Heart Like Mine by Amy Hatvany
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
It seems like every time I pick up one of Amy's books, I am reluctant to put it down without finishing, and there are few books I can say this about. I think this is due to a magical combination of readability (though certainly not sacrificing complexity of character) and Amy's tremendous empathy for the people who live within her pages.
Grace has never wanted children. But when she meets Victor (who has two children of his own), she reluctantly accepts the position of part-time step-mother. However, when Victor's ex dies suddenly and mysteriously, she is thrust into the very role she never wanted to fill.
The novel is told in alternating chapters between Grace, Ava (Victor's 13 year old daughter), and Kelli (the ex). There's a nice mystery at the heart of the story which keeps the pages turning. I found myself sympathetic to all three characters due to the sensitivity with which they were treated by their author.
Really looking forward to her next one as well (there's a sneak peek at the back of this book).