Heartbreaker by Claudia Dey
“Seventeen years after falling from a stolen car into a remote northern town, Billie Jean Fontaine is still an outsider. She may follow the stifling rules of this odd place, but no one will forget that she came from elsewhere. When Billie Jean vanishes one cold October night in her bare feet and track suit with only her truck keys, those closest to her begin a frantic search. Her daughter, Pony, a girl struggling against being a teen in the middle of nowhere; her killer dog to whom she cannot tell a lie; her husband, The Heavy, a man haunted by his past; and the charismatic Supernatural, a teenage boy longing only to be average. Each holding a different piece of the puzzle, they must come together to understand the darkest secrets of their beloved, and lay bare the mysteries of the human heart.
With her luminous prose, wry humour and dead-on cultural observations, Claudia Dey has created a storytelling tour de force about what it means to love, no matter the consequences.” ~ Description from Goodreads
I won this book off of a Goodreads giveaway and it was originally presented as The Handmaids Tale, Stranger Things and Twin Peaks but stuck in the 80s. I laughed thinking this was going to be GOLD! Can’t go wrong right? Well…. I didn’t like this book. I didnt like it at all and had trouble finishing it.
Ok so first off, this book is told in three parts and all surrounds the mysterious arrival and disappearance of Billie Jean. First part was the point of view of her daughter, Pony Darlene. The second part was the point of view of the dog and lastly part three was told by a boy called Supernatural. I actually love it when books are written from the point of view of multiple characters but this was VERY hard to follow. The timeline itself bounces around a lot and sometimes there is no clear indication between paragraphs that we hit a flashback. The writing was also very abstract and I found myself having to stop and think about what I just read. Did I read it correctly? And so on…
The point of view of the dog in the second part was the best for me. It was the most clear and coherent. The only thing I had trouble distinguishing in this part was whether or not Billie Jean could actually talk to the dog or if she was just talking to herself like she always does. More than likely it’s just her talking to herself but this book is just WEIRD so you never know…. I also liked how the dogs part of the story cleared up a lot of background information.
Now this town is supposed to be a cult in the northern territories but I don’t think there was enough focus on this element and the details that were provided were kind of boring. They had a trading system and their export to the outside world was blood… Why blood donations? There was also a sense of everyone sleeping with everyone (sexually) and based on some CB radio conversations teen pregnancy also seems like it’s a problem in the territory although frowned upon.
I love weird and bizarre. I like mysteries and I love juicy deep dark secrets but this book was just flat-out strange to me. Even though this book wasn’t for me I know there are a lot of others who would LOVE it. It is definitely unique and one of a kind.