Half a Heart

Half a Heart

by

, fiction, bailed-out, 2007, Fiction, Contemporary

A moving story about estrangement and intimacy, race and privilege, identity and belonging from the bestselling author of Before and After

Miriam Vener feels trapped in the comfortable white middle-class life she leads with her family in Houston during the 1980s. That life suddenly shatters with the appearance, after almost eighteen years, of Veronica (Ronnee), her biracial daughter born in Mississippi in the sixties when Miriam was a civil rights activist. Hot tempered, sensitive, manipulative and deeply hurt at her mother's disappearance from her life, Ronnee has been raised by her father, a formerly brilliant college professor who forbade her to see her white mother. Half a Heart charts the emotionally fraught terrain of the mother and daughter's reunion and Ronnee's divided sense of self and loyalty. With which family, and which race, does she identify? How does all this affect her relationships with her newly discovered half-sister, her white boyfriend, and the father she is rebelling against? Half a Heart is a searingly honest novel of public and private ideals betrayed and hopes reignited by one of our foremost novelists.

Title:Half a Heart
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780312278304
Format Type:

    Half a Heart Reviews

  • Debra Hale-Shelton

    I interviewed author Rosellen Brown in her Hyde Park apartment in Chicago for an AP story. This is the story of a white Jewish woman who has a baby by a black professor in 1960s Mississippi and lets h...

  • Lucy

    Average read. Not what I was expected. Boring until last 1/4 of book. ...

  • Tammy Adams

    This just seemed too “wordy”, like the author was trying to impress me or something. It didn’t work. It just put me off. I feel like the actual story could have been interesting if an editor had...

  • Nancy Mcdaniel

    I CANNOT GET ENOUGH OF ROSELLEN BROWN'S writing!Book number three in the past 5 or so weeks.I want more. I have loved all three of them so far. Onward!...

  • Heidi Naylor

    Reading this now . . . trying to learn craft techniques from Rosellen Brown, whose stories I always respond well to. The story is the reunion of an upscale, white Houston mom with the (half) black dau...

  • Alice

    The story was pretty absorbing, but the plot kept raising questions that bothered me, and I found Miriam to be unlikable and often exasperating. If she cared so much about the daughter, why did she ma...

  • Linda

    An interesting story about a woman who has a child by her black lover while working in schools down in Mississippi during the civil rights struggles in the 1960s. He turns from a professor for music (...

  • Jean Perry

    Tthe 1st one of hers i hd read. It was a good characterization of mother/dgt relationships, black/white relationships, family/friends relationships. Much of the book is written as the introspections o...

  • Judith Kirscht

    A woman dedicated to civil rights takes in the daughter of her conservative sister. This is a story of coping with the polarization of the Sixties and resonates with the ideological split of our own t...

  • Marvin

    It has a promising premise: a suburban Houston homemaker reconnects with an 18-year-old daughter she had with an African American professor at the black college she taught at briefly in the late 60s o...