Jonathan Dunne has proven himself to me through the years to be a writer I can depend on, and his latest book, HEARTS ANONYMOUS, again delivers.
First of all, I love how Jonathan Dunne talks about the inspiration for this novel in the front of the book. I urge all readers of HEARTS ANONYMOUS not to skip over that part. What he describes in those opening words sets the tone for the entire book in a way that connects the reader to the impending story.
Now for the story. If we consider the phrase “All the world’s a stage, and the men and women merely actors”, we get a sense of the premise of HEARTS ANONYMOUS. The difference I found however is that instead of existing as actors on a proverbial stage, Jack, Jeanie and Ruthy are living as characters in a fairytale, whose lives seem forever entwined, and whose story remains unfinished. Jack and Jeanie appear to the reader as star-crossed lovers, who are destined to be together long after Jack’s heart stops beating, but in this book’s fairytale twist, we discover that Jack’s life has a more intricate trajectory, that he, nor this reader, could see coming. Surviving a rollercoaster derailment is just the beginning, as he and Ruthy travel together to the origin of a fairytale that they have become embroiled in, or rather have existed in, for quite some time. The ending I truly DID NOT see coming.
Jonathan Dunne does a wonderful job developing the idea of a clock that can transport people through time. As the author of a time travel novel myself, I was intrigued. The description of the clock and all of its intricately moving parts, I loved. And the love story aspect was dark, yet sweet.
It’s no secret that I love the fictitious world of Jonathan Dunne’s novels. He continues to develop Limerick and Old Castle even further with HEARTS ANONYMOUS, a treat for this fan-reader. Not to be overlooked are Arthur Lawless, Bonnie, Mick Munroe, and Sinbad, who graciously have “cameo” mentions within this book’s pages. HEARTS ANONYMOUS is written with the same sarcastic wit that I have grown to love and expect from Mr. Dunne.
In case you weren’t aware, there is an audio format of this book, which I have decided I NEED to have. It would be really something to hear the author himself read the pages of this novel to me, in the way his author-mind intended.
I recommend this book to current fans of Mr. Dunne’s books, but also to any reader who likes a bit of a twist with their fairytales.