Bestselling author Of The Kiss Quotient Series, Helen Hoang Has Came Up With Her Third Book,’ The Heart Principle’.
The Premise Of The Novel.
The Heart Principle follows a book featuring Anna, who is a violinist. She has a routine for everything. Get up, get dressed, have breakfast, practice scales for an hour, and then restart the song that she is trying to perfect. She is always trying to blend in with people. To be what her parents and her older sister want her to be. They want a successful life for her, with a career that is booming and a boyfriend that is perfect to marry. So, For their sake, she puts on a smile, wrinkles her eyes so that it looks genuine(at least that’s what the book she reads suggests), and tries to be enough for her family.
Review On The Heart Principle:-
To start off, Being someone from Asia, specifically an Indian, I was able to resonate with most of the issues dealt with, within this book. No, I am not on the autism spectrum, but I do understand how the crushing expectations of one’s family can have an impact on their mental health.
The heart principle addresses important topics relating to the autism spectrum. It discusses what masking is. It also talks about how autism looks different in every person. This is discussed in the scene where- ‘Anna tells Priscillia, her sister (who is 15 years older than her )about her diagnosis. Hoping that her sister will finally understand and accept her. on the contrary, Priscilla expresses her disbelief and refuses to accept it. She is not supportive of Anna’s decision to see a therapist. Thinking that Anna is just trying to make excuses for her shortcomings. Thinking that the therapist just wants to make money. And that Anna is being problematic by taking away the struggle of autistic people.
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Anna had felt comfort by finding her diagnosis of low support autism. Hoping desperately that her sister will understand, she tried to defend herself. But Priscilla disapproves of this and hangs up the phone.’ This was sad to see as Anna starts to doubt whether she was actually right.
There was a lot of discussion on how difficult a caregiver’s job can be. When her father falls sick and he can’t take care of himself, his family brings him home and start taking care of him. Anna is expected to give up her choir chair and take care of him alongside her mother and sister. This takes a toll on Anna’s mental health as she tries to stay brave and smile the whole time when all she feels is exhausted. At the end of the day, her family can’t fathom how Anna can be “insensitive”. Feeling burnt out, she knows she can’t do it anymore and returns home.
Throughout the journey, Anna understands that sometimes it’s better to put up boundaries. You can’t always please everyone. The character development we see in her is phenomenal. The way she understands right from wrong and stands up for herself shows us her courage and bravery.
One of the best characters in this book was of course Quan. Him being extremely supportive and kind, He showed us that men can be vulnerable, they can have insecurities and that is completely okay. This book just upped the bar for how a romance novel should be. It is not problematic and it is just right for readers who have adored her previous books like The Kiss Quotient and The Bride Test.
Our Author calls this book a half memoir in her author note at the end of The Heart Principle. The novel is fictional. Sure. But there were many things that our author went through which were similar to Anna’s struggle. She talks about how a caregiver’s responsibility can be gruesome and exhausting. And she also talks about how it can take a toll on a person’s wellbeing.
“Anna’s struggle were mine. Her pain was mine. Her shame was mine. And I relieved it every time I sat down to write.”