As I’ve mentioned before, one of the OWLs Readathon prompts had to do with “heart” being in the title, or being on the cover. I found this one quite tricky to pick as I’m not really one for romance writing, at least not as the main focus of a storyline. When I came across The Queen of Hearts it seemed like an ideal solution; far more about the power of friendship based love than love itself, and with the heart referenced being medical.
Told from both two perspectives and two points in time, it was somewhat difficult to slip into the four variations, but at the same time was a very absorbing characteristic of the book. Both Zadie and Emma had very distinct voices, and just from the way they were written it was easy to tell them apart, should you need to stop mid chapter. Kimmery Martin has done a wonderful job here, outlining two characters so clearly, even if the differences between them are somewhat stereotypical at times.
The story opens with a bold start and quickly pulls you into the narrative, which feels straight froward to begin with, until the twists and turns start. There are little tantalizing glimpses of what exactly is going on underneath, and when it finally explodes out onto the pages, the book becomes impossible to put down.
That said, I do hate to admit that within several chapters it was fairly obvious what the big twist was going to be. It was enjoyable nonetheless, but predictable to a point. The extra turns added in weren’t, which somewhat made up for it.
Kimmery Martin has an obvious skill for writing about people and the honesty in the ways they function. So often in works of fiction, characters are made to be too perfectly good or perfectly bad, when in reality we are all a blend of different actions, choices, and morals. She manages to outline most of her characters in this way, although of course her focus is on Zadie and Emma, and it makes it all far more believable. We are all human, and so, in non fantasy books, are the people we’re reading about, and by giving them flaws – the small and the large – they are far more relateable.
I found the book easy reading, despite the at times serious medical side to it. It was well set out, and the jumps in both character and time worked well. It’s not my favourite book of the year, but is one I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend, and I would very happily read more by the author.
Spinning out a story of friendship, failures, and forgiveness, while this book wouldn’t be a on a list of books that changed my life, the impactful nature will certainly stay with you for a time after.
As we approach the end of this month, I’m coming to the end of the OWLs challenge – another post soon about just how it has gone!