I am a little behind on reading the ARCs that I received at the OLA Super Conference early in February so I decided to pick up the first one on the pile. Heartbreaker by Claudia Dey has already been released by the publisher with an updated cover.
Genre: women’s fiction, fiction
Seventeen years after falling from a stolen car into a remote northern town, Billie Jean Fontaine is still an outsider. She may follow the stifling rules of this odd place, but no one will forget that she came from elsewhere. When Billie Jean vanishes one cold October night in her bare feet and track suit with only her truck keys, those closest to her begin a frantic search. Her daughter, Pony, a girl struggling against being a teen in the middle of nowhere; her killer dog to whom she cannot tell a lie; her husband, The Heavy, a man haunted by his past; and the charismatic Supernatural, a teenage boy longing only to be average. Each holding a different piece of the puzzle, they must come together to understand the darkest secrets of their beloved, and lay bare the mysteries of the human heart.
The novel is divided into three parts with each section told by a different character in the story. The first part is told by a girl (Pony Fontaine), the second by the dog, and the third by a boy (Supernatural known as ‘Supes’). Each point of view gives the reader information which can be pieced together to tell us the story of Billie Jean Fontaine.
Reading the first section was difficult for me. The information given was fractured; and the narrative kept changing the timeline. The introductory pages to the story were confusing and only dogged determination on my part not to stop reading enabled me to slowly piece together the life of the protagonist. It is only when reading the second section of the story that I began to understand what the writer was telling me.
The saving grace for me of this story was the third section. While reading this section, I was able to put together fragmented bits of the story and make sense the story and actions of Billie Jean Fontaine. I understand that the writer wrote in this way deliberately to mirror the knowledge each person in her life has of this woman; but I did find that the confusion created in me did not endear me to Dey’s writing or her form of storytelling.
This novel is one that may be the preferred read of someone who enjoys tales with a more literary bent. It is not fast-paced, and it is not romantic. Instead the story is teased out bit by bit in a way that may bore many readers.
I give this novel ⭐⭐ 2 stars.
© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018
(This novel was the 61st in my 50 book pledge for 2018)