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Karen Heenan
Coming Apart
Karen Heenan, author
A woman who's lost everything. Her sister, who has everything. And a baby who means everything - to both of them. 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?
The engrossing latest from Heenan (the Tudor Court series) portrays a family barely surviving in Depression-era Pennsylvania. Ava Kimber lives in 1931 Scovill Run with her husband and five children and is pregnant with her sixth child when her mother dies. Her husband, Daniel, and their oldest son, 14-year-old Dandy, work long hours as coal miners, and Ava gets help in preparing for the funeral from her oldest daughter, 12-year-old Pearl. Meanwhile, Ava’s sister, Claire, returns for their mother’s funeral to a town she was happy to leave behind when she married wealthy businessman Harry Warriner, whom she met while working at a hotel in Scranton, Pa. When Claire offers to help Ava financially, the gesture only exacerbates the sisters’ tension; Ava can’t seem to forgive Claire for leaving Scovill Run. Heenan adds depth to the characters, highlighting how their class differences are complicated by misunderstandings about the past. Readers will be drawn to this gritty and authentic historical narrative. (Self-published)