Finnley O’Connell has just taken a massive turn after being fired from her parents’ business. She heads to Chicago to live with her gay uncle Mark hoping to find some semblance of peace. She immediately falls in love with the city, but it’s meeting Emerson, an intriguing and mysterious woman, that truly shakes up her world. Drawn to Emerson in a way she’s never been drawn to anyone, Finnley begins a journey of self-discovery that’s quite tumultuous.
As Finnley gets closer to Emerson, she begins to feel that Emerson is the piece that she’s been missing all her life but a host of complications and challenges thrown her way threaten to crumble the new life she’s begun building. Will they be able to weave a tapestry of love and connection, or will the obstacles be too much to overcome?
Jenna: Erin Zak has written Finnley’s first-person point of view so perfectly that it was like listening to a friend tell her tumultuous story that honestly could be a movie. While I wasn’t privy to Emerson’s first-hand thoughts, I didn’t feel left out. Learning about her through Finnley was really special and the love these two women have for one another is heartwarming. Finnley learns so much about life, love, and relationships through Uncle Mark, Aunt Lisa, and Emerson and I was right there with her taking all their profound words of wisdom in and highlighting them all. Just wow!
Rachel: I completely agree, I felt every high and low that Finnley did, the author did a fantastic job at showing us the world through Finnley’s eyes and I reveled in all that beautiful anguish.
Jenna: Zak did an excellent job incorporating some of Chicago’s highlights into the story. The emotions The Bean evokes in both Emerson and Finnley are palpable and I honestly wish I could share a pie with them at Pequod’s.
Rachel: I agree, I felt like I had a tour of Chicago. From the minute Finnley steps off the train Zak shows the reader where she is and what she sees, I love books where the setting is also a character and Chicago is definitely a star in this book.
Pros And My Favourite Parts
Jenna: Erin Zak never ceases to amaze me with her skills as an author. With Finnley and Emerson’s story, she masterfully weaves together a tale that I could not put down. Finnley is looking for happiness, only she doesn’t know where to find it. She’s spent her entire life being a people pleaser with an inability to say no. She was on track to take over her family’s lawn care business after getting her MBA from Harvard, even though it wasn’t her passion. She was angry when her father fired her but moving to Chicago and living with her (incredible) Uncle Mark, she begins to see that happiness is somewhere out there. Upon her first meeting with Emerson, a friend of (Uncle) Mark’s she is completely taken…only she’s straight. The emotions Emerson stirs in her are so powerful that I was left breathless and as she navigates these newfound feelings and emotions, it’s like a whole new world opens for her. Finnley doesn’t sugarcoat anything with her audience and I feel that her honesty and sincerity make her a truly memorable character.
Rachel: I couldn’t put it down either, Finnley and Emerson’s story is one that holds you captive, I too was left breathless by the powerful force that pulled the pair together. The strong feelings they evoke in one another jump off the page, all that heavy eye contact and just needing to be in each other’s company was delicious. And then there were the twists, turns, and obstacles that just kept coming- all woven perfectly together to create an epic romantic journey. How did you find the turbulence Zak created Jenna?
Jenna: It’s interesting because normally when a book has this much turbulence I tend to give a hard eye roll and lose interest fast. Here, however, every obstacle thrown in the way is so perfectly placed. I never lost interest, in fact, I found myself even more drawn into the story, into Finnley’s character arc. I was right there with her through all of it. During this time I was also able to fall further in love with not only Finnley and Emerson but also (Uncle) Mark and (Aunt)Lisa. Rachel, how do you feel about Mark and Lisa’s roles in the story?
Rachel: Mark and Lisa were integral to Finnley’s journey of self-discovery, even though they are secondary characters in this story they play a huge role. I adore Mark’s flamboyant personality, he is such a sincere and caring character, and the relationship between him and Finnley is beautiful. Lisa is also great, even though she and Mark are divorced the love they still have for each other jumps off the page. Getting to know them was very special and how they supported Finnley was simply perfect.
Jenna: While The Tapestry of a Heart is a winding road to self-discovery, at its core sits a beautiful romance between Finnley and Emerson. I absolutely adore how they yearn to learn more about one another. Not to mention their delicious chemistry and the steam factor…oh yes! I was left fanning myself a couple of times!
Rachel: Oh yes, fans are definitely needed! The romance in this book is unbelievably hot, sweet, and all-consuming. The way these ladies yearned for each other had my chest aching. What I loved most was that they both felt the same way, even though Finnley was unsure as to what was happening at first the fact that Emerson kept showing up or bumping into her after their first meeting spoke volumes. My big ole queer heart was jumping for joy at the tension between them *Happy sigh*
Death of a minor secondary character. Cheating from a past partner.
Jenna: The Tapestry of a Heart is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. It’s messy and filled with so many twists and turns yet everything works together to make an incredibly memorable story. Finnley and Emerson and the cast of supporting characters are well-developed and so darn endearing that you can’t help but love them all.
Rachel: Exactly, Jenna. These two ladies met at the right time in their lives, this book proves that if you’re willing to stick out the ups and downs and those surprise events that you just never saw coming then you can get a happy ending.
Jenna: What makes this story so great is those surprise events and how Zak doesn’t shy away from the messiness of real life. This book proves that everything does happen for a reason and you can do hard things. The Tapestry of a Heart has been firmly settled on my list of favorites and I plan to revisit it many times. So I recommend grabbing an Old Fashioned and settling into a comfy chair so that you can get swept away by this wonderful tale.
Rachel: If you enjoy your romance with a twist of drama and a pinch of tension then this one is for you. The characters are relatable, the storyline gripping, and the romance is full of fire. I loved it from start to finish. Zak has written this story in first person point of view (from Finnley’s view) and she managed to make me see and feel everything. From the gorgeous setting of Chicago to the strong emotions provoked in Finnley I felt like I was present throughout and I couldn’t get enough. This is highly recommended by me so like Jenna said grab an Old Fashioned, curl up in your favourite reading spot, and be prepared for a griping emotional rollercoaster of a ride.
Excerpt from The Tapestry of a Heart by Erin Zak
“Oh, Emerson, this is my niece, Finnley.” I think he points at me, but I can’t stop looking at Emerson long enough to make sure.
She makes the most intense eye contact I have ever experienced. Finally. “Hey there, nice to meet you.”
I blink once, twice, three times before I realize I haven’t responded. “Same. Yeah. To you, I mean. Nice to, uh, yeah, meet you, um, too.” I choke the words out.
The rest of the table either senses I have completely lost the ability to function or they don’t give a fuck because they decide to steer the conversation away from anything having to do with me. Either way, I’m grateful because I can’t seem to string more than a couple of words together to form a comprehensible sentence.
Because this woman…
Her blond hair is a perfect complement to her fair skin tone. She’s watching Lisa talk now, and when she licks her lips again, I notice how perfect their shape is. The peaks, the fullness, the mauve lipstick she’s wearing, everything. She has the best lips I have ever seen on another human being. And, to make matters worse, she has a tiny mole between her nose and top lip. Like, how is that something I’m noticing? And why, oh why, that would make anything about this current situation worse, I have no fucking idea, but for some reason, it fucking does.
Cecily starts to speak now. She’s sitting beside me, and Emerson has to shift her gaze across me to get from Lisa to Cecily. Her eye contact is so powerful it’s making my body temperature rise, and she’s not even looking at me. As she listens to Cecily speak, I notice that her eyebrows are impeccably shaped. And her nose is adorable: the slope, her nostrils, the tiny, gold stud she has in the left one. Everything about this woman is fucking perfect.
For someone who has spent most of her life comparing herself to women, all I can do is admire everything about her. My attention to her details is bordering on obsessive.
Emerson reaches up with her right hand and threads her fingers through her hair near her temple, then tosses it lightly over her shoulder, exposing part of her neck, the part that can be seen over the collar of her white button-down. She’s paired it with a loosely knotted black tie. She looks like she belongs in a goddamn magazine.
If gawking were an Olympic sport, I’d be at the top of the podium, for sure.
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Bits and Bobs
ISBN number: 979-8395919540
Publisher: Indie Author
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