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Another Piece of My Heart
by Jane Green

Published: 2012-03-13
Hardcover : 386 pages
21 members reading this now
20 clubs reading this now
7 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 8 of 9 members
From the New York Times bestselling author of JEMIMA J, and THE BEACH HOUSE, comes Jane Green’s most emotional and powerful novel yet:  a story that explores the complications of a woman marrying into a ready-made family, and the true meaning of motherhood.

Andi has spent much of her ...
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Introduction

From the New York Times bestselling author of JEMIMA J, and THE BEACH HOUSE, comes Jane Green’s most emotional and powerful novel yet:  a story that explores the complications of a woman marrying into a ready-made family, and the true meaning of motherhood.

Andi has spent much of her adult life looking for the perfect man, and at thirty-seven, she's finally found him.  Ethan--divorced with two daughters, Emily and Sophia--is a devoted father and even better husband.  Always hoping one day she would be a mother, Andi embraces the girls like they were her own. But in Emily’s eyes, Andi is an obstacle to her father’s love, and Emily will do whatever it takes to break her down. When the dynamics between the two escalate, they threaten everything Andi believes about love, family, and motherhood—leaving both women standing at a crossroad in their lives…and in their hearts.

ANOTHER PIECE OF MY HEART is a novel that illuminates the nuances and truths about relationships and is Jane Green at her absolute best.

Editorial Review

No editorial review at this time.

Excerpt

One


The sheets are drenched. Again. Andi takes a long time to wake up, drifting in and out, aware she is hot, then freezing, then finally, when she moves into a state of consciousness, wet.
Opening an eye, she looks at the clock—4:02 A.M. It’s always four in the morning, these nights when she awakes, when she cannot get back to sleep. She turns her head to see Ethan, his back to her, his body rising and falling in deep sleep. ... view entire excerpt...

Discussion Questions

1. Jane Green’s novel, Another Piece of My Heart, opens with an anonymous quote: “Happiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have.” What exactly does this mean? How does it apply to Andi? To Emily? To other characters in the book? Would you say the quote applies to your life? How?

2. As the novel so vividly portrays, being part of a blended family can be extremely challenging. What are some of the mistakes Andi and Ethan make? What should they have done differently? What are some of the challenges that you and your own family have faced together?

3. From the beginning, Ethan’s younger daughter, Sophia, is very accepting of Andi, while his adolescent daughter, Emily, is resentful and rude. When it comes to dealing with big issues like divorce and second marriages, do you think it’s harder for younger children or for teenagers? How is it different, and why?

4. After five years of living together as a family, Andi still feels uncomfortable confronting or disciplining Emily—mostly because Ethan is a defensive dad. Do you think most parents are overprotective and blind to their children’s faults? Do you believe “it takes a village” to raise a child—or it’s none of your business? Have you ever given and/or received child-rearing advice? How did it go?

5. The author describes the relationship between Andi and Emily as “a pendulum swinging from love to hate.” Have you experienced anything like that in your own family? Is it normal or acceptable for teenagers to “hate” their parents or stepparents? Should you simply wait for the child to “grow out of it” or try to actively deal with the problem? How?

6. Andi’s neighbors tell her that “Ethan feels constantly guilty” about his divorce and its impact on his children—which is why he lets Emily get away with so much bad behavior. Emily, in turn, seems to take advantage of his guilt. Have you ever felt guilty over something that affects your family? Have you ever felt manipulated by a loved one?

7. Andi notices some dramatic differences between the home she grew up in and the family she married into—especially when it comes to setting “boundaries” with children. Do you think parenting has changed in recent years? Are parents more lenient today? Are children more spoiled? Would you raise a child the same way you were raised, or would you do it differently?

8. After Ethan tells Andi that he doesn’t want to adopt a child, he feels her pull away from him, as if “a switch has been flicked” in their relationship. Is he justified in his feelings on the subject of adoption, or is he being selfish? Is Andi justified in her feelings? What sort of things can change the way you feel about a loved one?

9. Nearly halfway through the book, the author begins to write some of the chapters from Emily’s first-person point of view. Why? How does each character’s point of view play a role in the story? Which character’s point of view do you relate to the most? Which character do you relate to the least?

10. Andi, Brooke, and Emily represent three types of mothers. How are they different? How are they alike? Does Emily have the right to call herself Cal’s “mother” after leaving him with Andi for three years? Do you think Andi has a legal right to have full custody? And, at some point in the future, do you think Emily should be able to get her child back?

11. What does it mean to be a “real mother”?

From the publisher1. Jane Green’s novel, Another Piece of My Heart, opens with an anonymous quote: “Happiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have.” What exactly does this mean? How does it apply to Andi? To Emily? To other characters in the book? Would you say the quote applies to your life? How?

2. As the novel so vividly portrays, being part of a blended family can be extremely challenging. What are some of the mistakes Andi and Ethan make? What should they have done differently? What are some of the challenges that you and your own family have faced together?

3. From the beginning, Ethan’s younger daughter, Sophia, is very accepting of Andi, while his adolescent daughter, Emily, is resentful and rude. When it comes to dealing with big issues like divorce and second marriages, do you think it’s harder for younger children or for teenagers? How is it different, and why?

4. After five years of living together as a family, Andi still feels uncomfortable confronting or disciplining Emily—mostly because Ethan is a defensive dad. Do you think most parents are overprotective and blind to their children’s faults? Do you believe “it takes a village” to raise a child—or it’s none of your business? Have you ever given and/or received child-rearing advice? How did it go?

5. The author describes the relationship between Andi and Emily as “a pendulum swinging from love to hate.” Have you experienced anything like that in your own family? Is it normal or acceptable for teenagers to “hate” their parents or stepparents? Should you simply wait for the child to “grow out of it” or try to actively deal with the problem? How?

6. Andi’s neighbors tell her that “Ethan feels constantly guilty” about his divorce and its impact on his children—which is why he lets Emily get away with so much bad behavior. Emily, in turn, seems to take advantage of his guilt. Have you ever felt guilty over something that affects your family? Have you ever felt manipulated by a loved one?

7. Andi notices some dramatic differences between the home she grew up in and the family she married into—especially when it comes to setting “boundaries” with children. Do you think parenting has changed in recent years? Are parents more lenient today? Are children more spoiled? Would you raise a child the same way you were raised, or would you do it differently?

8. After Ethan tells Andi that he doesn’t want to adopt a child, he feels her pull away from him, as if “a switch has been flicked” in their relationship. Is he justified in his feelings on the subject of adoption, or is he being selfish? Is Andi justified in her feelings? What sort of things can change the way you feel about a loved one?

9. Nearly halfway through the book, the author begins to write some of the chapters from Emily’s first-person point of view. Why? How does each character’s point of view play a role in the story? Which character’s point of view do you relate to the most? Which character do you relate to the least?

10. Andi, Brooke, and Emily represent three types of mothers. How are they different? How are they alike? Does Emily have the right to call herself Cal’s “mother” after leaving him with Andi for three years? Do you think Andi has a legal right to have full custody? And, at some point in the future, do you think Emily should be able to get her child back?

11. What does it mean to be a “real mother”?

From the publisher

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

Note from author Jane Green:

Dear Reader,

I am so excited you're being introduced to my new novel, Another Piece of My Heart.

As a stepmother myself I became fascinated by stories other women shared, and wanted to write about how challenging, and difficult, blended families can be, even when everyone’s intentions are good.

I learned so much in the research and writing, and loved, particularly, writing from the stepdaughter’s point of view. I hope you enjoy!

Warmest wishes,

Jane Green

Note from author Jane Green:

Dear Reader,

I am so excited you're being introduced to my new novel, Another Piece of My Heart.

As a stepmother myself I became fascinated by stories other women shared, and wanted to write about how challenging, and difficult, blended families can be, even when everyone’s intentions are good.

I learned so much in the research and writing, and loved, particularly, writing from the stepdaughter’s point of view. I hope you enjoy!

Warmest wishes,

Jane Green

Book Club Recommendations

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
  "Another Pieceof My Heart"by hburton (see profile) 07/25/12

Our book club won this book from Book Movement. We all enjoyed the book and thought the characters were very real. Some parts seemed predictable but overall we enjoyed the book and had a good discussion... (read more)

 
  "Mix of emotions"by Pandahead83 (see profile) 07/23/12

Another Piece of my Heart is a GREAT book for discussions. While I don't think I would have read it for myself I LOVED it as a book club book. There are so many real life characters in this book that... (read more)

 
  "Another Piece of my heart"by vernandglen (see profile) 08/02/13

Found myself not being able to put it down

 
  "ANOTHER PIECE OF MY HEART"by alihowe (see profile) 04/01/13

Predictable. It had it's moments. Having a blended family can be a challenge for most. It can be very difficult to blend families with teenage daughters.

 
  "Another Piece of My Heart"by athornton (see profile) 03/22/13

We had a pretty strong reaction- at times the book seemed realistic but when we explored, it reminded us that events like those that happened in the book do happen even though the situation with the biological... (read more)

 
  "Another Piece of My Heart"by KM (see profile) 03/08/13

Our book club received copies to review and we really enjoyed it - blended families always have their challenges and this was no exception. Thanks to Jane Green & her publisher! B & B Club

 
  "slow start, okay read"by mistyviolet (see profile) 03/01/13

Another Piece of my Heart by Jane Green

After a really rocky start – bad grammar, faulty time line, characters that change personality with the page numbers – Another Piece of My Hear

... (read more)

 
  "ANOTHER PIECE OF MY HEART"by Libros (see profile) 02/22/13

JUST OK. NOTHING NEW THAT HASN'T ALREADY BEEN EXPLORED TIME AND TIME AGAIN IN THE LAST DECADE. GOOD, FAST READING...NOT BOOK CLUB MATERIAL.

 
  "Another Piece of My Heart"by teachgiftedkids (see profile) 02/11/13

This is a story of family, love, and motherhood. There is something for everyone in this book, especially if you have gone through a divorce and have had to deal with step-children. Love is sometimes... (read more)

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