Our Tiny, Useless Hearts Synopsis :
Henry has ended his marriage to Caroline and headed off to Noosa with Mercedes’ grade three teacher, Martha.
Caroline, having shredded a wardrobe-full of Henry’s suits, has gone after them.
Craig and Lesley have dropped over briefly 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 girls because Janice is the sensible one. A microbiologist with a job she loves, a fervent belief in the beauty of the scientific method and a determination to make a solo life after her divorce from Alec.
Then Craig returns through the bedroom window expecting a tryst with Caroline and finds Janice in her bed, Lesley storms in with a jealous heart and a mouthful of threats, Henry, Caroline and Martha arrive back from the airport in separate taxis—and let’s not even get started on Brayden the pizza guy.
Janice can cope with all that. But when Alec knocks on the door things suddenly get complicated.
Harnessing the exquisite timing of the great comedies to the narrative power and emotional intelligence for which she is famous, Toni Jordan brings all her wit, wisdom and flair to this brilliant, hilarious novel.
I have long been a fan of Aussie author Toni Jordan’s brand of humour and original and intelligent take on ‘relationship fiction’ (Addition and Fall Girl), but this is her best novel yet in my opinion.
While I’m aware that not everyone shares my appreciation for comedic farce and satire (to be specific the British-European-Australian variety), but if you do, Our Tiny, Useless Hearts will be right up your alley. Think Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest meets Fawlty Towers meets Love Actually – if they had a baby it would be this novel*. What really impressed me was the level and longevity of the farce Jordan has managed to conjure. And the analogies and metaphors, I was in heaven…
The key ingredient to top quality satire is the depth of messaging that underlies the silliness – the story has to contain a level of serious social commentary and all characters, no matter their ineptitude, will ideally have a redeeming quality or two.
Our Tiny, Useless Hearts lampoons our suburban middle-class preoccupations and doomed-to-fail quest as adults to engineer outcomes, to micro-manage our own responses to stimuli let alone those of others in our lives. Strip away the cornucopia of neuroses (all too common ones I might add, if we take just a moment to be honest with ourselves), and the pot in which Jordan has thrown her colourful ensemble cast is brimming over with heart (and romance).
Let Toni Jordan’s Our Tiny, Useless Hearts make your day, like it did mine.
Can someone please tell me why this title has not been optioned for the big screen??
BOOK RATING: The Story 4.5 / 5 ; The Writing 4.5 / 5
* For anyone scratching their head at this unfamiliar crassness from me, just read the book and it will all make sense.
Genre: Humour, Romance, Drama, Chick Lit
About the Author, Toni Jordan
Toni Jordan is the author of four novels. The international bestseller Addition was a Richard and Judy Bookclub pick and was longlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award. Fall Girl was published internationally and has been optioned for film, and Nine Days was awarded Best Fiction at the 2012 Indie Awards, was shortlisted for the ABIA Best General Fiction award and was named in Kirkus Review’s top 10 Historical Novels of 2013. Toni’s latest novel is Our Tiny, Useless Hearts.
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* My receiving a copy of Our Tiny, Useless Hearts from Text Publishing for review purposes did not impact the expression of my honest opinions in the review above.