. May 3, 2010 at 4:48 pm

This book sounds fab. I hope I’m lucky!

bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

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23 Kelly H May 3, 2010 at 6:00 pm

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

kholt(at)gmail(dot)com

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24 kelly h May 3, 2010 at 6:02 pm

woops left out part of my email address

kholt1211(at)gmail(dot)com

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25 Trish May 3, 2010 at 6:48 pm

Sounds like a great read – thanks for the review and the giveaway!

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26 susan varney May 3, 2010 at 6:56 pm

Reflect SPF 30 Natural Sunscreen mverno@roadrunner.com

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27 melissa A. May 3, 2010 at 9:24 pm

sounds like a good read!

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28 Michele J. May 3, 2010 at 9:35 pm

From what I’ve read, this looks like a great book!

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29 Hailey May 3, 2010 at 10:43 pm

THat first sentence…. oh, I have to read this book!

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30 Summer Bryan May 4, 2010 at 12:46 am

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! ;)

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31 Deborah May 4, 2010 at 11:18 am

Would be nice to win :)

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32 katklaw777 May 4, 2010 at 11:37 am

Thanks for the great review, looks interesting.

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33 McKim May 4, 2010 at 11:44 am

Sounds like a great read for a lazy summer evening.

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34 Elizabeth May 4, 2010 at 12:21 pm

sounds like a great summer read.

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35 EMMA L HORTON May 4, 2010 at 12:42 pm

I NEED A BOOK TO READ AND THIS ONE SOUNDS GOOD

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36 Terra Heck May 4, 2010 at 3:44 pm

I’d like to read this book. Thanks.
partymix25(at)hotmail(dot)com

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37 Shantel Cannon May 4, 2010 at 3:59 pm

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!!

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38 Marj McClendon May 4, 2010 at 4:00 pm

How awesome to have two chances to win this book. I am so interested.

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39 barb May 4, 2010 at 7:13 pm

Sounds like a great book thanks for all these fantastic giveaways.

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40 Miranda Allen May 4, 2010 at 9:04 pm

Looks like a Great book

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41 Staci A May 5, 2010 at 2:00 pm

I would love to read this! It sounds like a wonderful book!

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42 Tammy May 6, 2010 at 12:56 pm

This sounds like the perfect book that I love to read

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43 racergirl1313 May 6, 2010 at 5:18 pm

I’d love to read this, You can never have enough books to read!

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44 Sarah - PS Mom Reviews May 8, 2010 at 1:02 pm

This looks like a good book!

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45 Page Turner (Heather) May 8, 2010 at 4:01 pm

This sounds really good! I love books that are honest about relationships!

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46 Alicia May 8, 2010 at 5:07 pm

Would love to read this.

Thanks for the giveaway >^..^<

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47 Some Lucky Dog May 10, 2010 at 12:31 am

This sounds like a good book for a long, rainy day!

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48 Carolyn May 10, 2010 at 11:12 pm

Love to read and this book looks great…

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49 Jenn S. May 11, 2010 at 11:12 am

Sounds like an excellent read.

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50 Kathy Scott May 13, 2010 at 4:43 pm

Looks like a good read. Thanks for the chance

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51 Diane F May 14, 2010 at 8:49 am

I am hooked after reading the first chapter!

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52 susan May 14, 2010 at 12:45 pm

I love reading, it relaxes me.

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53 Rebecca May 15, 2010 at 5:27 am

sounds like a good read

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54 Cheryl F May 15, 2010 at 7:30 am

I would enjoy reading this book, thanks for a chance to win it.

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55 Andria May 15, 2010 at 12:31 pm

I would love a chance to win. Thank you.

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56 Ed Nemmers May 15, 2010 at 4:50 pm

I would like to read this!

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57 Chrysa May 16, 2010 at 12:37 am

Looks great! Thanks for the giveaway!

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58 Gianna May 16, 2010 at 2:21 am

Please enter me :)

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59 cynthia layton May 16, 2010 at 5:32 am

enter please

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60 oneangel May 16, 2010 at 6:11 am

This sounds like a great book!! Thanks~

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61 dddiva May 16, 2010 at 7:47 am

Thanks for the review- I love to read.

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62 Melissa B. May 16, 2010 at 8:54 am

I would love to win. Thanks.

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63 Lily Kwan May 16, 2010 at 9:09 am

Please enter me into the contest. Thanks!

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64 keilann May 16, 2010 at 9:23 am

I’d love to win this book. thanks for the chance!

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65 Susan Smith May 16, 2010 at 9:50 am

Sounds like a good book

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66 kathy pease May 16, 2010 at 9:56 am

Thank you for the Great giveaway please count me in :)

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67 Breanne W May 16, 2010 at 10:32 am

sounds like a good book!

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68 Joanne Schultz May 16, 2010 at 12:57 pm

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

Thanks for the giveaway!

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69 shawna May 16, 2010 at 1:50 pm

Would love to read this book!

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70 Charlene Kuser May 16, 2010 at 2:49 pm

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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71 Ambre W. May 16, 2010 at 4:54 pm

Your review made me want to read this book!

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72 Connie Gruning May 16, 2010 at 5:47 pm

I would love to win this book. I have 2 perfect daughters and one equally perfect Granddaughter to share it with.

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73 timothysternberg May 16, 2010 at 6:00 pm

I love reading.

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74 sdnwdn May 16, 2010 at 6:45 pm

Would like to read this book

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75 susan smoaks May 16, 2010 at 7:42 pm

this is at the top of my want to read list

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76 Veronica Garrett May 16, 2010 at 10:32 pm

I would love to win this book. It sounds very interesting.

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77 Deb May 16, 2010 at 11:27 pm

Would love to read this book!

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78 heather c May 16, 2010 at 11:55 pm

Loved the excerpt. Would love to read more! Thanks!

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