A shattering 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, Emily is about to set fire to her life. She’s in a dead-end job and is involved with the wrong man; she can feel herself being drawn into darkness, with horrific consequences. With nowhere to go, she finds herself on the run. Without knowing each other, and with lives that couldn't be more different, Kate and Emily head to the same point on the map: Heart Island, an idyllic place in the middle of a lake in the Adirondacks, owned for generations by Birdie Burke's family. The harsh and unyielding Birdie is at one with this island, which has a terrifying history all its own. She, too, has consequences to face.
Heartbroken is a tense, mesmerizing novel about the limits of dysfunctional families, of an island haunted by dark memories and restless ghosts, and of the all-too-real demons we must battle. Wonderfully suspenseful, exquisitely crafted, and written with raw, emotional power, this is Lisa Unger at her very best.
Praise for Heartbroken
“Stellar. . . . Heartbroken should be on everyone’s summer to-read list. For best results, read it alone on an island on a dark and stormy night.”—USA Today (4 stars)
“Heartbroken has all the makings of a high-wire thriller. But it’s the twisted psyches of its main characters that really unsettle. . . . Unger expertly shows how quiet betrayals can rupture a life as deeply as an act of violence.”—People (3 ½ stars)
“A can’t-put-down thriller interlaced with insightful family drama and echoes of Wuthering Heights.”—Family Circle
“Lisa Unger is one of the few women to first break into the genre of thrillers, then to dominate it.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Lisa Unger masterfully writes of the joys and frustrations of family life in her latest novel. . . . What makes [it] shine is the struggle of multidimensional characters with issues that all of us face but sometimes don’t want to acknowledge.”—Associated Press
An island on an Adirondack lake becomes both a haven and a hell for three women in Unger s tense psychological thriller. Kate Burke s annual visits to Heart Island, owned by her wealthy parents, never go smoothly, mainly because of the uneasy relationship she has with her imperious 75-year-old mother, Birdie. Kate expects the next visit will be even more upsetting because she s written a novel based on journals kept by her aunt and grandmother that s a thinly veiled story of a love affair that ended in tragedy on the remote island. Meanwhile, Birdie has visions of a dark intruder prowling Heart Island at all hours. Finally, Emily, a waitress drifting through life, feels powerless to resist as her boyfriend pulls her into schemes that will betray the people closest to her. Unger (Die for You) skillfully builds the fissures in each of these women s lives as she illustrates the power of the heart and the corrosive nature of lies.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Very slow beginning and even slower ending. Many questions not answered. I kept reading and waiting for the excitement to start and when it did it was over in just a few pages. Was Birdie Richards daughter? Couldn't Birdie show some compassion for someone? I was hoping she would show some tiny bit of feelings for Emily. That would have fleshed out her character just a little. All in all not a bad beach read but if you want something deeper this book is not for you.
Great book, an easy read.
Moved too slow. Kept waiting for the book to get good but it never did. Did not really like any of the characters. Was hoping for a tie in between Birdie, Kate, and Emily but it never happened. If you are looking for a depressing and not too interesting book this is it!