Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Another Piece of My Heart by Jane Green

The Skinny: A well-written story that makes a reader understand the depths of parenting.

Jane Green wrote one of my favorite chick lit books, Jemima J. When I received Another Piece of My Heart, I was excited to read more of her work. Another Piece of My Heart is not a lighthearted, fun tale. It is a story that can easily be a biography of many parents around the world. In this novel, a woman becomes a stepmother to two young girls. Green documents the relationship between the woman and her children and explores how relationships change and evolve over time.

The characters Green developed are personable and realistic. Andi, our protagonist, is a model parent and the personification of patience.  The two stepchildren are written well and could easily be based on real people. There were several scenes that evoked frustrated growls from me, and I was amazed that Andi was steadily persevering through maltreatment from one of her stepchildren.

The pace of the story is good and the storyline develops smoothly. One of my favorite aspects of the book is the inclusion of the point of view of one of the stepchildren. This addition adds a layer to the story that might have been lost as a result of looking at scenes from a mature lens.

Based solely on personal observation, I hypothesize that being a stepparent is a thankless job. Children can often place stepparents in negative roles and treat them poorly. Children can also adore stepparents and build strong and meaningful bonds. Green has crafted a story that explores both types of relationships and provides readers with an insightful look at parenting, love, and sacrifice.

If you are looking for a story that carefully examines love, relationships, and parenting, then I recommend that you read this book.

On a side note, do the words “stepparent” and “stepchild” seem negative to you? I have always believed this, and I was pleased to learn that Italians share my sentiments. According to my Italian professor, when referring to stepchildren or stepparents, Italians will say, “The children of my wife” or “My mother’s husband.” This is done in an effort to reduce the negative feelings associated with the traditional labels.


  1. I love Jane Green's books, I really enjoyed Jemina J too :)
    I personally think that 'the children of my wife' is worse than step-parent. It seems like you are totally alienating yourself from the child - like they are nothing to you, where as step-parent at least recognises some relationship between the parent and child x

    1. Excellent point. I agree that it does sound a bit distant and detached. I wish there was another term, though, that describes the relationship and eliminates the negative connotation. Watching Cinderella as a child must have ruined the "stepmother" word for me. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! :)

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  3. I've only read one Jane Green book I think. I've seen this one around and it sounds pretty good. To me Stepchild is not negative at all. It's just an explanation of the relationship I guess. Like saying Mother-in-law. :)

  4. I think I would really enjoy this book. The review is awesome. This kind of relationship is one great topic. This will definitely help me examine my on relationship with my family.Thanks for posting!