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Review: The Threadbare Heart

May 2, 2010

Lily and Tom are both professors at a college in Vermont.  They’ve been happily married for years and have raised two sons.  They are content in their lives and their marriage, but when they visit Lily’s mother, Eleanor, in California, she offers to buy them an avocado ranch that Tom falls in love with.  Lily resents her larger-than-life mother because she can’t seem to settle down and she seems to think her money will buy happiness.

In the meantime, Eleanor envies and resents her daughter, because Lily’s found the type of long lasting love that has always eluded her.  Lily and Eleanor do love each other, but their relationship is somewhat tenuous.  Their family has to survive a horrible tragedy for the two women to realize that they need to set their resentments aside and learn to show their love for each other.

I was purposely vague in my description of The Threadbare Heart.   I went into knowing nothing about it, except the fact that it’s written by the wonderful Jennie Nash, and I really think I appreciated it more because of that.   The story in this book is told from many alternating points of view, which I loved because I feel like I got the whole story that way.

The Threadbare Heart is basically a book about relationships – between parents and children, husbands and wives and even between friends.  It’s about taking care of and nurturing your relationships and letting other people know what they mean to you while you still can.  For me, the book serves as a reminder to set aside your differences and learn to appreciate the good qualities of the ones you love.

All of the characters in this book are flawed, but they were all so real, that I could relate to almost all of them.  I loved Eleanor and her free spirit, but I can understand why Lily found those same traits aggravating in her mother.  I also thought the portrayal of Lily and Tom’s marriage was very realistic – they had a good solid, relationship that had some rough patches, but they worked through them.

I finished The Threadbare Heart right before going to bed one night, and I’m not sure that was the best idea, because it made me cry and then I laid in bed and thought about it for a long time once I was through.   This is one of those books that lingers in your mind for a while and I just loved it.

Review copy provided by the author.  I am an Indiebound Affliate.

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26 Comments leave one →
  1. May 2, 2010 6:21 am

    Oh Kathy… now I need to read this as well…

  2. May 2, 2010 7:25 am

    Jennie is one of my dear friends, and so it made me smile to read this review. Thank you for this!

  3. May 2, 2010 7:31 am

    Great review! You summed up the book perfectly! I experienced many of the same emotions.

  4. May 2, 2010 8:05 am

    Here’s one I must read. I love stories that delve deeply into family relationships, and get me emotionally involved 🙂 Thanks for this great review.

  5. May 2, 2010 8:41 am

    wow, sounds stupendous! I don’t remember the last time i had that reaction to a book.

  6. May 2, 2010 8:45 am

    And just in time for Mother’s Day! I think relationships between mother and daughter can be interesting, and sometimes a little dangerous. I can see that with my own kids, as I have a boy and a girl. How can I resist this book? I even love the cover.

  7. May 2, 2010 8:59 am

    I love the review. I haven’t read Jennifer Nash. Will have to try it.

  8. May 2, 2010 11:17 am

    This book sounds like a warm read that anyone will relate to! Nice review! Sometimes I feel not knowing anything about a book makes you appreciate it more, since there are no expectations then.

  9. May 2, 2010 11:42 am

    I love emotional reads about family relationships. I will definitely add this to my TBR list. Great review.

  10. May 2, 2010 12:05 pm

    Fantastic review, Kathy! As you know, I also really liked this book 🙂

  11. May 2, 2010 12:19 pm

    Oh I’m glad you enjoyed it so much! Something about the way you described Eleanor reminds me of the mom in Mary Kay Andrews’ The Fixer Upper but she had a somewhat better relationship with her daughter.

  12. May 2, 2010 2:11 pm

    Thank you for your great review, Kathy. This sounds like such a touching book. I will have to add it to my wish list.

  13. May 2, 2010 4:08 pm

    You gave me just enough information about the book to make me want to read it. I like books that are good studies in relationships and characters. Good review.

  14. May 2, 2010 6:36 pm

    Wonderful review! I just love those books that aren’t afraid to portray the difficulties and heartaches that sometimes happen in relationships, and I totally get what you are saying about the book keeping you up past bedtime after finishing it. I have had a few like that recently too. I’ll be looking forward to reading this one, thanks!

  15. May 2, 2010 6:38 pm

    You and Wendy have convinced me to read this book! You were both a bit vague with the details, but I so appreciate that. I rarely ever read the jacket blurbs, preferring to go into a book completely unaware of the plot details (well, other than to get the general idea to at least get me to pick the book up) and I know I had to be fairly vague when reviewing Ana Quindlen’s new book, too. I hate to spoil stories for other readers. Thanks for the lovely review. Off to add it to my TBR/Wish List.

  16. stacybuckeye permalink
    May 2, 2010 6:45 pm

    I love flawed characters, but the book made you cry. I am trying to avoid such things right now 🙂

  17. May 2, 2010 7:35 pm

    Thank you so much for this sweet review. I suppose I SHOULD say that I’m sorry I made you cry before going to bed, but I’m not 😉 That’s such a high compliment for an author — for a reader to react strongly to the story. Thank you again!

  18. May 2, 2010 7:36 pm

    this sounds like such a good read–my husband went to school there and we’d love to move there. 🙂 thanks for the review.

  19. May 2, 2010 8:57 pm

    I really like your review — I like that you didn’t give away too much of the actual story but were able to convey your strong reaction to the book. We’re all flawed in some way, aren’t we — and what better reason is there to be more tolerant of shortcomings of others? This is going on my wishlist. (And who am I kidding? I’m hopping over to your giveaway to try to win a copy 😉

  20. May 3, 2010 9:09 am

    Wow, this sounds like a powerful book…thanks for the great review, even with the vague description…I think some books just work better that way!

  21. Kathleen permalink
    May 3, 2010 4:03 pm

    This sounds really good. I love books that explore these kinds of interpersonal, complicated, family relationships.

  22. May 3, 2010 7:50 pm

    I think mother-daughter relationships can be some of the most difficult in the world … but also the most powerful. It sounds like this books captures the push and pull.

  23. May 4, 2010 5:34 pm

    This is a wonderful review, and I so much want to read this story! I loved Only True Genius and had planned to try more from this author.

  24. May 5, 2010 4:45 pm

    I can’t wait to read this one. Great review!

  25. May 14, 2010 1:29 pm

    It sounds wonderful

  26. May 31, 2010 1:15 pm

    Thanks for your thoughts on this one. I was curious.

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