Thursday, 21 August 2014

Review: A Hole in my Heart by Rie Charles

Are there wounds too deep to heal, pains too sharp to share? And if a family survives by cutting the ties that bind them, can they ever be whole again?

After losing her mother to illness and her father to his work, Nora Mackenzie must leave her home in the interior of B.C. for a North Vancouver school. Estranged from her classmates, her family, and the life she's lost, Nora walls herself off from the people around her. At the same time, her young cousin, Lizzie, is facing an uncertain future as one of the first children to undergo open-heart surgery. As the operation approaches, Nora discovers that she is not the only person in her family isolated by fear and grief.

Paperback, 128 pages
Expected publication: August 25th 2014 (CAN) October 14th 2014 (US) by Dundurn
Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Kristine's Thoughts:

I received an advanced readers copy of this book from Dundurn Press via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

This is a sweet story about a twelve year old girl who is undergoing many changes in her life and the emotions that go with it. It is about her struggle to understand her feelings and those around her. She has lost her mother, moved to a new place where she can't seem to make friends and at the same time her cousin and best friend gets ready for open-heart surgery in the 1960's.

I have to admit that at times I found Nora to be immature and whiny and had to remind myself that she was only twelve. Perhaps she was even a little immature for a twelve year old but her circumstances made it a little understandable and a little less annoying. Younger readers may relate to her a little better than someone of my age. At the heart though is a beautiful story with a strong message that young people dealing with grief and loneliness will be able to relate to. It is told through Nora's perspective along with letters from her cousin Lizzie in an way that has the pages and story moving quickly.

I think this book would be a great read for young people that are struggling with their feelings about death, grief and understanding. It is a solid read for young people.

About the Author

Rie Charles was a social worker who worked with families in the various crises of their lives. She translates this fascination with people's narratives into books for young people. She has one previous YA novel, No More Dragons. Rie lives in British Columbia.

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