Villard Books, Paperback, 9780812968330, 237pp.
Publication Date: April 8, 2003
Nina Lander is a recent college grad, struggling to be independent, who has moved back home with her parents as she tries to start a career in sports broadcasting. But she’s increasingly frustrated with both her father’s treatment of her mother and her mother’s acceptance of her own unhappy life.
Though Nina is wracked with uncertainty, the one thing she thinks she can hold on to is her budding relationship with Maurice, a charming, handsome rookie NBA player. Nina rationalizes his silence as strength and his jealousy as love. When there is evidence of his infidelity, Nina is hurt but not surprised. Her father has cheated on her mother, and her brother has cheated on his girlfriends. All men cheat, Nina believes.
But then Maurice abruptly ends the relationship, sending Nina into an emotional tailspin. After she recovers and is on the brink of falling in love with Leo LJ Love, an up-and-coming rapper who has had a crush on her since high school, Maurice reenters her life, claiming to be a changed man. Will she take him back?
“A winner that you gotta check out!” —Vivica A. Fox
“A novel of love and resilience . . . [Butler] touches on the strength of relationships among women—be they mothers, mentors, or friends.” —National Women’s Review
“In Hand-me-down Heartache, Butler skillfully presents the world of Nina Lander, a recent college grad who goes on an odyssey of self-discovery.” —Essence
“Butler’s second novel . . . deals sensitively with the impact of domestic abuse on an African-American family and the choices made by a young woman dealing with issues of self-doubt while seeking acceptance in her relationships.” —Publishers Weekly