I used to stay up all night in my childhood bedroom of my parents’ house, desperately trying to finish reading a book. I would continue where I last stopped at 11:00pm, and carried on reading past midnight. By the time I was done with it and finally decided to sleep, it was 4:00am.
And now I have done it again. I’m back in my childhood bedroom, house-sitting for my parents, and just last night, I stayed up well into the night, reading The Heart Whisperer by Ella Griffin and desperately tried to finish it. I knew I was almost at the end with only a couple of chapters left. I wanted to know what happened at the end. Was it a happy ending or was it going to be a sad one?
Synopsis from Goodreads
Claire Dillon still lives in the shadow of the past. On her thirty-third birthday, she gives herself a present. One year to change her future.
Claire Dillon’s mother had everything to live for. A husband, two children, a successful medical practice. Then, at thirty-three, she died in a tragic accident. And it was Claire’s fault.
Now Claire is the same age. A floundering actress with a broken heart, a collection of draft snakes, and a talent for self-sabotage. She is frittering her life away with the help of her oldest friend, the gorgeous ex-rock star, Ray Devine.
On her 33rd birthday she gives herself one last year to be more like her mother. But you should be careful what you wish for …
Her estranged brother Nick is back from America and keeping his distance from his clingy sister and his pathetic father while he reinvents himself as a daytime TV relationship guru. But Dublin is full of memories and Nick is already dreaming of escape. While his wife Kelly, has dreams of her own. Ones she isn’t telling him about.
What will happen when another accident throws the dysfunctional Dillons together? And the secrets they have kept from themselves and one another finally begin to emerge?
The Heart Whisperer is yet another book written by an Irish author and set in Dublin, Ireland. The characters are similar to the ones in Cathy Kelly’s Homecoming (Irish author with Irish characters living in Ireland), with women and their painful pasts of being pregnant in their teens and having to either terminate the pregnancy or give their babies up for adoption. But the weight of this book was the heaviest to read. Let me count the ways for you.
Breakdown of Each Main Character
Claire Dillon was a struggling actress who lost her mother in a tragic accident, while her brother, Nick, brought her up after their mother died and their father was too distraught to lift a finger to help.
Nick Dillon eventually grew up and got out of the family home, got married, and got a job as a Couples Coach. Little did his clients know that Nick himself was having troubles in his marriage as his wife, Kelly, was eager to try for a baby and he felt that he wasn’t ready yet.
Ray Devine had been Claire’s best friend for the longest time, as well as an ex-rockstar who dropped out of fame after his band split up and its members going their separate ways. Ray has been trying ever since to reform the band or to write new songs but was unable to find the inspiration.
Eilish was Claire’s friend, and a single mother with an angsty teenager for a daughter. Yet she was always ready to help Claire when the time called for it, and despite the horrific accident which left Eilish with a broken nose and a horrible gash on her forehead (Claire had given these facial prizes to her friend during a filming of an ad), she never hated her.
These characters dominated much of the book, and had their background stories expanded to accommodate their lives and the pain that came with it. Claire struggled to get her life back together after she blamed herself for her mother’s death. Nick struggled to cope with the demands of his job on air and on TV to help other couples save their marriage and the eagerness of his wife to have a baby. Ray struggled to adapt to his stagnant lifestyle when a woman he had an affair with in the past when he was still famous said that she had given birth to a girl and he was the biological father. Eilish struggled to find something that could pay the bills and keep her afloat in the Irish economy, even if it meant working for someone she hadn’t initially thought she’d fancy in the first place.
Personally, I don’t know how Irish authors do it but despite all the tears and sadness woven into their books, there was still space for a great sense of humour! From sarcasm to downright Irish wit. A sad story, this one was, but it had its funny moments and in the end, it was all’s well that ends well. Don’t you just love happy endings? I know I do! But I need to read more though. I’m six books behind in my 2016 Reading Challenge.