The Heart Broke In: by James Meek(2.5 out of 5)

Another book I read the best reviews on. IndieBound gave it mad props, so did Kirkus Review and People magazine. I thought, it sounds like my sort of book. Unfortunately, not as great as I had hoped for.

There are a number of separate lives going haywire in this book. The very first chapter threw me for a loop because the cheating husband with the penchant for young ladies had the same name and personality as a long-time friend of mine and the traits were startling. The nonchalance in which he conducts his dalliance, yeah, it made me kind of scared and sick at the same time. His sister is engaged to one man, in love with a different one…but moreover frightening, in love with the idea of finding a cure of malaria. The fact that she would rather get off on a cure than the two hopelessly devoted young men who are wild over her, well, it’s kind of frightening. Even more so is the fact that I kind of identify with that fact. 🙂

Throw in a cast of very different and wildly speculative supporting characters and you have quite a collection of stories all twisting up together. Usually that adds to the story. In this book, however, despite underlying themes of adultery, childhood, forgiveness, morality, etc.. it only makes things more fragmented. That’s the best word I can think of- fragmented. The book is well written and there are no easy ways out here. However, after chapter 13, you find yourself caring less or less. It’s not the fault of Meek’s characterizations- those are perfect. It’s just that instead of it all tying together into a neat little package at the end, it’s more like a discarded Ziploc bag of infinite possibilites wasted.

~ by generationgbooks on October 26, 2012.

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