Title: TAKE A PIECE OF MY HEART
Author: Diane Rose Duffy
Published Date: September 29th 2014
Genre: Women’s Literature
***THIS BOOK WAS GIVEN TO ME IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW***
Thirteen years…That’s how long Kara Salinger stays
married to Danny Morino, which is a very long time,
considering his abusive behavior toward her. But
eventually, Kara musters up the courage and strength
to leave Danny. And with that first step, she begins
a great journey in search of her own “happily ever
Kara is thirty-two when she starts anew. She’s been
with just one man, and has only one friend. Yet she
forges ahead, trying out Internet dating—to comical
effect—and learning about dating, sex, and friendship
along the way to discovering that there are many
types of families in this world.
Join Kara on her journey, and be prepared for many
twists, turns, and surprises. Take a Piece of My Heart
will make you laugh, cry, and experience just about
every other human emotion. It might even make you
blush a little, as Kara’s candor is sometimes brazen.
You never know what words may spew out of her
mouth as she experiences life’s ups and downs—but
rest assured, they’re always honest, heartfelt, and
Take A Piece of My Heart is about teenaged Kara who brazenly ignores the advice given by parents who have lovingly raised her and marries a bottom-feeder in Las Vegas. She foolishly endures 13 years of her husband’s substance and spousal abuse before walking away. Unlike many women in this position, Kara has a relatively easy landing, yet she continues to execute less-then-sound judgement in men and relationships. Eventually, she lands in a very non-traditional relationship and blended family with the best friend of her baby daddy and his extended family.
The premise of Take A Piece of My Heart is sound, but Ms. Duffy’s book didn’t grab me. I found the lack of formatting troublesome–the little bit of dialogue is buried in paragraphs instead of the usual new line for each line of dialogue. Kara tells her story as if she is talking at the reader. While some people find this charming like they’re having coffee with a neighbor, I felt like I was stuck on a long flight with a seat mate who would not stop talking at me. Adding in more dialogue and giving the reader a chance to taste, smell, hear and feel the story would have made it infinitely more engaging.
The characters are equally developed. I found Kara to be inarticulate and foul-mouthed but with interesting phraseology: “Walla there he is” instead of “Voila, there he is”, “Quantomeno Bay” instead of “Guantanamo Bay” and “…last time I checked, I had boobies so that does make me a girl…”. The male characters (even bottom-feeder ex-husband Danny–once sober), had coherent, articulate dialogue when they were given a chance to speak. Young Sadie is a kick in the pants whose stream-of-consciousness dialogue is always the unfiltered truth as she sees it.
With an injection of descriptive details and meaningful dialogue, Take A Piece of My Heart could be a grade-A novel about overcoming domestic violence. I’m looking forward to reading more by Diane Rose Duffy as she develops her craft.
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