A Hole in My Heart


Starting a new life after the death of her mother, Nora learns how to be strong.

Are there wounds too deep to heal, pains too sharp to share? And if a family survives by cutting the ties that bind them, can they ever be whole again?

After losing her mother to illness and her father to his work, Nora Mackenzie must leave her home in the interior of B.C. for a North Vancouver school. Estranged from her classmates, her family, and the life she’s lost, Nora walls herself off from the people around her. At the same time, her young cousin Lizzie is facing an uncertain future as one of the first children to undergo open-heart surgery. As the operation approaches, Nora discovers that she is not the only person in her family isolated by fear and grief.


One intriguing element of the novel is found in the details of life in 1960 that the author has worked hard to include.

Canadian Materials Magazine

Charles has captured the inner reality of an indomitable heroine, and Nora’s unquenchable curiosity and sensitivity to other people are a tribute to human resilience.

Quill & Quire

The interesting setting might help readers look past Nora’s initial prickliness and root for her as she finds her place in a new home.

School Library Journal

About the Author

Rie Charles

Posted by Dundurn Guest on October 30, 2014

Rie Charles

As a social worker Rie Charles worked with families in the various crises of their lives. She translates this fascination with people's narratives into books for young people. She has one previous YA novel, No More Dragons. Rie lives in British Columbia.