Pieces of My Heart

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Pieces of My Heart by Sinead Moriarty, book reviewYou might think after reading just a few pages of ‘Pieces of My Heart‘ by Sinead Moriarty that it is going to be a light easy read typical of much chic lit. However, do not be deceived as this book is anything but that. It does have its moments of light relief but it is a heart-felt emotional read that tackles the serious issue of eating disorders and it definitely had me in tears more than once!

The story centres on the Mullen family. Paul and Ava are both pretty successful, running their own pub and party business respectively. They have two teenage daughters – Ali, clever, hard working and co-operative, and Sarah, outspoken and confident. Out of the two, it is Sarah who has possibly caused them a few problems over the years but they have never had to worry about Ali. However, after the break up with her first serious boyfriend at the age of seventeen, and the public humiliation when he starts going out with another girl in her class, Ali starts to change. She becomes withdrawn and moody and also loses her appetite. At first Ava and Paul think that it is just a phase and she will soon get over it, but a couple of months down the line, they realise just how serious the situation is and how Ali is really very sick.

“It is an extremely emotional read but there were also moments when I found myself laughing too.”

Meetings with doctors lead to Ali being admitted to a clinic that deals with eating disorders and from then on we watch the slow and painful attempts that Ali makes towards recovery. It is a very poignant read and one that really highlights what it means to live with someone who has anorexia. You cannot help but feel for all the family, particularly Ali’s younger sister, Sarah, who is virtually ignored by her parents because they are so caught up in Ali’s problems. Also, Ava and Paul realise that they have been neglecting their marriage and have stopped communicating and need to do something about that too.

It is fascinating to see how Ali’s illness has a domino effect on all of the family. They are all brilliant characters and you do really feel that you get to know them through the story and I definitely found myself routing for things to turn out well for all of them. I was so caught up in the story myself, that I found that I could not put it down and read the entire book (430 pages) in just over two days.

As I mentioned at the start, there are some lighter moments and the book really needs these to save it from being too depressing and upsetting.  Sinead Moriarty seems to get the balance between the lighter and more serious moments spot on. Much of the light relief is provided by Ava’s dad, Charlie, who whilst temporarily staying with the family takes up with Nadia, a polish pole dancer who is about half his age! Also, some of the parties that Ava and her business partner Sally organise are a lot of fun too especially spoilt Annabelle’s sweet sixteen party with its Moulin Rouge theme.

Overall, ‘Pieces of My Heart‘ is a wonderful book that had me hooked from beginning to end. It is an extremely emotional read but there were also moments when I found myself laughing too. I can’t rate it highly enough and is definitely as good as any of Sinead Moriarty’s  other books. It is definitely worth reading – and probably more than once.

Pieces of My Heart by Sinead Moriarty
Published by Penguin, January 2011
With thanks to Penguin for a review copy provided.

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Pieces of My Heart
by Sinead Moriarty

One Comment on "Pieces of My Heart"

  1. Colleen
    21/04/2011 at 18:33 Permalink

    I have been meaning to read something by this author for some time now and this sounds like a great place to start!

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Written by kingfisher

My name is Jo and I have been married to Simon for nine years. We have two beautiful daughters – Rachel who is six and Natalie who is almost five and starting school in January. I also have two step children aged twenty one and seventeen so family life is never dull. I also manage to work three days for a local education authority where I support the teaching of literacy in primary schools. I love my job and it’s ideal for a book lover like me. In my spare time I run, dance and occasionally tread the boards with my local amateur dramatics group. My first love is reading though and you will never find me without a book on the go. My husband is also an avid reader and we are hoping to pass on our love of reading to our daughters. They certainly love their bedtime stories every night. Although I have and English degree and I am familiar with most of the classics, I generally read much lighter stuff these days. It’s mainly ‘chic lit’ but I also enjoy a good thriller or courtroom drama. I have so many favourite authors and this list tends to change regularly depending on what I am reading.

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