My Heart and Other Breakables
Written in diary format, this novel charts teenager Ellery’s attempts to come to terms with the untimely death of her mother, a bestselling American writer. As part of her bereavement journey, Ellery, now living in Cork, becomes obsessed with discovering the identity of her father, a secret her mother has brought with her to the grave. With the help of her bookish best friend Meg, Ellery has narrowed the list down to three famous authors, and together they embark on a mission to learn the truth about her paternity.
This lively story, aided and abetted by an engaging cast of supporting characters, blends humour with pathos to great effect. This is a book where light and shade intertwine to successfully create a quirky yet mostly credible account of coming of age in a small country village in Ireland. Ellery’s grief for her mother is heart-breaking but never mawkish and author Alex Barclay constantly sidesteps any temptation to become overly sentimental.
One or two scenes do require a certain suspension of belief, but My Heart and Other Breakables is written with enough charm and wit to allow a certain amount of leeway. A great read for fans of emotional thrillers!