book blog / book reviews / books / fiction

Wednesday Weekly

Clara’s Heart

By Joseph Olshan


Hello to all my fellow readers out there!! Is everyone staying cool? I hope you are at the pool or somewhere holed up with the air conditioner running full blast!! Ohio is in  the midst of a heat wave and guess what? My central air is NOT working!! Boycotting house cleaning due to insane working conditions!! Just kidding dear husband.

This is a book that I received from NetGalley to read on my Kindle. It was originally published in 1985. It has been re-released as an e-book by Open Road Integrated Media on July 9th, 2013. This was made into a movie starring Whoopi Goldberg back in 1988. Whoopi played Clara and Neil Patrick Harris played the part of David. I am not a big movie watcher. I’ve never seen this movie. It wasn’t a box office smash. Olshan has written other novels and articles for magazines and newspapers. Clara’s Heart was his first novel and it won the Times/Jonathan Cape Young Writers’ Competition.

Film poster for Clara's Heart - Copyright 1988...

Film poster for Clara’s Heart – Copyright 1988, Warner Bros. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

David is a young boy who is growing up in a family that is experiencing difficulties. David’s parents go to Jamaica after his baby sister’s death to try to salvage their relationship. His mother, Leona, strikes up a friendship with Clara a Jamaican woman. Leona knows that Clara has some secrets. She has heard some rumors. Leona brings Clara back to the states with her to help take care of the house and David.

David is unsure how to react to Clara’s sudden appearance in his life, but they quickly form a strong bond. David is your typical ornery boy and Clara doesn’t put up with his shenanigans. David is also very curious about Clara’s past after hearing things from her friends.

The novel comes to a climax at the end. David must decide whether to live with his mother or father when his parents decide to divorce. What will happen to Clara? What happened in her mysterious past? Will her secrets be exposed?

I really liked this book. I thought that it was well written. It is packed full of emotion and drama. I thought that the characters were realistic. This was a quick read for me. It only took a couple of days. It’s too bad the movie didn’t do better. It is a really good story. I give this one 4 out of 5 stars.

Olshan wrote another book focused on the character of Clara. It is called In Clara’s Hands. It is available as an e-book also.


Author’s Websites:


3 thoughts on “Wednesday Weekly

  1. Hi Patty:

    Well obviously I think the book is better than the movie but for an interesting reason. In some places I think the movie hewed too closely to the book and didn’t re-invent the story for its own purposes. And unfortunately, one of the final revelations in the book is a bit melodramatic and doesn’t play well on the screen.

    I think Whoopi Goldberg did a very good job but the character that I envisioned in the novel was very different.

    Neil Patrick Harris, on the other hand, was terrific.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s