The Threadbare Heart by Jennie Nash- Book Review

The Threadbare Heart by Jennie Nash

Lily and Tom have always had nearly the perfect marriage, which stands as the perfect foil to the multiple marriages of Lily’s mother Eleanor. Lily and Tom are committed to each other, Eleanor was happy to move onto the next man as soon as one is out of her life; Lily and Tom are perfectly content with their professors’ salaries, Eleanor has been known to marry for mutual financial and social benefit; Lily and Tom believe in love and choosing love, Eleanor believes love is basically a joke.

However, as Lily and Tom move into middle age, Lily starts to wonder if their marriage is as strong as everyone has always thought. It starts with Tom becoming angry with Lily for indulging in foods she knows are triggers to her debilitating migraines and admitting just how frustrated he is with her for not doing what she can to better control them. Next thing Eleanor knows, Tom is longing after an avocado farm in California, a purchase that would move them out of the Northeast and to California near Eleanor and their children. Once they arrive in California, Eleanor becomes reacquainted with a man who was once one of the more handsome boys in her high school class and she becomes worried about all the time Tom is spending with a young woman who works for the avocado grower’s association. Now Eleanor must sort out for herself what is and is not real in her life.

So I really liked this book, but OH MY GOSH! Stay away from plot summaries! The description on the back of the book is such a spoiler (I didn’t give anything too much away here)! You can obviously still enjoy the book if you know what is going to happen, but the events that are mentioned on the back of the book don’t occur until 2/3 of the way through the book. I assumed that said event would occur near the beginning and the majority of the book would be dealing with the aftermath, but that wasn’t the case at all.

Despite the fact that the back of the book had a major case of spoiler-itis, I thought this was a great work of women’s fiction. Although Lily was clearly the main character, Nash also takes us inside the heads of Eleanor and Lily’s son Ryan who is struggling with his young marriage. I loved how all three generations were struggling with questions of love and intimacy and how all had something to teach the others, even if indirectly. The questions raised by “The Threadbare Heart” in regards to whether or not love is a choice and the relationship between love and comfort or complacency were fascinating and I think this was a very well thought-out story.

A very thoughtful work of women’s fiction exploring real, everyday marriages and the themes of love and loss. Highly recommended.

In case you missed it, I’m giving away a copy of this book this week.

Buy this book from:
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This review was done with a book received from the publisher at the author’s request.
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9 comments to The Threadbare Heart by Jennie Nash- Book Review

  • as a general rule, i try not to read the back of books.
    If i do and it gives away too much, the book will sit unread for a few months, allowing time to forget some of the details.

    there is nothing worse, in my experience, than rereading the back of the book over and over waiting for key plot points to unveil.
    The back got you interested in the story, but timing is everything when it comes to the plot.

    it is a lot like steamy make out sessions in high school. you are getting into it, but you know that it is a precursor to an eventuality that you want, but are not sure you are ready for..

  • Those back-of-the-book synopsis are dangerous…why do they do that? I generally try not to look at them, but occasionally my curiosity gets the best of me. The book does sound very enjoyable!

  • Thanks for such a thoughtful review! I KNOW, I KNOW, I KNOW about the back of the book. I wish I had more control over such things, but, alas, I don’t. Maybe SOME day…

    • Yah, I saw your comment on Natasha’s blog after I wrote my review. Bummer that they won’t let you say, “um, that is a giant spoiler!” That’s okay, though, because I still really liked the book. Just trying to help others like it EVEN BETTER by skipping the spoiler.

  • Thanks for the warning – I’m staying away from plot summaries of this book! I do want to read it though, can’t wait to get my hands on it!

  • I loved this book too and totally agree with you about that blurb – I can’t believe they gave so much away!

  • I loved this one but I was so happy that I got to read the manuscript and I had no idea what was going to happen!

  • Thank you for your great review, Jen! I’ve read a couple or reviews of this book so far that were favorable. It does sound like something I’d like.

  • I hate spoiler summaries! For me, personally, I don’t mind spoilers for movies and books – I rather like knowing what’s going to happen, because it makes you look at what you’re reading very differently. But not everyone feels that way and I hate it when they really spoil it for other readers.

    I’m working on a review of Little Bee and it’s one of those books where the pleasure is in the build-up and the slow reveal. I want to give people enough to intrigue them, but not enough to ruin it all.