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.