Book Review: Our Tiny Useless Hearts – Toni Jordan


33811509Release Date: February 2nd 2017
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Pages: 288
Find It: Amazon. Goodreads.

 

Synopsis:

Henry has ended his marriage to Caroline and headed off to Noosa with Mercedes’ grade three teacher, Martha.

Caroline, having shredded a wardrobe-full of Henry’s suits, has gone after them.

Craig and Lesley have dropped over briefly from next door to catch up on the fallout from Henry and Caroline’s all-night row.

And Janice, Caroline’s sister, is staying for the weekend to look after the girls because Janice is the sensible one. A microbiologist with a job she loves, a fervent belief in the beauty of the scientific method and a determination to make a solo life after her divorce from Alec.

Then Craig returns through the bedroom window expecting a tryst with Caroline and finds Janice in her bed, Lesley storms in with a jealous heart and a mouthful of threats, Henry, Caroline and Martha arrive back from the airport in separate taxis—and let’s not even get started on Brayden the pizza guy.

Janice can cope with all that. But when Alec knocks on the door things suddenly get complicated.

Harnessing the exquisite timing of the great comedies to the narrative power and emotional intelligence for which she is famous, Toni Jordan brings all her wit, wisdom and flair to this brilliant, hilarious novel.

Review:

This is a light and fun chick-lit read full of witty and self-deprecating humour. This isn’t normally the kind of book I would read, but the publisher sent it along with another title, and I decided to give it a go. It’s quite a short book, but it delves into the complicated and messy nature of relationships. So here’s how it works.

[SLIGHT SPOILER] Caroline and Janice are sisters  -> Caroline is married to Henry -> Henry is leaving Caroline for school teacher Martha -> Janice is divorced from Alec and still has feels for him -> Lesley and Craig are the nosy next door neighbours, and Craig has been having an affair with Caroline.

For me personally, I found all this a little far fetched. I felt like there were too many stories attempting to be shoved into one book. The book could have been about Caroline and Henry, and their marriage falling apart, or Lesley and Craig where Lesley is sure he isn’t being faithful, or Janice and Alec and why they got divorced but still love each other. Having the three relationships in one book – plus two children and one pizza man, felt a little jumbled and disjointed.

The book has some pretty funny, if not slightly cliche moments – and the humour is quite witty and enjoyable. The one reason I didn’t rate this book higher was the characters. Though there’s a whole range of them, I didn’t really have an attachment to any of them. I found most of them pretty self-centred and unlikeable and that put me off the story in a big way. Despite this the story is well written, and evenly paced. If you enjoy some light chick-lit with a bit of dark humour involved, this one will be right up your street.

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