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3.54 of 5 stars 3.54  ·  rating details  ·  3,063 ratings  ·  441 reviews
A shattering new thriller about three women, strangers, on a heart-wrenching collision course none of them could have seen coming.

Long after anyone expected Kate to do anything with her life, she did. Using the journals left behind by her aunt and grandmother, she wrote a novel based on a very real generation-old love story that ended in tragedy. On the other side of town,
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published June 26th 2012 by Crown (first published 2012)
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After being intrigued by Darkness, My Old Friend and captivated by Fragile when the opportunity to get an advanced reader copy of Lisa Unger's new novel Hearbroken arose, I immediately said yes. Unger is slowly making her way to the top of "must read" list of current mystery writers along with Laura Lippman, Michael Connelly and Elizabeth George.

Heartbroken is less a mystery and more a thriller from Unger. It's the story of several generations of women and their connection to Heart Island. There
Dale Harcombe
Three and a half stars.
This is another book that features a dysfunctional mother and daughter relationship, which seems to be a common theme in fiction. Birdie is a most unlikeable character and her husband, Joe, just opts out of anything he finds too difficult. Their daughter, Kate, is a likeable character who, unlike her brother Theo, spends a lot of her life trying to please her mother, at times at the expense of her own husband and children it seems. I liked the positive mother /child relati
Would really like to rate 3.5 stars.

This book had a "Nancy Drew" feel to it and that was exciting for me. I can remember the mystery series and how as a young girl I got that suspense "high" out of it.

Heartbroken to me was part mystery, part suspense, and part family drama. It focuses on mother and daughter relationships and the consequences of our actions that stick with us forever.

I would have preferred that the author did not go with the ghostly portion; that part was unnecessary.

I did not w
Wendy Joyce
It's DRAMA. I bought the book based upon quotes appearing on the book's backside. Not reader quotes, but "expert" quotes you should be able to trust. "Read it alone on an island on a dark and stormy night." Doesn't USA Today's quote suggest Horror? In the very least, it implies Scary. If you're still unconvinced, how about this, "[Will] chill readers to the bone," a quote by Tampa Bay Times. Again, scary, right? Well, it's not, nor do I think Ms. Unger intended it to be. "A high-wire thriller... ...more
If found this one to be a tedious read, yet I couldn't stop reading it. I hated Birdie from the start. I thought she was a bitter shrew, who brought all the unhappiness she felt to her life herself. I found it funny that she didn't realize it, but blamed everyone else.

With Birdie being her mother, I was surprised by how normal Kate was. I loved the woman that she was, that her kids and husband were important to her. It seemed like she did the exact opposite of what her mother did.

I am torn with
Aug 25, 2012 Anna rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: soft thriller fans
I received an ARC of this book via Read It Forward (I think? Or Goodreads? One or the other), and it was an enjoyable read. It didn't seem first what I'd call a thriller, but the pace got up once the people started to head to Heart Island, and from then on it became interesting - what was going to happen to these people and how do they bind together? I'm not going to spoil it, but that's where the action will be. You can't bring in the characters from this book to a small island and NOT have som ...more
3.5+ stars. This is billed as a thriller but it’s not exactly that, and I don’t necessarily mean that in a good or bad way. There is a lot of character development here, even as we jump between various viewpoints. Lisa Unger is a bit hit or miss for me (loved Fragile, did not like Darkness My Old Friend) and this was definite hit. It grabbed me right away. As with all her books, there is a multi-viewpoint situation going on and in this we follow several very different women whose worlds ultimate ...more
Having read most of this author's work, I think it's safe to say that, in my opinion, this is her best to date. Like her other novels, this one has a healthy dose of hold-your-breath suspense, believable and sympathetic characters, and exquisite plotting that rockets along seamlessly. But unlike Unger's prior work, this one includes layers of depth that separate it from hers and other more run-of-the-mill thrillers. This is a book about family and how those familial connections shape us...for be ...more
Positioned as a thriller, "Heartbroken" is more of a family saga. Birdie Burke is the owner/doyenne of Heart Island, and expects her children to visit her there every summer. Her daughter, Kate, reluctantly agrees one particular year -- she has just written a book based on her grandmother's journals and would rather be promoting it. Her daughter, Chelsea, on the other hand, is delighted to spend the summer with grandma -- and even gets to bring her best friend along.

Meanwhile, on the other side
Debbie van der Zande
Lisa Unger is een behoorlijk actieve schrijfster van thrillers. Je hoeft als fan geen jaar zonder een nieuwe Unger-titel te zitten. Het in 2012 verschenen Heartbroken is op 28 mei in Nederland verschenen als Verdronken hart. Op het boek prijkt een stempel met de aanduiding 'Koningin van de psychologische thriller' en dat slaat de spijker op zijn kop. Het verhaal in Verdronken hart wordt vanuit diverse perspectieven verteld. Het begint een beetje traag en net als je je geduld een beetje verliest ...more
Lisa Unger

My " in a nutshell" summary...

An island, three women and their secrets...and some really bad choices by almost everyone involved.

My thoughts after reading this book...

Oh me oh my...what a fast paced thrilling novel with so much of everything I love in a book.
There are nice girls...Chelsea and her mom Kate. Mean girls...Lulu...Chelsea's BFF and Birdie...Chelsea's grandmother. There is a lost girl...Emily...oh...and another semi mean girl
Emily's mother.
There is no describin
Heather Boustead
By Lisa Unger

Emily is stuck in a dead end job with a fiancé who will do anything for a fix. Kate has two beautiful children and has finally found a husband who is perfect for her and is about to release her first novel using her grandmothers and aunts journals for inspiration. Birdie is a cold woman set in her ways the only thing that ever makes her happy is being on her island on a lake in the Adirondacks that her family has owned for generations. These three women mingle in an inter
I love this author, but I was not impressed with this book. I did not like the plot and I really hated the character of Emily. I felt she made too many excuses for her bad choices. I thought there would be more in the plot about the island ghosts, but there wasn't.

Normally Lisa Unger writes fast paced thrillers, but this book was not fast paced, nor a thriller. It had a little mystery, but mostly it was a family drama. It just did not grab me the way her books normally do.
Darcia Helle
While Heartbroken is being marketed as suspense, I found it more of a family drama. The first three-quarters of the book moves slow. We explore the lives of families that are tangled in a variety of ways. The relationships are interesting, though I got a little bored with the repeated descriptions and the slow pace. The last quarter of the book picks up speed and suspense, and, for me, was the best part.

I found this one to be a tedious read, yet I couldn't stop reading it. I hated Birdie from the start. I thought she was a bitter shrew, who brought all the unhappiness she felt to her life herself. I found it funny that she didn't realize it, but blamed everyone else.

With Birdie being her mother, I was surprised b
Ellen Hopkins
Liked the family relationships. Not enough surprise for me in a book of this kind.
Karen & Gerard
HEARTBROKEN by Lisa Unger is what I call a woman's book, but this 59-yr-old man enjoyed it very much! There are lots of good plot lines that kept me interested to the max! When all the characters are in one place, the action explodes! This is a page turner for sure that I think would make a real good "Lifetime" movie. Make time to read this one; you will be glad you did!
(Gerard's review)

Heartbroken by Lisa Unger was a disturbing read for me because Emily continues making bad decisions over and o
Ghosts of the past - real ones!, a frigid wealthy disapproving mother, unspoken histories, doomed love stories of long ago and an affair not so long ago juxtapose against the intrusion of teenagers with cellphones and precarious texts to unsavoury hot guys, making plans to get themselves into tight spots and the lives of other young people, one of whom thinks she is related to the original family. Emily, beaten down by her hateful mother, makes terrible decisions as a result with the only chance ...more
Lisa Unger wordt de koningin van de psychologische thriller genoemd. Deze titel komt haar wel toe, maar ze gaat hem wel delen. Lisa Unger kruipt met verdronken hart onder je huid en ze laat je niet meer los. Na een stroef begin met veel, heel veel personages kom je in een verhaal terecht wat loopt naar een geweldig plot.
De familie Burke heeft een privé eiland, Heart Island, hierop wonen ze de hele zomer. Het eiland is al verschillende generaties in het bezit van de familie Burke. Birdie Burke,
Lisa Unger explores the family rifts that can grow and fester as a result of truths never spoken. Kate Burke's annual vacation on remote Heart Island, her family's private Adirondack hideaway, becomes more burdensome than pleasurable. Her seventy five year old mother, Birdie, hasn't softened with age, and Kate's always agonized over why Birdie is so emotionally remote and critical. Kate knows she's become a disappointment to Birdie, settling for a life as a stay at home mom. But this year, her n ...more
I can't say that I really cared that much for Heartbroken. I'm not sure why I even finished listening to the book. It probably should have been a DNF book for me. I think I was hoping that it would get better or that something would happen. The lackluster ending was very disappointing. I was left with the feeling of...That's it? I'm not sure what type of book Heartbroken was supposed to be. I thought it was going to be a thriller based on the synopsis, but I was wrong. At first, it seemed to be ...more
This is the first book by Lisa Unger that I have read. I enjoyed it, with some reservations. The story started out well, with three different main characters. Their commonality soon became apparent, and the mystery evolved, and the suspense deepened. However, I found the action somewhat predictable, and wanted to tell the characters off for what they were about to do. The ending was more or less what the reader expects, but it turned out better than I would have assumed. I will probably read mor ...more
Family drama with a hint of suspense, Heartbroken by Lisa Unger takes the reader to Heart Island and into the complicated relationships that exist between mothers and daughters. Unger seamlessly weaves together differing mother-daughter relationships to further develop an intricate plot, which slowly builds into a rather well thought out and suspenseful plot. Going into the book I was expecting Heartbroken to be more of in-your-face suspense/thriller, however Unger takes the book into a differen ...more
Lewis Weinstein
I just couldn't get into this book. Long character introductions with no sense of a plot or how they might later interact. I put it aside after ~ 50 pages.
Lorrie Thomson
Heartbroken charts the course of three women, living diverse lives, and carrying ghosts from their pasts. Birdie is the seventy-five-year-old matriarch of a dysfunctional family. Kate, her housewife-turned novelist daughter. And Emily, a young woman estranged from her own mother, whose connection to their family ultimately brings Birdie and Kate together. From page one to the end, the novel gains thrilling momentum. But it’s the dual mother-daughter stories, and the uncanny way Unger makes even ...more
Heartbroken is an excellent read. The story line is well-plotted, multi-faceted, and well-paced; the characters are fully developed and believable. Lisa Unger's command of the language makes her books easy and pleasurable to read. Here are a few quotes I enjoyed or found particularly well-stated or insightful: "The embedded insults softened with terms of endearment and the digs masquerading as jokes never failed to drain her of energy." "It was a perfect double whammy, to hurt someone and then t ...more
This was an intense, dramatic, and pretty sad book. The reason it was sad is that in the end, although some of the characters experienced epiphanies, you got the very strong feeling that nothing was going to change in these characters lives.

Several people crash into each other on a remote island, grandmother, her daughter, who is a mother, the granddaughter, and her best friend are all going to spend some time at the cabin, another woman, who believes herself to be an illigitimate child of the g
An absorbing thriller that includes in its cast of characters: a 70-ish matriarch of the clan who is more at home on the family island than with her children, her adult daughter who has just published a book based loosely on a family scandal, the daughter's daughter and her best friend Lulu who is psychologically addicted to her iphone, a former mistress of the matriarch's husband whose misbegotten daughter is mixed up with a desperate pill-popping dude and his even worse best friend... Well, yo ...more
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Ugh. Maybe there was a decent plot (professional reviewers certainly seemed to think so) but I couldn't get past the awful, awfully simplistic writing. At least for this book, Lisa Unger seems very much the "tell, don't show" sort. Kate's constant comparison between her current husband and her ex were what finally drove me to giving up. Everyone's voice also seemed remarkably similar (though I rather liked Kate's daughter, whose name I can't recall at the moment).
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Read It Forward: * HEARTBROKEN by Lisa Unger 18 85 Mar 22, 2013 09:38AM  
Read by Theme: Heartbroken 2 19 Aug 18, 2012 01:47PM  
Bookworm Bitches : Discussion: Heartbroken by Lisa Unger 7 33 Aug 13, 2012 08:01AM  
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Lisa Unger is a New York Times and internationally bestselling author. Her psychological thriller IN THE BLOOD is a Goodreads Choice Awards (2014) Nominee for Best Book, Amazon Best Book of the Month, Suspense Magazine Best Books of 2014, Sun Sentinel Best Mystery Novels of 2014 and Indie Next Pick!

CRAZY LOVE YOU releases Feb. 10, 2015.

Her novels have been named top picks by the Today show, Good M
More about Lisa Unger...
Beautiful Lies (Ridley Jones #1) Fragile (Jones Cooper, #1) In the Blood Black Out Sliver of Truth (Ridley Jones, #2)

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