Heart Like Mine
At thirteen, Ava Hansen is mature beyond her years. Since her parents’ divorce, she has been taking care of her emotionally unstable mother and her little brother—she pays the bills, does the laundry, and never complains because she loves her mama more than anyone. And while her father’s new girlfriend is nice enough, Ava still holds out hope that her parents will get back together and that they’ll be a family again. But only days after Victor and Grace get engaged, Kelli dies suddenly under mysterious circumstances—and soon, Grace and Ava discover that there was much more to Kelli’s life than either ever knew.
Narrated by Grace and Ava in the present with flashbacks into Kelli’s troubled past, Heart Like Mine is a poignant, hopeful portrait of womanhood, love, and the challenges and joys of family life.
Reading Group Guide
Topics & Questions for Discussion
1. Consider the two epigraphs that Hatvany opens the novel with. How do they frame the novel? How do you interpret the title, Heart Like Mine, in relation to these two quotations?
2. On the surface, Kelli and Grace are very different characters. What do they share? How do their upbringings shape the kind of women they become?
3. Heart Like Mine is narrated by the three women in Victor’s life—but we never hear from him directly. As a group, discuss your impressions of Victor. How does each narrator present a different side of him?
4. While family dynamics are at the heart of this novel, friendships are also integral to these characters’ lives. Discuss the role of female friendship. What do Kelli, Grace, and Ava each get from a friend that they can’t get from a significant other or a family member? How do you experience this in your own life?
5. How are mothers and fathers portrayed differently in the novel? What do you think the author is saying about the signi see more