Monday 5 December 2011

Anxious Hearts by Tucker Shaw

Published by Amulet Books, an imprint of Abrams and Chronicle in 2010

'I hate reading. 
All those words. It's painful. Give me biology. Gym. A frog to dissect. Some laps to run. Anything but English. All those words. 
What have words ever done for anyone anyway? Can you catch a fish with words? Can you pick berries with  words? Fix a car? Heal the sick? No. Waste of time. '

Goodreads Summary
Eva and Gabe explore the golden forest of their seaside Maine town, unknowingly tracing the footsteps of two teens, Evangeline and Gabriel, who once lived in the idyllic wooded village of Acadia more than one hundred years ago. On the day that Evangeline and Gabriel were be wed, their village was attacked and the two were separated. And now in the present, Gabe has mysteriously disappeared from Eva. 

A dreamlike, loose retelling of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s famous love poem “Evangeline,” Anxious Hearts tells an epic tale of unrequited love and the hope that true love can be reunited.

This book was inspired by the epic love poem 'Evangeline' by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, which tells a story of how love can be strong enough to cross the divides that  separate it. 

The thing I loved the most about this book, was the way the parallel stories ran alongside each other.Even though they were nearly two hundred years apart, they were totally in sync with each other, showing how timeless love really is. Whatever ever happened in  the past could easily be reproduced in the present, 
proving that love is timeless. 

This book instantly reminded me of a a poster I used to have on my wall as a teenager which had the old saying 'If you love something, set it free, if it comes back it is yours, if it doesn't it never was.' This book shows the truth in that quote. 

The Eva and Gabe of now, may live in much more modern times, but they feel the same depth of feelings as the Evangeline and Gabriel of the past. Both Gabriel's are tortured souls - one in search of his lost love, the other, in desperate need to escape the loved ones he feels he hurts. You find that you instantly feel for both. Eva and Evangeline are much stronger and resourceful than the men they love and will never give up hope of reuniting with their soul mates. 

This book is beautifully written and is the type of book you get completely lost in as the chapters flow with a poetic style that witnesses dramatic situations. However, even though there are dramatic scenes, this book has a quietness about it, a subtleness that creeps into your mind, slowly engaging you completely. 

The book is split into two parts and I was quite shocked by how the first part ended. I wasn't expecting events to occur as they did and spent the first few pages of the second part searching for the truth. 

The secondary characters stood out just as strongly as the main characters. Ada and Poc both left me in tears with their actions of loyalty and love. 

The settings in the book are quite breathtaking as the author discusses them in a lot of detail. It really is a beautifully written book telling the timeless tale of love conquering all. 


  1. Wow this book sounds brilliant. I love books where there is a historical plot running alongside a contemporary one.

  2. I agree with Jenni, love books with a bit of history entwined. This sounds so good!

  3. Great review, Viv. I'm going to look for the book!

  4. How can anyone prefer a frog to dissect as opposed to a book to read? Sounds like a good read and I love the cover.

  5. Jenni - it was almost mirrored. A really lovely book.

    Carmen- it was fabulous.

    Mary - I hope you find it. I don't think it is well known.

    Petty Witter - the cover is gorgeous.

  6. Wonderful review! This sounds truly magical.

  7. It had me confused at first but aha, two different stories, I see

  8. Lovely review for what sounds like a lovely book, and I have to say that I love that quote:)

  9. This sounds fantastic and I do like the idea of parallel stories. Great review ;)

  10. This one sounds really good Viv - one I wouldn't mind reading. It has a pretty cover too.


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