Monday, September 23, 2013

Another Piece of My Heart

Title:  Another Piece of My Heart
Author:  Jane Green
Published:  2012, St. Martin's Press
Genre:  Fiction, Chick-Lit
Source:  Library
From Goodreads:

"Andi has spent much of her adult life looking for the perfect man, and at thirty-seven, she's finally found him.  Ethan--divorced with two daughters, Emily and Sophia--is a devoted father and even better husband.  Always hoping one day she would be a mother, Andi embraces the girls like they were her own. But in Emily’s eyes, Andi is an obstacle to her father’s love, and Emily will do whatever it takes to break her down. When the dynamics between the two escalate, they threaten everything Andi believes about love, family, and motherhood—leaving both women standing at a crossroad in their lives…and in their hearts.

ANOTHER PIECE OF MY HEART is a novel that illuminates the nuances and truths about relationships and is Jane Green at her absolute best."

I've had the discussion with friends and family before about how hard it is to be a stepmother (or father, no gender discrimination here).  Most people just think that you sit there and get to take it easy while the "real" parent does all the hard work.  You are either slotted into one of two roles, the wicked stepmother or the cool stepmom.  The children either love you or hate you and you don't have to worry about them after they are out of the house.

When I met my husband, his kids were nine and twelve.  They are now sixteen and nineteen.  I love them with all my heart and am completely vested in their journey to becoming fine, young men.  It is not easy being a stepmom.  I have to be a parent with all the responsibilities that entails but I get none of the recognition that I am a real, honest-to-goodness parent.  I'm not saying I want kudos for what I do.  I just want to be acknowledged that what I do is exactly the same as what my kids biological mom and dad do.

Like Andi, I also wanted to have another child.  My husband was a bit more enthusiastic about having another than Ethan from the book is.  I understood exactily why Andi reacted to certain plot points.  Infertility really changes your thought processes.  I get that Andi wants a baby so horribly that things most people wouldn't think of seem the natural course of action.

I wish I could say more about how I felt reading this book but it would give away a major storyline.  The relationship dynamic amongst the entire family read very true.  I really enjoyed that Green showed how Andi could feel immense love and resentment towards Emily.  I think any parent, biological and step, can feel that way to a particularly difficult child.

This book is definitely not fluffy chick lit.  It has grit.  It's a story that centers around one family that could be anyone's family.  Green tells the story about the evolving relationships between parents and children and between spouses.  I really enjoyed reading it since I found it partially mirrored my own experience.  I would definitely reccoment this to stepmothers, stepdaughters, mothers of teenage daughters and anyone who like chick-lit but wants a change from the romantic end of that genre.

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