The next book I would like to review is Hearts on a String: A Novel by Kris Radish. I received an Advance Reader Copy of this book from the Goodreads.com First Reads program.
Description from Barnesandnoble.com
Bestselling author Kris Radish delves deeply into the emotions of five very different women who are thrown together by chance—only to discover that they have more in common than they ever could have imagined.
Holly Blandeen has always cherished the story her grandmother told her about the thread that connects all women, tying them forever in sisterhood. It’s a beautiful idea, but with all the curveballs life has thrown her way, Holly has often felt isolated, different from other women. That starts to change when she meets four strangers in an airport and they agree to share a luxury hotel suite because a powerful spring storm is barreling across the country, stranding travelers from California to Florida. What begins as a spur-of-the-moment decision becomes an unlikely, unexpected, and sometimes reluctant exercise in female bonding, as these five exceptional women—each at a crossroads—swap stories, share secrets, and seek answers to the questions they’ve been asking about life, love, and the path to true happiness. A storm may have grounded them for the moment, but after this wild adventure in which anything can and does happen, they’ll never have to fly solo again.
When reading a book about five main characters, like this one, I would like some time to get to know each character. Instead of introducing the five main characters slowly, they are thrown at the reader all at once. I was unable to enjoy meeting the women in this story as I spent the first few chapters flipping back to earlier pages to figure out who was who. Not only is the character introduction confusing but the descriptions of the women are often repetitive. Instead of getting new information, the author rehashes the same descriptions over and over again. As a result I was a third of the way into the book before I could keep the characters straight.
Another thing that I did not enjoy about this book was the narration. The author’s style of narration felt choppy in places due to her tendency to go between character dialogue and conversation summary mid-topic. I often found myself rereading passages so I could figure out what just happened.
The story was not helped by the fact that the author tried to cram too much story into the book’s 336 pages. While I understand the author was trying to capture the woman accurately, I just felt like each character had too much going on. Each character had one or two big reveals in their life, which was just too much for this story.
Not only did the characters have too much going on, but the storyline was just too much as well. The ups and downs were all over the place, and they kept coming in rapid succession. The jam-packed plot made me feel overwhelmed.
Even though this book was often confusing and jumbled, the author was able to convey her message. That message is one of the powerful bond between women, and how important that bond is in a woman’s life. The story made me realize how important friendships are in helping you survive through the tough patches in life. I felt the story would of been much more powerful had it not been told in such a confusing way. The “less is more” approach would of helped this book become the story the author was trying to tell.
Rating: As much as I wanted to love this book, it did was unable to really enjoy it. The simple thread of the story was often lost behind too many characters and too much plot.