Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier

I’m really late to review this book. I thought I had already written the review but I can’t find it. Anyway, here it is.

Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier. Ms. Hillier has written a completely engrossing psychological thriller. I couldn’t put this book down.

It centers around 3 friends, Angela, Georgina, and Kaiser, Angela was a victim of murder and wasn’t found for 16 years. Georgina, Geo for short, is involved somehow. Kaiser is a police detective who finds the murderer, one Calvin James. Case closed? Not yet. It seems that Geo was intimately involved with Calvin and has knowledge about the murder that she has kept a secret all these years. More bodies start turning up and the plot thickens.

Jar of Hearts is a tale of friendship, secrecy, obsession and ultimately murder. Unputdownable for me. Loved it.


Afternoon of a Faun by James Lasdun

I enjoyed this book. I can say that it probably won’t be on my top reads for 2019 but I do recommend it. The book opens and introduces Marco Rosedale, a self-centered English man now living in New York City. He had enjoyed some notoriety in the past but was not currently in the mainstream. Next comes a journalist from a national magazine called The Messenger who sent Marco a message through Twitter that he urgently needed to talk with him. From that point forward, “The Ordeal”, as Marco called it, sprouted wings. It seems that an old girlfriend of Marco’s, Julia Gault, was in the process of writing a memoir and Marco was in it. Not in a complimentary manner. While the excerpt strangely painted Marco in a favorable light, at the same time Julia reported that Marco had raped her after a drunken night sometime in the ’70s. The 1970s was a decadent time for Marco and he did admit his morals were loose. Marco admitted knowing Julia but didn’t remember having any meaningful relationship with her. The narrator of this book, who is never named, is a friend of Marco that is also a transplant from England to New York City. He becomes Marco’s confidante during “The Ordeal”.Julia, it seems of late was down on her luck and needed money. Marco suspected that her motive to report an event that never happened must have been from this need. She had been a media star at one point, but that train had left the station. The story unfolds from there. There is a girlfriend and a daughter that Marco desperately endeavors to keep “The Ordeal” a secret from. We don’t get to really get to know them. Nor do we get to know the daughter’s lesbian girlfriend. I can’t say that I particularly liked any of the characters. Particularly Marco. His friend and confidante served only as the narrator of the story. His personal feelings for “the Ordeal” were mostly neutral. I will not say anymore. I hate spoilers so I won’t reveal anymore. I do recommend it.


The Lie: A Memoir of Two Marriages, Catfishing & Coming Out

This was a beautifully written book. I felt very close to all the characters and could feel their emotions. Bill Dameron is a middle-aged man, who finally comes “out of the closet”. He has a wife and 2 beautiful children which he adores. Try as he might, he cannot suppress his true feelings. This book takes us on Bill’s journey to finally face his true self and then the revelation of the truth to his family and friends. 

Bill knew at a young age that he was gay, but society was not accepting of alternate lifestyles. He marries, has children and tries to suppress his true character. I felt much emotion as I traveled with Bill and felt the pressure and the pain he felt, as well as, the sadness that his wife experienced. The children were equally affected when their father revealed what he had been hiding for all these years. Many emotions were portrayed before Bill finally found his peace. The prose in this book is stunning. 

In conclusion, no matter what your stance is on or alternate lifestyles, this book is just beautiful. I cried and felt the pain of everyone involved.

Thanks, NetGalley for providing this book in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions are my own. (less)

William Dameron is an award winning blogger, memoirist, and essayist. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Salon, The Huffington post, and in the book, Fashionably Late: Gay, Bi and Trans Men Who Came Out Later in Life. He is an IT Director for a global economic consulting firm, where he educates users on the perils of social engineering in cybersecurity. William, his husband, and blended family of five children split their time between Boston and the coast of southern Maine. His book, The Lie: A Memoir of Two Marriages, Catfishing & Coming Out is forthcoming from Little A books in July of 2019. (less)