Please note that I received this book via NetGalley. This did not affect my review or rating.
What a really good book. You will find yourself caught up in the life of Logan and everyone that is connected to him in some way. McQuestion does a good job of handling multiple points of view (you get Logan, his grandmother, a speech therapist, an elderly woman, and a married couple) while keeping the main story of Logan and his plight front and center. I really enjoyed the ending and I hope that if McQuestion does a follow-up book that maybe we can turn our attentions on the married couple (Paul and Laura).
"Half a Heart" is about 9 year old Logan Weber who runs away from his abusive father. We find out that Logan's life has been a virtual hell since his mother passed away. Unable to speak, he is forced to use his hands or write down what is going on with him. His father is often drunk and abusive. Logan and his father are living with a woman and her young daughter who does her best to ensure that Logan is on the receiving end of his father's violence. When Logan stows away in a moving van, he ends up in Wisconsin and finds a tree house that just seems to be waiting for him.
The story follows several people, but for the most part you are going to follow Logan and read his sad story about what became of his mother and how terrible his home life has become with his father. He's very smart and does what he can to survive when he realizes that being in Wisconsin and homeless is still better than returning home to his father and his rages.
Joanne is an elderly widow who is hesitant to go and live with her son and his family in Seattle. She wants to stay in her home with her dog Samson and continue to be part of the community. I did find Joanne to be a bit much at times since she definitely comes across as nosy (with regards to her new neighbors) but she was such a great character to find out more about. Joanne comes into contact with Logan when she spots a young boy who she thinks stole one of her towels and possibly threw a tomato at her dog. She eventually seeks out her new neighbors to warn them that they may have a thief in the neighborhood.
Laura and Paul are happily married though Laura feels like something is missing due to them not having children. Laura is an artist and should be thrilled she got asked to do a really cool installation, but she wants to go forward with being a foster parent. Problem is her husband is not so keen on trying to foster.
Logan's speech therapist even gets a scene here and there and you find out that she did what she could to look out for him, but still worries about what became of him.
Logan's grandmother ends up coming into the story when she finally is able to track down the last place he lived via the help of a private investigator she hires.
The writing was really good. As I said, McQuestion did a great job with moving the main story-line forward with shifting points of view. I was worried the whole time for Logan and how the ending would be handled. The flow was great too and I didn't have any trouble keeping the different characters straight in my head. You don't need a chapter heading or anything to call out who is speaking. I think writing it in third person definitely helped with that.
The setting of this book is Chicago and Wisconsin. McQuestion does a great job of showing Wisconsin and you can see why Logan falls in love with the nearby creek, the tree house, and just the general area.
The ending will definitely make you smile. All parties seem to be on the start of something new/good.