Pieces of the Heart
By Karen White

As this book opens, we meet Caroline, sitting thoughtfully by Lake Ophelia. Her pensive thoughts are interrupted by her mother, Margaret Collier, heels clicking along the dock as she walks toward her daughter. Before her mother even says a word, we become aware of the tension Caroline feels whenever she is near her mother and we wonder what has happened between these two women to create such animosity.

Pieces of the Heart takes place in North Carolina at the Collier family vacation home. We are introduced to a group of people, each with their own personal heartaches and memories. We meet Drew and his daughter, Jewel. His wife, Shelby, died and he left his stressful job as an attorney to move himself and his daughter to the peaceful North Carolina town. Shelby was best friends with Caroline’s brother, Jude, who died when he was in his late teens, leaving a gaping hole in the Collier family.

Shelby died of an aneurysm while she was swimming with Jewel, who was too young to help pull her mother’s body out of the water. This event left Jewel afraid of the water and troubled deeply at the loss of her beautiful mother. Jewel is comforted by the boxes of her mother’s belongings which her father has stored in the house. In those boxes, she finds her mother’s diary, and as she reads it, she begins to learn more about her mother, Caroline and their childhood.

We also meet Rainy, Jewel’s grandmother, who owns a store named Rainy Days. Rainy is fighting cancer but she still manages to make Caroline feel welcomed and ease her anger and irritation with her mother. Each character has a unique role to play in this book, as they help each other examine their lives and the issues facing them. The final chapters reveal the source of the animosity between Caroline and her mother, and how they reconcile.

I would recommend this book as a heartwarming read, which will leave you feeling happy and satisfied.