book cover of Heart-Breaker

Heart-Breaker

(2018)
A novel by

 
 
The love between a daughter and her mother - and the dark secrets they keep from each other - are at the heart of this wildly imaginative novel that combines elements of The Handmaid's Tale, Stranger Things, and Twin Peaks.

An isolated town.

The remains of a mysterious cult.

And a woman who disappears.

It's 1985. Pony Darlene Fontaine has lived all her 15 years in "the territory," a settlement founded decades ago by a charismatic cult leader. In this strange town run on a sinister economic resource, the women crimp their hair and wear shoulder pads, and the teenagers listen to Nazareth and Whitesnake on their Walkmans. Pony's family lives in the bungalow at the farthest edge of town, where the territory borders the rest of the wider world - a place none of the townspeople have ever been.

Except for Billie Jean Fontaine, Pony's mother. When Billie Jean arrived in the territory 17 years prior - falling from the open door of a stolen car - the residents took her in and made her one of their own. She was the first outsider they had ever laid eyes on. Pony adores and idolizes her mother, but like everyone else in the territory she is mystified by her. Billie Jean refuses to describe the world she came from.

One night, Billie Jean grabs her truck keys, bolts barefoot into the cold October darkness - and vanishes. Beautiful, beloved, and secretive, Billie Jean was the first person to be welcomed into the territory. Now, with a frantic search under way for her missing mother, Pony fears: Will she be the first person to leave it too?

Told from the three unforgettable perspectives of a daughter, a killer dog, and a teenage boy named Supernatural, this novel is startling in its humor and wrenching in its wisdom about the powers, limits, and dangers of love. Heartbreaker is an electrifying pause-resister about a woman reinventing herself in order to survive - and a daughter who must race against the clock to untangle the mysteries left in her mother's wake.

Narrators:

"Girl" section, read by Jorjeana Marie

"Dog" section, read by Claudia Dey

"Boy" section, read by MacLeod Andrews

Genre: Literary Fiction

Praise for this book

"This book is beautifully written, profoundly strange, a perfect balancing act of dark and light. Part thriller, part love story, part coming-of-age novel, it broke my heart and then put it back together again." - Claire Cameron

"Heartbreaker makes high and hilarious art from the emotional Pop Rocks and glittery junk of a certain way of being young. And vulnerable. Also, it has one of the most awesome dogs in literature. . . . A thrillingly original, wholly spellbinding, and luminous novel." - Rivka Galchen

"What a completely thrilling novel! In its story, people, vision, sentences, and fervor—in its pure intelligence and unbridled bravery—it stands apart. With Heartbreaker, the literary landscape is forever changed." - Barbara Gowdy

"A dark star of a book, glittering with mordant humor and astonishing, seductive strangeness and grace. I am a giant fan of Claudia Dey’s wild brain." - Lauren Groff

"Heartbreaker gave me chills all the way through. . . . I floated in the perfection of its ending. I loved this novel’s shining sensitivity. I loved its every page." - Sheila Heti

"Devoted as I am to the oddities of remote northern lands, I could not put this book down. By turns hilarious and harrowing, Heartbreaker’s icy exactitude is direct, disturbed, and entirely splendid." - Samantha Hunt

"Imagine a funnier but more sinister offspring of Peyton Place and Never Let Me Go, and you approximate the world of this stunning new novel. Claudia Dey’s beautiful, off-kilter music has been missing from our literary landscape for too long—a most welcome return." - Michael Redhill

"I was kidnapped by this novel. Original, alluring, and memorable, Claudia Dey’s Heartbreaker—an electrifying story about buried pasts, dark secrets, and dangerous love that shimmers and sparks—will get under your skin." - Iain Reid

"Behold the virtuosity of Heartbreaker! Claudia Dey has a perfect ear and the sharpest eye. Her portrait of Pony Darlene Fontaine, and the strange world she inhabits, is devastating, unsparing, and unforgettable." - Miriam Toews


Similar books by other authors


Used availability for Claudia Dey's Heart-Breaker

Hardback Editions

August 2018 : UK Hardback
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Title: Heartbreaker
Author(s): Claudia Dey
ISBN: 0-00-829507-7 / 978-0-00-829507-3 (UK edition)
Publisher: The Borough Press
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon AU   


August 2018 : USA Hardback
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Title: Heartbreaker: A Novel
Author(s): Claudia Dey
ISBN: 0-525-51173-3 / 978-0-525-51173-1 (USA edition)
Publisher: Random House
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


Paperback Editions

June 2019 : UK Paperback
thumb

Title: Heartbreaker
Author(s): Claudia Dey
ISBN: 0-00-829511-5 / 978-0-00-829511-0 (UK edition)
Publisher: The Borough Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon AU   


August 2018 : UK Paperback
thumb

Title: Heartbreaker
Author(s): Claudia Dey
ISBN: 0-00-829508-5 / 978-0-00-829508-0 (UK edition)
Publisher: The Borough Press
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon AU   


August 2018 : Canada Paperback
thumb

Title: Heartbreaker
Author(s): Claudia Dey
ISBN: 1-55468-550-8 / 978-1-55468-550-9 (Canada edition)
Publisher: HarperAvenue
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   


Audio Editions

August 2018 : USA Audio edition
thumb

Title: Heartbreaker
Author(s): Claudia Dey
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Limited
Availability: Amazon   


August 2018 : UK Audio edition
thumb

Title: Heartbreaker
Author(s): Claudia Dey
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Limited
Availability: Amazon UK   


August 2018 : USA Audio edition
thumb

Title: Heartbreaker: A Novel
Author(s): Claudia Dey
Publisher: Random House Audio
Availability: Amazon   


August 2018 : Canada Audio edition
thumb

Title: Heartbreaker: A Novel
Author(s): Claudia Dey
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd
Availability: Amazon CA   


Kindle Editions

August 2018 : Australia, UK Kindle edition
thumb

Title: Heartbreaker
Author(s): Claudia Dey
Publisher: The Borough Press
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon AU   


August 2018 : Canada Kindle edition
thumb

Title: Heartbreaker
Author(s): Claudia Dey
Publisher: HarperAvenue
Availability: Amazon CA   


August 2018 : USA Kindle edition
thumb

Title: Heartbreaker: A Novel
Author(s): Claudia Dey
Publisher: Random House
Availability: Amazon