Thursday, 2 February 2017

Book Review - Our Tiny, Useless Hearts by Toni Jordan

Amazon UK
Title: Our Tiny, Useless Hearts
Author: Toni Jordan
Format reviewed: Paperback
Source: Publisher supplied copy
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Publication Date: 2nd February 2017
Rating: 3 Stars

Henry has ended his marriage to Caroline and run off with his daughter's teacher, Martha. Caroline, having shredded a wardrobe-full of Henry's suits, has gone after them.

Craig and Leslie have dropped over from next door to catch up on the fallout from Henry and Caroline's all-night row.

And Janice, Caroline's sister, is staying for the weekend to look after the children because Janice is the sensible one.

Then Craig enters through the bedroom window expecting a tryst with Caroline and finds Janice instead, Leslie storms in full of threats, Henry, Caroline and Martha arrive back from the airport in separate taxis - and let's not even get started on Brendan the pizza guy.

A comedy of errors, or a complete farce are the best things way I think I can describe Our Tiny, Useless Hearts. It is definitely a fast paced read, in fact I barely paused for breath at the frenetic nature of the dialogue. 

However as much as I could see the dialogue was supposed to be funny, I think perhaps it was trying too hard to be witty, or it just didn't quite hit my sense of humour, as I just didn't think it was that amusing. Yet I found the book on the whole quite entertaining, perhaps through the absurdity of the situations. 

Essentially the story takes place over one weekend, with lots of people at all times, talking over each other and at cross purposes, on all manner of subjects. There were four couples involved, as well as two children, and the entire book takes place in Caroline's house. 

There is chasing after cheating spouses, people jumping into bed with not the expected person, lots of deceit as to who is actually who, depending on who was being lied to at the time, there is a fair amount of information about bacteria since Janis is an expert on the subject, there are assorted rants from Leslie the neighbour, dodgy innuendos from Craig, Leslie's husband. 

If that last paragraph sounded confusing, then Our Tiny, Useless Hearts may not be the book for you, as it contains all that and more, with the dialogue changing subjects at a rate of knots. 

I quite liked this book, and its the first time I've read anything by Toni Jordan. If the rest of her books are like this, I would have to assume her writing is like an acquired taste, either it works for you on all levels, or it just falls short. Unfortunately it wasn't the best match for me, although I did like the book. 

Thank you to Allen & Unwin for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

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