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  • Writer's pictureLilac Mills

How to Mend a Broken Heart by Anna Mansell


Hello? Rhys Woods? I have a patient here I think you know. Yours is the only number in her diary…

When Rhys is called to the hospital to meet Susan, a woman he barely knows, he is compelled to help her. Still grieving the loss of his brother months earlier, Rhys knows all too well the feeling of loneliness.

There are years between them, but Rhys is the only person Susan will respond to, and when she asks him to bring her her most treasured possession, a book of fairytales, he is intrigued.

Hidden in the book is a clue to Susan’s past, and the painful regrets she carries with her. And as Rhys starts to unearth Susan’s secrets, he finds that his own grief begins to heal too…

Together, Susan and Rhys must learn to live again. Can they help each other to find happiness and finally mend their broken hearts?


The cover, the title, and the blurb to a certain extent, all suggest a lighter read than is to be found inside this book. The author skilfully deals with some painful topics, and one of the characters being dumped by her boyfriend can't be compared to the issues the other two MCs face.

At times I wanted to slap Rhys out of his childish, selfish behaviour, but as the story progressed and reasons for his actions and attitude grew clearer, he became more of a character I could empathise with and understand.

The plot is well executed and well thought out, and the characters are finely painted.

The title suggests that broken hearts can be mended, but the story itself gives lie to this, as Rhys already knows.

A strong message of love and forgiveness (both of oneself and others), and of taking responsibility for one's own happiness, runs through the whole story, so in spite of the subject matter it is an uplifting read.

About the Author

Anna had a brush with 'fame' as a magician’s assistant back in 1977. She later decided that being sawn in half by her father, at barely 6 months old, was too submissive a role, vowing to channel the trauma in to something much more pro-actively creative. Having failed at acting, singing and professional murder mystery parties (she was ALWAYs the one to die!), she fell to something much more solitary: writing. How To Mend a Broken Heart is her first novel and her life was not on the line in order to write it. Anna lives on a dairy farm in Cornwall with her two children, her husband, and her ex-racing greyhound, Olive Dog.

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