Today is my day on the Coffee and Thorn Blog Book Tour for Coming Apart. Thanks for the opportunity to take part in Mrs. Heenan’s tour.
Title: Coming Apart: A Novel of the Great Depression (Ava and Claire Book 1)
Author: Karen Heenan
Genre: Women’s Historical Fiction
Publication Date: October 18, 2022
No one knows you like a sister.
Ava has always been poor, so she doesn’t think the Great Depression will change anything. But when her mother dies and her coal miner husband loses his job, Ava’s certainty falters. The last thing she needs is a letter from her estranged sister, asking for the impossible.
Claire has everything she could ever want, except the child she promised her husband. When her sister’s life falls apart, she reaches out to help – and finds the missing piece of her own marriage.
With everything at stake, Ava must choose: give up one child to save the rest or keep the family together and risk losing it all?
If you like strong, resourceful women, well-developed historical themes, and heartfelt family drama, then Coming Apart is your next rainy-day read.
Coming Apart is the first novel I’ve read by Karen Heenan. And I’m eager to devour the rest of the series. The story occurs during the Great Depression and revolves around the relationship of sisters Ava and Claire in Scovill Run, Pennsylvania, a small coal mining town. The locals earn their bread and butter from the Scovill Mining Company, which has claimed the lives of hardworking men. The women are the backbone, holding the family together in this historical fiction novel.
Ava has chosen her mother’s path, stayed in her hometown, married a coal miner, and raised several children in impoverished circumstances. While her husband slaves away in the mines and eventually succumbs to the fate of many during the Great Depression, Ava’s strength remains a constant, holding the family together.
Claire chooses a path different from her mother and sister. She moves from Scovill and marries a wealthy man, never lacking material needs, only the ability to give her husband a child.
After the death of their mother, Ava and Claire reunite after many years, their differences colliding. Ava has the one thing Claire desires—children. Claire has what Ava never strove for but needs — money. When the unimaginable happens, and life thrusts them together in an unforeseeable, unique situation, they find what they need—family, love, and a newfound purpose.
Mrs. Heenan seamlessly weaves the story through three protagonists’ voices—Ava, Claire, and Pearl, providing a facet of the Great Depression often overlooked, women’s contribution when their men could no longer support the family. Emotions are palpable in this family drama, which kept me thoroughly engrossed. I felt Ava and Claire’s fear, love, and pain, cried at their worst defeats, and cheered their victories.
Coming Apart is an unputdownable novel with impressive world-building, strong, lovable female protagonists, and an all-pervasive antagonist, The Great Depression. I’m looking forward to reading book two of the series. Mrs. Heenan, thank you for the captivating and moving story!
As an only child, Karen Heenan learned early that boredom was the enemy. Shortly after she discovered perpetual motion, and has rarely been seen holding still since.
She lives in Lansdowne, PA, just outside Philadelphia, where she grows much of her own food and makes her own clothes. She is accompanied on her quest for self-sufficiency by a very patient husband and an ever-changing number of cats.
One constant: she is always writing her next book.
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4 thoughts on “Blog Book Tour: Coming Apart”
Denise, thank you so much for the wonderful review – this series means so much to me (inspired if not based on family stories) and I love that it’s connecting with readers.
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I was deeply touched by it, Karen. I think many people will identify with the family dynamics and hardhip. Thank you for the great read!❤️
This book sounds good. I have a sister in law who came from a large family and was raised by her aunt in eastern Canada in the 1940s. They were all very close to one another, so she feels she had two mothers.
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Like your sister-in-law, I identify with this story, being raised by my aunt in New York while my mother remained in Alabama. This story brought me to tears. It’s an excellent read.
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