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Our Tiny, Useless Hearts

Our Tiny, Useless Hearts

Toni Jordan

  • awardShortlisted, Voss Literary Prize, 2017
  • awardLonglisted, International Dublin Literary Award, Ireland, 2018
  • awardShortlisted, Australian Book Design Awards, Commercial Fiction, 2017
  • awardWinner, Foreword Indie Award, Bronze, United States, 2017
  • Henry has ended his marriage to Caroline and headed off to Noosa with Mercedes’ grade three teacher, Martha.

    Caroline, having shredded a wardrobe-full of Henry’s suits, has gone after them.

    Craig and Lesley have dropped over briefly from next door to catch up on the fallout from Henry and Caroline’s all-night row.

    And Janice, Caroline’s sister, is staying for the weekend to look after the girls because Janice is the sensible one. A microbiologist with a job she loves, a fervent belief in the beauty of the scientific method and a determination to make a solo life after her divorce from Alec.

    Then Craig returns through the bedroom window expecting a tryst with Caroline and finds Janice in her bed, Lesley storms in with a jealous heart and a mouthful of threats, Henry, Caroline and Martha arrive back from the airport in separate taxis—and let’s not even get started on Brayden the pizza guy.

    Janice can cope with all that. But when Alec knocks on the door things suddenly get complicated. 

    Harnessing the exquisite timing of the great comedies to the narrative power and emotional intelligence for which she is famous, Toni Jordan brings all her wit, wisdom and flair to this brilliant, hilarious novel.


    ‘Toni Jordan, Anna Karenina and Our Tiny, Useless Hearts.’ Toni Jordan at the Text blog
    ‘Farce, In and Out of the Bedroom.’ Toni Jordan at the Wheeler Centre


    Listen to Toni’s interview with Booktopia on Soundcloud.


    Alpha Reader


    Read an extract from Our Tiny, Useless Hearts on our blog. 

    Toni Jordan
    About the Author

    Toni Jordan was born in Brisbane and graduated from the University of Queensland with a Bachelor of Science. She has worked as a sales assistant, molecular biologist, quality control chemist and marketing manager.

    Her debut novel, Addition, was shortlisted for the Barbara Jefferis Award and longlisted for the Miles Franklin in 2009, and has...

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    Text publication date:
    3 January 2017
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    Praise for Toni Jordan
    andOur Tiny, Useless Hearts

    ‘A new Toni Jordan is always a special pleasure and her latest is a wonderful, witty treat of a novel: cutting and clever, and yet so very romantic, as though P. G. Wodehouse had satirised life in the suburbs.’

    ‘Laugh-out-loud funny, yet with real emotion at its core, this is a sexy-smart rom-com about love and marriage…I loved it.’

    ‘Crisp and clever…Jordan doesn’t cheat readers on the romance, either – conjuring a flawless but vividly rendered romantic hero and a love story that feels fresh and sexy.’

    ‘A concoction of robust jokes, observations both profound and pat and a very nice visual humour, Our Tiny, Useless Hearts rips along.’

    ‘An enjoyable romp full of bed-swapping antics, lies and subterfuge…Full of wit and sparkle…In between the hilarious coupling shenanigans the novel is a clever suburban satire and a sly nod to Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina.’

    ‘That Toni Jordan’s new novel manages to be a full-length fiction that simultaneously operates as a hugely enjoyable farce and an emotionally rich domestic drama is a testament to her skills as a writer and the charm of her voice.’

    ‘Farce entertains through exaggerated and improbable situations and Jordan has nailed that sentiment in this novel.’

    ‘Toni Jordan is in that small group of novelists who can write smart, character- and situation-driven humour, which is to say laugh-out-loud comedy: take Our Tiny, Useless Hearts to the beach.’

    ‘I hope romance readers of Australia are like me and have found their way to their hot, biting observations of the ups and downs of love.’

    ‘A highly entertaining romp through the complexities of modern relationships…A classic farce in the style of Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, complete with physical comedy, exaggerated situations and a spot of class commentary in the form of suburban satire, Our Tiny Useless Hearts is loads of fun and clever too.’

    ‘Reading in public may garner disapproval due to the inelegant snorting, snickering and laughing out loud which is inevitable…An absolute pleasure to read.’

    ‘Crafty, clever and comical…Take a little of Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors, mix well with Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, then set characters in one home, say in Carnegie, and you may begin to understand the wit in this delicious classic farce.’

    ‘A funny, cleverly written story about the ups and downs of relationships…The suburban love triangles channels slapstick lunacy and farce so effectively, you can almost hear The Benny Hill Show theme playing in the background.’

    ‘A classic bedroom farce with snappy dialogue and egocentric yet endearing characters…To describe Our Tiny, Useless Hearts as eminently readable is no aspersion; this comedy is perfectly calibrated to encourage glimpses of our own foibles in characters writ suburban-large – behaving badly, seeking forgiveness, and, sometimes, making amends.’

    ‘The action is fast-paced and deliciously witty…14 carat comedy gold.’

    ‘A delicious satire…Farce, wit and repartee ensue in a quick-paced, highly controlled plot…A highly involving and enjoyable read.’

    ‘A real treat – a witty and original romp through modern – day relationships that feels like the literary equivalent of an Australian TV drama…Our Tiny, Useless Hearts is more than just funny, sharp entertainment. It’s also a clever and informed exploration of marriage, love and lust, and a study of the modern family - messy, dysfunctional and tied together with bonds that are, often frustratingly, unbreakable.’

    ‘A lively romcom full of witty humour and daft characters…Toni Jordan is an astute observer of the absurdity of 21st century life.’

    ‘Farcical yet real at the same time, this will have you laughing out loud.’

    ‘Marriage is complicated—and sometimes hilarious—in this novel…Jordan’s dialogue is quick and witty, her writing is sharp, and the plot is fast-paced. However, the story’s heart comes from the way it deals with the serious issues (like infidelity and infertility) that hide underneath the humor. A funny, pleasant look at love, forgiveness, and second chances.’

    ‘Harnessing the exquisite timing of the great comedies to the narrative power and emotional intelligence for which she is famous, Toni Jordan brings all her wit, wisdom and flair to this brilliant, hilarious novel.’

    ‘[A] wonderfully witty comedy of errors…like a modern-day Oscar Wilde mixed with the Gilmore Girls.’

    Other editions ofOur Tiny, Useless Hearts
    • Our Tiny, Useless Hearts
      ISBN: 9781922253910
      2 May 2016
      Buy ebook
    • Our Tiny, Useless Hearts
      ISBN: 9781925355451
      2 May 2016