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The Threadbare Heart

3.61  ·  Rating Details  ·  114 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
Jennie Nash’s “winning debut,”* The Last Beach Bungalow, was followed by The Only True Genius in the Family, a “page-turning delight.”** Now she introduces us to two women who learn the lessons of grief—and of hope…A photo of her sons. A doormat from Target. Twenty-three tubs of fabric. Somehow it comforts Lily to list the things she lost when a wildfire engulfed the Santa ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published May 4th 2010 by Berkley
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Feb 09, 2016 Pauline rated it it was ok
I rarely rate books low, but for me, this one did not live up to my expectations. I don't know where I got the book from and honestly I wish I hadn't read it. Truthfully, I kept reading to find the "hope" in the story. Although the positive from the book is "don't take your marriage for granted," there was so much angst it depressed me and made me feel negative and irritable all day. In the end, the conclusion wasn't strong enough to give the hope that the reviewers on back of the book mentioned ...more
Dec 30, 2014 Margaret rated it it was ok
This one just didn't do much for me. It was more of a view of different perspectives of love and marriage of three generations than a story with an actual plot. I didn't relate to or like the characters especially Lily.

Lily and her mother didn't see eye to eye on love and marriage. Her mother, married three times seemed to collect husbands only to discard them easily enough when the marriages seemed to have run their course. When Lily found her one and only in Tom, Lily's mother was skeptical th
Sep 22, 2014 Melanie rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this story because it was about a love and a marriage that "wasn't flashy, or loud, but it was constant. It was relentless. Nothing was going to get in its way."
Lily the main character "lived with that kind of love for her entire marriage, she counted on it and sometimes took it for granted!"
There were times in the story that Lily took her marriage and the love of her husband for granted, other times their marriage seemed solid.....but I felt that it wasn't until the end of the story
Mar 21, 2010 Lisa rated it really liked it
I love that Nash writes characters I relate to so well. This one is a solid 4.5 for me. Wish I could tell you more but you'll just have to wait another month!
Aug 28, 2014 Pat rated it really liked it
This book is mainly Lily's story, but it is also her mother Eleanor's story. In many ways, Lily and Eleanor are opposites, yet sometimes their minds meet and they always try to be there for one another. Lily is dealing with being alone after many years as part of a couple and Eleanor is deciding whether to try marriage again at age 75. Lily's sons are also dealing with difficult issues of their own. This book gets down to the nitty-gritty of the small things that can cause as much pain as the bi ...more
Aug 04, 2014 Samantha rated it liked it
This book was so sad for me, I struggled with finishing it. The exploration of love and relationships from many different characters' viewpoints was very well done. The description of setting and characters was incredibly realistic, which made the heartbreaking plot elements even harder to swallow.

The sad nature of the story and the flaws in the characters brought to mind the writing of Jacqueline Susann, though without the racy plot features.

I found myself really disliking some of the character
Sophia (FV)
Apr 20, 2010 Sophia (FV) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lily and Tom have raised their family and both are a few years away from collecting full pensions as university professors. During a visit with their family in Santa Barbara at Lily’s mother’s house, Tom expresses an interest in a local avocado ranch. Seeing this as an opportunity to bring the family closer to her, Lily’s mother Eleanor offers to purchase the land for them. Not wanting to depend on her mother, Lily’s first reaction is to decline the offer. However, after returning to their New E ...more
Kristi (Books and Needlepoint)
My synopsis: Lily had met her husband Tom in Colorado. Together they raised 2 sons, Ryan and Luke in Maine, and seemed to weather all the changes that the seasons of life brought them. Upon visiting their family in California - Luke, Ryan and his wife Olivia and daughter Brooke, and Lily's mother Eleanor, Lily starts to see chinks in her marriage. She begins to think she doesn't know her husband at all. When an avocado ranch goes on the market, and Eleanor offers to buy it for Lily and Tom, Lily ...more
Kathy (Bermudaonion)
May 06, 2010 Kathy (Bermudaonion) rated it really liked it
Lily and Tom are both professors at a college in Vermont. They’ve been happily married for years and have raised two sons. They are content in their lives and their marriage, but when they visit Lily’s mother, Eleanor, in California, she offers to buy them an avocado ranch that Tom falls in love with. Lily resents her larger-than-life mother because she can’t seem to settle down and she seems to think her money will buy happiness.

In the meantime, Eleanor envies and resents her daughter, because
Cindy Hudson
May 13, 2010 Cindy Hudson rated it really liked it
In The Threadbare Heart, Jennie Nash has written a story of love, loss, family and the many forms each of those can take. There’s love for a lifetime, love to help you heal, parental love, and love found when and where it’s least expected. Loss comes from death, withdrawal of affection, and unmet expectations.

Running through the core of the story is the relationship between Lily and her mother, Eleanor. They are totally opposite in many ways: Lily has had a lifelong love, and Eleanor never felt
Aug 15, 2014 Fran rated it really liked it
Jennie Nash's The Threadbare Heart was one of 3 books I read in the last 30 days and the second on a 14 day vacation. Jennie is a local author from Palos Verdes, California and she really struck home deeply with this book about processing grief. It also was a reminder about all the good and sometimes difficult parts of long term marriages. I felt a lot of emotion with this book.
Laurene Powers
Feb 08, 2014 Laurene Powers rated it liked it
Easy to read love story about a middle aged couple who leave behind their careers as college professors in New England and head to California and purchase an avocado farm! The relationship between the couple, their children, and the woman's mother, all are intertwined thru the book as they reflect on the past and cope with significant loss.
Sara Smith
Jan 21, 2014 Sara Smith rated it really liked it
It made me smile and cry so I always like books that can tug at my heartstrings and care about the characters. After 25 years, what does it take to keep a marriage going? A lesson of appreciating what you have since you don't know when it will be gone. As someone who sews, I also could commiserate with the main character Lily's sewing obsession as well.
Sep 21, 2015 Marti rated it liked it
A good read for the hospital waiting room. Read in one morning.
Dec 26, 2010 Arlene rated it it was ok
This author was successful in addressing the depth of human emotions in both romantic and familial relationships, but missed on the targeted metaphor of using sewing to stitch together the pieces of Lily's (main character) family. I can imagine many better ways to intervine sewing, stitching, and quilting to stitch together a family teetering on collapse. Additionally, some of the characters conveniently changed long-developed character traits in order to jump on the happening bandwagon. This wa ...more
Jun 16, 2012 Lee rated it liked it
This is a beautiful book. I picked it up on the library on a lark...thank goodness for larks! The author brings so much emotion and depth to a story that also reads and moves along very smoothly; and her observations about how different people choose to experience (or not experience) love and commitment felt insightful and genuine.

There are certainly sad moments in the book, but also hopeful a lovely balance.
Deborah Fulk
Jul 12, 2010 Deborah Fulk rated it really liked it
Although slow at first, after about 90 pages, I could not put this book down. I loved the character "Eleanor." The chapters are divided into different characters, so the story unwinds from the different characters' viewpoints. Interesting characters and relationships and the story seems very real, although fiction. Textiles are literally "woven" into the story, which was a bit strange, but effective.
Nov 13, 2011 Becky rated it liked it
The blurb on the back of the book reveals that the husband dies in a fire. Usually when the blurb reveals something major like this it's because it happens at the beginning of the book. However he doesn't die until halfway through the book. So the whole time I'm reading, I'm waiting for him to die. Not sure what they were thinking to include a spoiler in the book description.
Apr 28, 2013 Lisa rated it it was amazing
Another great summer read by Jennie that deals with the complexity of family and relationships. Set in Santa Barbara and based in part on the author's mother/stepfather's story (as she reveals in the afternotes), this story strikes a sweet and sentimental chord.
Mar 06, 2016 Eddi rated it liked it
An empty nest couple decides on a whim to move from the east coast to Santa Barbara and buy an avocado farm. When the house burns down, he husband dies in the fire. The wife had to regroup and move on.
Jun 09, 2012 Cindy rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It was a nice love story about older love and what older couples go through as they get older and lose their spouse. Lily one of the main characters had to over come some personal events.
Bridget R. Wilson
I liked this book. It isn't what I normally read, but the plot kept me interested enough that I finished it in an evening. I particularly liked the character of Eileen. She struck me as a strong woman.
Gayle Wingerter
Apr 20, 2010 Gayle Wingerter rated it really liked it
Nash knows human nature--relationships, feelings, failings. I enjoy how each chapter was written from the perspective of an individual character. It was very satisfying to read.
Morgan Pugh
Jul 16, 2010 Morgan Pugh rated it it was ok
Read for moms club bookclub. Didn't like this one anymore than the Redondo Beach house book. Author came to speak at our meeting.
May 06, 2012 Patti rated it it was amazing
This is my favorite Jennie Nash book. It's touching and thought provoking and is something everyone should read
May 03, 2010 Mari rated it liked it
- Omaha Bookworm's book selection with author participation
- Mother's Day event/book launch
Oct 17, 2012 Suzanne rated it liked it
Took a while to get to the plot of the story, but was an enjoyable, emotional read.
May 29, 2011 Elizabeth rated it did not like it
The writing is so poor it's embarassing.
Apr 07, 2010 Care rated it really liked it
rec'd 3/15/10, due before Mother's Day
Jan 28, 2011 Lisa rated it liked it
3 1/2 stars.
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Jennie Nash first began writing essays as a student at Wellesley College, where she wrote the column “On and Off Campus” for the alumnae magazine. As she worked toward a degree in English, she developed a series of essays about her friendship with her roommate, which she later turned into an honors thesis entitled Two Women in Particular. Ms. Nash graduated cum laude from Wellesley in 1986. After ...more
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