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4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 21 June 2017
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on 26 June 2017
Thank you
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on 16 March 2011
This book is the fourth of this author's that I've read, and while it's an OK read, I found it disappointing compared to the others.

The book is basically about a family living in a Dublin suburb - not exactly two point two children and half a dog, but two teenagers plus a grandfather and his live-in lover. It opens very well and the scene is quickly set - here we have a slightly unconventional but happy family - happy, that is, until we take a closer look. There are some serious reasons for concern, but it's by no means all doom and gloom.

The central theme of anorexia is dealt with very well and the book benefits from the kind of humour so typical of its author. But the characters aren't as real as in her other books. They're interesting enough - there's zany Charlie, lively Sarah, thoughtful Ali and superwoman Ava, but somehow they seem contrived, and the same goes for the various side plots. I also thought that the way Sally's relationship problems were resolved at the end of the novel was just silly and completely irritating and unbelievable.

I'd still recommend it, though.
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on 14 December 2012
This is my second Moriarty book after "Me and my sisters" which I was recently introduced to and just loved.

I liked this book also, a lot. I think, mainly, because it was hugely entertaining and made me laugh, in spite of the many serious moments and truths revealed.

I have read the other reviews and understand the many negative reactions. Because even if I mainly loved it and laughed a lot, I often felt things went far over the top. In spite of other reviewers I felt I got to know the main characters very well, actually especially mummy Ava. The fact that grandfather Charlie was called by his name instead of grandad, I did not find so strange. Today there are many children and grandchildren who call their parents/grandparents by name. But there were other things I found highly implausible and unrealistic.

The main issue in the book is Ali's anorexia. A very serious and realistically described disease. Grandfather Charlie's lust for life seems a bit farfetched and over the top. Not sexual offender material dear Charlie, but far too naïve and silly with women for a man who in all other respects seems such a wise, caring and highly intelligent man. Bringing his Polish pole dancer girlfriend into his daughter's family is not what this man would have done in real life. I do not believe that.

Ali's younger sister Sarah is a feisty and self assured young woman. But, I agree with other reviewers, the girl very often goes way too far. She seems not to mind hurting people around her. As her sister Ali says, Sarah's jokes are often hurtful, she needs to stop and think. Yes, Sarah IS funny. One has got to give over, as these teenagers put it, when she and her boyfriend Bobby perform their own modernized version of Shakespeare's "Romeo and Julie". THAT does for some of the best moments in the book. In many respects Sarah shows us a healthy, happy teenager with lots of zest for life. But when it comes to her relationship with her family, she could do with a serious talking to.

Ava's friend Sally finds love. However, I agree that the solution to her and husband-to-be Simon's problems, seems strange and unlikely to happen in real life. In that regard I think mostly about childrens' needs and rights in a relationship. It's not a child who should fit in to our choices and priorities but we who should and must change our lives to include a child/children. If we cannot do that, we should not have children. Period!

As already said. All in all I enjoyed the book and couldn't put it down. Yes, some of the characters and their actions are highly unrealistic in this book but I chose to look at that as caricatures, the author's pen flying a bit too fast with her sense of humour.

I would finally like to add, about Simon's ex-wife and her actions. I have lived in France where in fact jealous husbands could quite often be heard running after wife/lover in the street at night, yelling not so nice this and that... Something quite exotic and unusual to a Norwegian like me, but apparently nothing special in a Mediterranean country.

I have ordered the rest of Moriarty's books and look forward to lots of laughs over the holiday season!
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on 30 May 2011
I bought this book having read two of Moriarty's previous novels; In My Sister's Shoes (which I LOVED) and Whose Life is it Anyway? ( a thoroughly amusing and enjoyable read). Pieces of My Heart, sadly, isn't fit to lick the boots of either of these books in my opinion. I felt little connection or empathy with any of the main characters; in particular Sarah who was grossly over the top and in need of a good slap, and the very odious Charlie - supposedly the loveable Grandfather character - but who was nothing more than a dirty old man and potential sex offender. The main character, Ava, came across as a doormat and not someone I felt myself rooting for. The side-plot of Sally and her "stalker" Maura, was cringeable and desperate, topped only by the even more ridiculous outcome to Sally and Simon's story, which made me feel as though the author had just given up by that stage. This booked lacked the humour and warmth of In My Sister's Shoes and Whose Life is it Anyway?, although not for the want of trying, but the many attempts at humour injected into the characters and plots were well wide of the mark in my opinion. I so wanted to love this book, but I felt myself merely tolerating it as a means of getting to the end in the hope things might improve.
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on 11 August 2011
I have liked all Sinead Moriarty's books, and this one isn't an expectation. I finished it in three days; it's a very good plot, with amazing characters. I felt real sympathy for Ava as a mother she was trying to protect her child and this time she didn't know how to. I didn't want to put it down as I was eager to find out what happened next. Charlie the grandfather is an eccentric person, up to lots of things you wouldn't expect a sixty eight year old to be up to. Paul the father annoyed me at first as he didn't seem to care about his family, but halfway through and he became a likeable character, Sarah the younger sister was quite annoying at times but likeable as well. I loved sally she was great but pitied the situation she had got herself into . As you can see I loved this book!
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on 17 August 2010
This was like all Sinead's books - simple to read and easy to get through.. It deals with a serious topic but it isn't all doom and gloom because there's a lot of other little stories going on too.. Some of the characters (eg. Sarah) are very lovable and funny.. I found some of the book repetitive throughout but it picked up and it's an excellent read. I'd recommend all Sinead's books!
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on 14 August 2012
This was my first Sinead Moriarty book and I enjoyed it so much I will look out for more of her books.
There were so many diverse characters. Ava was great, how could anyone cope with so much stress, perhaps her job kept her sane although some of her customers were enough to make you scream! I didn't like Paul much to start with, he spent so much time at his pub, ignoring family crisis after family crisis I thought it was going to turn out that he was really having an affair but, he wasn't and he did become more emotionally and prctically involved later.
I liked the Polish speak and loved magda! Sarah was great, her confidence (oh to have so much) and her youthfulness sparkled throughout. She was needed as a foil for the Ali.
There are so many issues in this book, an older man (Charlie) being duped by a younger sexy woman: A jealous woman (Maura) turning into a stalker: Sally and her perceived problem of not wanting children. I felt that this is a bigger issue and wasn't given enough depth of cover but I applaud the solution!
Of course, the main plot was with Ali. An earlier reviewer highlights the problems parents can cause when lying to their children. When reading the book I understood Ava and Pauls need to protect their children from knowledge of the shooting but this turned into one of the reasons for ali's anorexia together with her shallow boyfriend dumping her for a thinner girl. I thought this book gave me an insight into the causes of anorexia togther with the despair of family and friends who want to help/cannot understand the problem. I am sure it probably only scratched the surface of the problem but gave me more of an understanding of it.
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on 5 February 2011
Sinead Moriarty's latest offering centres around the life of Ava and her family. From the beginning we are introduced to her wayward father, Charlie, her two daughters Sarah and Ali and her husband Paul and we are instantly thrown into their maniac lives. The story moves on at a pleasant pace to begin with as signs of what is about to come are very much prevalent. Then, Ava discovers that her eldest daughter Ali has the eating disorder anorexia and her and her family's lives are then turned upside down as they try to come to terms with it.

I found this book to be very interesting and informative on the subject of anorexia and I eagerly read on wanting to know if Ali was going to recover from her eating disorder. There are times when I found some parts of the story difficult to read - the times when Paul in particular was trying to understand Ali's illness are an example of this.

Aside from this there are defintely some interesting characters introduced throughout this book. Ava's father Charlie and her daughter Sarah have very big personalities and really bring some much needed lightheartedness to the story while the anorexia storyline runs on.

Overall, this is a very good read which covers a very sensitive and dangerous topic in what I felt was a in a very touching and informative way.
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on 4 April 2013
Ava and Paul Mullen are pretty happy with their lives. They have two lovely daughters, successful businesses and good friends. Within a matter of months, however, everything is turned on its head when one of their daughters develops anorexia and they are plunged into a situation they have no idea how to deal with.
Sinead Moriarty manages to deal with the emotive topic of anorexia in a similar way that Marian Keyes deals with drug abuse in "Rachel's Holiday." At no time does she trivialise the condition but she still injects some humour into the situation. Ava's fathers' hilarious romance with a Polish pole-dancer provides some vital light relief. Her other daughter Sarah's tactless, outspoken confidence is also a breath of fresh air as is the description of her spray tanned wannabe Brian O'Driscoll boyfriend. All in all I thought the author dealt with an emotive subject very well and I would recommend this book highly.
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