Friday, March 30, 2012

Another Piece of My Heart

A few days ago I was talking with a friend about books we had read in our childhoods. Both of us recalled reading Danielle Steel books in high school, and neither of us read them now. In fact, I can't imagine wanting to read a Danielle Steel book anymore. So, yesterday while I was reading Jane Green's new book, Another Piece of My Heart, I was contemplating whether these books are different from Steel's or not. In some ways they seem to fit the Danielle Steel mode. They are fairly repetitive. There is a happy ending. The characters always seem to be beautiful and their lives picture perfect (except for the drama they are going through). Yet, for some reason, I still enjoy a Jane Green book, and rank it higher on the list of "quality reading" (although not by much) than Danielle Steel's books. Am I being too harsh to Danielle Steel? If anyone has read both authors what comparison would you make?

Another Piece of My Heart is a fast read, engaging, entertaining, and very much Jane Green's usual fare. Emily is seventeen and giving her stepmother a lot of trouble. Andi has looked forward to marrying Ethan and being a mother to both Emily and Sophia but Emily's attitude and ability to always be the center of attention is wearing Andi out. She is also desperate to have her own baby and has dreamed of being a mother.

Andi narrates the beginning of this book, and I'm not sure whether it was the fact that I was used to her voice, or the fact that I could relate best to her because I am also a mom, but Andi was for me the easiest character to relate to. Emily narrates a portion of this book, but I had a hard time understanding her viewpoint, and her negative comments about Andi did not help me to develop a better understanding of her or feel compassion for her. Andi's assessment of Emily seemed very much spot on.

Green is always good at giving readers a good story, and Another Piece of My Heart is a good addition to her collection of work.

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