The Threadbare Heart: A Novel, by Jennie Nash – Book Review & Special Mother’s Day Giveaway

Lily and Tom have been happily if uneventfully married for years. They both have successful teaching careers in Vermont, have raised two sons, and are looking forward to retirement in  five years. Their son is struggling within his marriage, and is doubtful that he will be able to share the same  kind of loving relationship that his parents have enjoyed with his own wife.  Lily’s mother, Eleanor is a wealthy and successful businesswoman who has seen her empire flourish, but has never experienced the type of love and relationship that seems to come so easily to her daughter.

Lily and Eleanor have been at odds with each other for most of their lives because of their very different personalities, values, and limited understanding of one another. When Lily and Tom visit Eleanor in California on a family trip, Tom becomes enamored with an avocado farm, and Eleanor lobbies for them to buy it. Lily is dismayed by both her mother’s interference, and that potential change for her and Tom’s plans for their future. Feeling restless in her marriage, Lily decides to take the opportunity for her and and Tom. They step out on a limb, and their decision to buy the avocado farm changes their lives in both wonderful and heartbreaking ways.

When Jennie Nash offered me the opportunity to read this book I jumped at the chance.  I still remembered (from over a year ago!) Natasha’s review of The Only True Genius in the Family, and I was so touched by her review, that I knew  Nash would be an author that I would have to check out at some point. I was not disappointed by her gifted portrayal of a family who loves each other deeply, but is on the verge of letting insecurities and envy tear them away from each other.  Between Nash’s warm and vibrant writing, complex characters, and intriguing storyline told frommulti-generational points of view, I was hooked!

The Threadbare Heart was a truly interactive experience for me.  I talked to the characters, agreed with them, disagreed with them as I discovered more and agreed with someone else, yelled at them, and then cried with them and for them through about half the book.  I couldn’t put it down, and I read The Threadbare Heart in less than a day.  Can you ask for more from a good book?  I loved this novel, and immediately passed it along to my mom when I finished.

I haven’t said much about The Threadbare Heart on purpose!  It is lovely, and it unfolds just as it needs.  This is a novel that is best when you don’t know too much.  You will want to experience the developments fully for yourself as you go along.  The women in The Threadbare Heart are strong, opinionated and grappling with the bonds and restraints, resentments and misunderstandings that can characterize family life.  Nash is an astute observer, well suited for translating the intricacies of family to the page. Highly Recommended.

P.S. If you are in any way thinking of picking up this book, don’t read the back cover because it has a major spoiler that doesn’t show up until you are over a hundred pages in.

Book Information: The Threadbare Heart, by Jennie Nash
Publisher, Publication Date & Other Info: Berkeley Trade – May 4, 2010 – Trade Paperback – 336 pages
Author Website & Other Resources & Links: Jennie Nash
Source:From the author

1DA652C2516038AE4D02F55645591F39 Shutter Island, by Dennis Lehane

Want to win a copy of The Threadbare Heart and also entered to win the  Grand Prize,  Book Club In A Box (The Grand Prize winner will receive a ―Book Club in a Box — ten signed copies of The Threadbare Heart, a call-in from the author, and a delicious rum cake to share with your book-reading friends.)?

We want to know all about how you feel about fictional mother-daughter relationships.  Which fictional mother-daughter pair made you laugh? Made you cry? Made you cringe? Which pair revealed something true about your own mother-daughter relationships? (And yes, mothers and daughters in film are eligible. Fiction is fiction, right?)

  • E-mail me at nicole(at)linussblanket(dot)com and in about 250,  explain your favorite fictional mother-daughter pair using some of the questions above as a guideline for your entry.
  • On Sunday May 8th, I will choose an entry as winner.  That person will receive a copy of The Threadbare Heart, and their entry will be shared on this blog as an entry to win the Grand Prize.  By sending me your entry, you are giving me permission to post it on this blog and enter you for the Grand Prize.
  • Jennie Nash will choose a Grand Prize winner from all the winning blog entries. (How will she pick? Whichever entry just hits her as being heartfelt and true.) The Grand Prize will be announced on Linus’s Blanket and the participating blogs, on Jennie’s website and on twitter.

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  1. Thank you for your heartfelt reading of my book, and for this lovely review. It’s an amazing gift to have readers like you out there, who go through a story with such passion and intelligence. I feel blessed! Cheers!

  2. I know this one must be good if it had you so engaged with the story that you were communicating with the characters. It’s hard to beat a good read like that!

  3. I think I need to go back to my post about the giveaway, because when I wrote that post I included the back cover copy. Since I hadn’t read the book I didn’t realize it was so spoilery (I figured the event happened earlier in the book and most of the book dealt with the aftermath).

    1. It is pretty bad. It doesn’t happen till about 150 and the book is 336 pages! I would have been totally floored if I hadn’t known already. And I usually don’t read back covers. But I think they might see it as integral to explaining what the book is about.