Book Review–The Heart Broke In by James Meek

The Heart Broke In

I had a hard time getting into The Heart Broke In by James Meek.  I could not remember who was who.  My notes for the book read:  “Bec – trying to find a cure for malaria” and “Ritchie – Bec’s brother, married to Karin”  and “Alex is Harry’s nephew.”  But once I finally got everyone straight – almost halfway through the book, it started to come together for me.  I started caring about the characters. 

I am not one of those people who analyzes books – what does this mean, what does that mean, what is the author trying to say.  I just read for entertainment.  But it is obvious even to me, that this book is about betrayal.  Every one is betrayed and/or betrays someone.  But through it all, the human spirit keeps going.  They keep on loving.  They keep on living. 

As I said before, after I finally settled on who was who, I really enjoyed following the characters.  Some books are plot driven, this one is definitely character driven.  You live their lives, you feel their pain, you share their triumphs.  

I didn’t highlight many passages (too busy sorting characters out), but here is a prime example of the fine writing:

“None of these was the memory of what it meant:  the beginning of a time when being with Alex forever became something that would happen unless she stopped it.”

Isn’t that wonderful?  I think that totally captures that moment in a relationship.  This is why I read books, to have an author put into words what I have experienced, but can’t state so eloquently.  

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  1. says

    Too many characters too soon is a spoiler for me. There has to be some pretty special writing for me to hang in there with it until I figure it out.