ANOTHER PIECE OF MY HEART Jane Green
St. Martin's Griffin
ISBN-13: 978-0-312-60416-5
February 2013
Women's Fiction

San Francisco Bay Area, California Present Day

Eastern transplant Andi settled in Northern California and found her niche in interior decorating.  Still searching for the perfect man at thirty-seven, she meets Ethan after signing up on an Internet dating site.  Divorced, with two teenage daughters, Ethan is everything Andi could hope for.  Finally living her dream, Andi is hoping for her own little miracle baby.  But her husband is far from perfect, and as their marriage moves into its second year, Andi begins to feel the weight of Ethan's faults.  His ex-wife is an alcoholic who could care less about her daughters, causing Ethan to overcompensate for the loss of their mother.  His eldest girl, Emily, sees Andi as the interloper who broke up her parents' marriage, and as such, she continues to make Andi's life a living hell.  Ethan's younger daughter, Sophia, is a sharp contrast to Emily.  Sophia bonded right away to Andi, and her sweet nature is the opposite of her sister.

As a self-made landscape designer, Ethan makes a good living and provides a nice home.  He brings Andi flowers; he's patient and kind, but he turns a blind eye to Emily and her machinations.  When the seventeen-year-old continually comes home after curfew and drunk, Ethan continually gives into her crying, turning a blind eye to her wrongs.  This drives Andi to distraction; she's frustrated with Emily's tantrums.  Emily forces herself between Ethan and Andi, always trying to push them apart, which she nearly accomplishes on one fateful night when Ethan fights with Andi and walks out.  Needing help and advice, Andi turns to next door neighbor Drew for help.  Drew offers advice, but Andi is suddenly confused about her life.  She loves Ethan, but she cannot take any more stress or drama.  And, when Emily's personal problems take a turn for the worse, it throws all of their lives into turmoil.

ANOTHER PIECE OF MY HEART is a character driven novel told from several view points.  We have Andi narrating in the beginning, followed by Emily and Ethan.  The different points of view switching from first person to third person narrative are confusing at first, but as the reader delves into the story it becomes easier.  Andi wants to find happiness, which might or might not include Ethan and his daughters in her life, and as she struggles with the answers, we see her pain and her triumphs as the days go by.

Not really my kind of book, ANOTHER PIECE OF MY HEART is still a good story.  This novel is perfect for readers who wish to sit down with a glass of tea and enjoy someone else's family drama.  All of the characters are well rounded and the story is compelling.  Readers will root for Andi, while wanting to ring Ethan's neck and throttle Emily.  Sophia is a sweet young girl, and the other characters, Drew and his partner, Topher, are a delight.

ANOTHER PIECE OF MY HEART is a good spring read!

Diana Risso