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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Threadbare Heart by Jennie Nash

The Threadbare HeartPublisher: Berkley Trade
ISBN: 042523410X
Pages: 336 pgs
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Challenges-Read’n’Review Challenge, 100+ Reading Challenge

 Publisher’s Description:

A photo of her sons. A doormat from Target. Twenty-three tubs of fabric. Somehow it comforts Lily to list the things she lost when a wildfire engulfed the Santa Barbara avocado ranch she shared with her husband, Tom. He didn't make it out either. His last act was to save her grandmother's lace from the flames-an heirloom she has never been able to take scissors to, that she was saving for someday...

As she negotiates her way through her grief, mourning both the tangible and intangible, Lily wonders about her long marriage. Was it worth all the work, the self-denial? Did she stay with Tom just to avoid loneliness? Should she have been more like her mother, Eileen-thrice-married and even now, approaching eighty, cavalier about men and, it seems, even her daughter's emotions?

It's up to Lily to understand what she could still gain even when it seems that everything is lost. Someday has arrived...

My Review:

I reviewed The Only True Genius in the Family last year and I loved it. I pounced at the opportunity to review this one. I have also been in quite the reading doldrums lately and I knew that Jennie Nash would be just the perfect writer to break me out of it. And like usual, I was right.

The one thing that really attracted me to this book was Jennie’s writing style. She has this ability to change perspective from chapter to chapter without losing anything. She gives each of her characters their own voice and personality. Sometimes I find that with books with this type of narrative style, the characters lose a bit of their individuality and voice. They become shadows of each other. That never happens with Jennie Nash.

The dynamic between Lily and Tom was perhaps one of my favorite parts of the book. It was, as my mother likes to say, a “flower and gardener” relationship. Tom took care of Lily and his first thought was always of her needs. I was so sad when he died in the fire but watching Lily deal with her grief was one of the highlights for me. She never made Lily seem demanding or wallowing.  I also loved the tension between Ryan and Olivia, Lily and Tom’s son and his wife. There was so much pain and tension there that I almost wish the book had been focused on them. Watching Lily’s sons take care of their mother during her time of grief was both heartwarming and sobering. Nash really portrayed that part of the book perfectly.

I highly recommend this book. I cannot state that emphatically enough. Highly recommended! I have pre-ordered copies for my mother, my sister and a couple of friends. That’s how much I loved this book.

*A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for review. My opinion is my own and has not been influenced in any way and any monies made from associate or affiliate accounts are recycled back into the blog.


  1. I'm not entering the contest. I wanted to tell you that your review made me put this on my buy list. Great review!

  2. That's what every blogger wants to hear (as you know)! I really hope you enjoy it.

  3. [...] the 27 who sent me their links. I’m sad.). So… get writing! The deadline is VERY soon. Complete details are on the contest post over at Books Like [...]

  4. Just dropping in to say thanks for the e-mail, babe. I've got this posted at Win a Book for you!

  5. What a really wonderful synopsis of my story, and a lovely review. Thank you! And you KNOW...a LOT of people have been saying this about Olivia and maybe we could hear more about them. The Threadbare Heart actually originated from a character in The Last Beach Bungalow, so it's not at all out of the realm of possibility. I'll have to think about it....

  6. I would love to be entered. This sounds incredible.

  7. After reading your review this novel is on my wish list.

  8. Just what every blogger wants to hear! Thanks.

  9. Oh please do! I love the both of those characters. I just reread the book and their story struck me even more now than the first time.



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