Monday, December 15, 2008

Lessons In Heartbreak-Cathy Kelly

Lessons In Heartbreak
Cathy Kelly
Downtown, Feb 2009, $16.00
ISBN: 1416586245

Booking agent Izzie Silver has come a long way from convent school in Tamarin, Ireland as she has made it in Manhattan as a successful booking agent. Still the Irish expatriate is not satisfied with how far her career has come as she hopes to one day open her own agency for plus-sized models. Her only setback is falling in love with charming financier Joe Hansen, who happens to be married.

With her prime advisor nonagenarian Grandma Lily hospitalized with a stroke Izzie turns to Aunt Anneliese in Tamarin for help. Anneliese has her own heart issues. Despondent, she has learned her husband is having an affair with her best friend. Thirty seven years of marriage and he betrays her though she tries to hide her feelings of rage and hurt. The aunt and her niece find Lily's 1930s and 1940s diaries that describe the family matriarch also suffered from heartbreak.

LESSONS IN HEARTBREAK is a fantastic family drama that focuses on three generations of females with relationship issues. The lead trio is fully developed although much of what we know of Grandma comes from her diaries and the observations of her daughter and granddaughter. The rich character study contains brilliant spins as Grandma back before and during WWII, and Anneliese and Izzie in the present are obtaining advanced degrees in “How to Mend a Broken Heart” (the Beegees).

Harriet Klausner

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