Number of discs: 11
Hours: 13.5 – Unabridged
Read by: Jane Green (Author)
Author: Jane Green
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Produced by: Laura Wilson
ANOTHER PIECE OF MY HEART is the latest from New York Times bestselling author Jane Green. Jane Green herself with that darling English accent provides the narration. Thanks to the Audiobook Jukebox I received a copy of this audio book from Macmillan Audio. If you do not know about their Solid Gold Reviewer program you should stop by: http://www.audiobookjukebox.com/
I am a confirmed fan of Green’s and have enjoyed many of her books. I admire how she captures life and shapes the characters to feel like they could be you or your friends and family. Her latest was no exception but I do not remember other Green reads being this painful. I felt that my heart was being pierced over and over again. I even had to pull to the side of the road as I was sobbing and thought I needed to calm down before continuing to drive.
The book starts in Andi’s voice but does not continue throughout. Andi fell madly in love with Ethan is just happened when she was into her 30s. Ethan was her prince charming and she was in bliss that even caused her to uproot from her precious East Coast and relocate to California for him. Ethan had previously been married and had two girls Sophia and Emily whom he shared custody.
Although Andi tried to be the best step-mom to her instant family the girls were divided. The younger Sophia really took to Andi and the older one Emily never did. Ethan’s Ex Janice has a substance abuse problem which stirs up the pot as well.
The tension with Emily never seems to calm down. Andi seeks peace when she is not with them, at work, with her beloved neighbors and girlfriends. But as the years march on Emily’s trouble making escalates beyond her verbal antics to acting out in all kinds of ways. Emily is manipulative and is constantly vying for her father’s love and attention in competition with Andi. Unfortunately Andi sees this but Ethan is blind to it.
Things with Emily continue to escalate until it seems Andi is broken by sadness and frustration and cannot take anymore. These feelings are manifested in the audiobook so well in Andi’s voice but it occurs so many times and Andi is done with it all so many times it just wore me out.
Andi desperately wants to have a baby, one of her own but Ethan but as it turns out there are issues. After years and years of trying and unsuccessful procedures Andi and Ethan learn some devastating news. Ethan is fine with it because he has the girls and thinks Andi should be as well. Andi tries but this pain just gnaws at her and her anguish overflows in the narration.
The narrative flips to Ethan for a short bit and then to Emily as well. In my mind it was too late when it flipped to Emily because by this time there was not going back to caring. I would have preferred it stayed in Andi’s voice since it was so far into the book before it flips.
Emily continues to act without regard to anyone else and even better if it causes issues between her dad and Andi even better. Her antics end up with her being arrested and that is when Andi realizes ******* Spoiler Alert******* Emily is pregnant. This is a devastating blow for everyone.
At the same time, but completely independent Janice, Ethan’s Ex, decides to get sober. So she tells Ethan she cannot take Emily in as she cannot handle her. So Andi, is forced to endure Emily and the pregnancy full-time and Emily does not make it easy. This pain that oozes out of a syllable uttered just rips at your heart.
This now becomes Andi’s chance to have a baby. She wants her and Ethan to raise it but Ethan wants no part of this. Ethan’s plan is to put the baby up for adoption as Emily will just turn 18 when the baby is born and she has her life ahead of her. Emily true to form is still cruel and thoughtless and one day Andi says she is done and wants some space but she agrees to stay till the baby comes. There is more anguish to go around and as the pregnancy nears term Emily decides she wants to keep the baby.
Emily is certain it is a girl and has all kinds of fantasies about raising her and what their life will be like. But when the baby arrives it is a boy and she names him Cal. But Emily finds she is disappointed it was not her “bean” and never bonds with Cal. She runs off and Andi and Ethan do raise little Cal and there is momentary peace.
Emily has a new look and a life far away but she reconnects with her first childhood love and friend Michael. He is planning to move back to their hometown and so Emily returns to pick up the pieces. But it is not that easy.
Emily and Michael grow close and make plans for their lives without considering all of the implications. Emily still is not bonding with Cal nor is she sure she wants to. But she is torn but Michael and her feelings for Andi and everything is once again a mess. Things do get sorted out in the end but not before the family goes through more turmoil and piece of hurt would be enough to carry an entire book.
I do believe Jane Green knows how to write about very real topics in the pages of her books but I like an order of happiness or silly sprinkled with mine. It was sometimes painful to pick up where I had left off because I was fearing that more pieces of my heart would be shred and they were over and over again. For this reason not my favorite listen but I will most definitely visit Jane Green again because there are too many positives to keep me away.