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PIECES OF ME

by Natalie Hart Read profile

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Published 4th October 2018

Emma did not go to war looking for love, but Adam is unlike any other.

Under the secret shadow of trauma, Emma decides to leave Iraq and joins Adam to settle in Colorado. But isolation and fear find her, once again, when Adam is re-deployed.

Torn between a deep fear for Adam’s safety and a desire to be back there herself, Emma copes by throwing herself into a new role mentoring an Iraqi refugee family. But when Adam comes home, he brings the conflict back with him.

Emma had considered the possibility that her husband might not come home from war. She had not considered that he might return a stranger. 

Told between Iraq and Colorado, Hart weaves an intricate story of military romance, focusing on love and trauma and asking just how much one can withstand the other.

‘An important and timely story that explores the ongoing impact of war and how it’s often left to the women to pick up the pieces. The way Hart has made a mosaic of different women’s experiences, be they British, American or Iraqi, is profoundly moving. Pieces of Me is a love story that will leave you in tatters and yet there is an enduring sense of women making, mending and creating that gives this book a radiance. I will never forget it.’ Tor Udall, author of ‘A Thousand Paper Birds’

‘An astounding debut, Pieces of Me is a beautiful book written with emotion and compassion and will stay with me for a long time. It’s characters and story tugged at my heart with every turning page.' Nina Pottell, Books Editor Prima Magazine

‘Heart-wrenching and heart-warming in equal measure, Pieces of Me is an incredibly moving tale of love and conflict. A compelling and accomplished debut, Natalie writes with the skill and confidence of a writer who's been published for years. I couldn't put it down' Harper's Bazaar

'Pieces of Me is a brilliantly observed and nuanced look at the war in Iraq and how conflict impacts on the lives of everyone involved' Laura Kaye, author of English Animals

'I devoured this book, and I feel like I'll carry Emma and Adam with me for a long time. Hart tells this devastating story beautifully'  Laura Pearson, author of Missing Pieces

‘Pieces of Me churns with love and rage and hope and terror, as only the best war books can. Natalie Hart writes like a born storyteller, and she uses that gift here to explore how the Iraq War lingers in the dark corners of souls desperate to move on from it. Readers are in for a ride' Matt Gallagher, author of Youngblood

‘Pieces of Me is a quietly powerful exploration of the complex effects of the Iraq war…The novel builds in power and speaks authoritatively on the polarisation of the lives changed forever by conflict’ Zoe Lambert

‘Natalie Hart’s brilliant Pieces of Me is - like Graham Greene’s The End of the Affair - a love story set amid the ruins of war. As a British civilian who meets her American husband in Iraq, the narrator, Emma McLaughlin, is a first-hand witness to the ways armed conflict breaks soldiers and non-combatants alike. Her testimony, and this novel, is unforgettably complex and devastating―as it should be’ Whitney Terrell, author of The Good Lieutenant

‘Natalie Hart’s vivid novel, Pieces of Me, examines the lives of deployed soldiers’ families and displaced Iraqi civilians, eloquently revealing how even the most tightly knit relationships can unravel under the stress of war’ Siobhan Fallon, author of You Know When the Men Are Gone and The Confusion of Languages