“You have to look for the little mercies, the small kindnesses and good that come from the terrible.”
For those playing the home game, you know that I love Heather Gudenkauf! I won’t bore you with what I said in my latest post about Little Lies, if you’re interested you can pop back a couple posts and check it out.
Once I figured out how to borrow ebooks from the library I quickly put all of Ms. Gudenkauf’s books on my wishlist and was alerted that Little Mercies was available. The problem was that I had already committed to finishing The Big Library Read, which didn’t take me that long to finish. I sometimes feel like I’m cheating on my goodreads reading challenge because I’ve been reading shorter books, but reading is reading I suppose.
Little Mercies is about Ellen Moore, a mother of three who is also a social worker taking care of the kids who don’t have a voice in unstable homes. One day everything turns around when Ellen is in a rush and doesn’t hear her husband yell from the porch an important detail that will plague her for the rest of her days. It is also about Jenny a ten year old girl who is living with her father paycheck to paycheck, and sometimes not even that.
Ultimately this book is about what we do for children; not only our flesh and blood but every child. Like the rest of her books that I have blogged about it is hard to discuss this book without spoiling the jaw dropping twists and turns that I have come to love from Ms. Gudenkauf. I’m waiting for her other books to become available on my library network so stay tunes for more blogs about this author. I hope she keeps at it because I will always pick up her books. You truly have a die hard fan over here Ms. Gudenkauf. Keep ’em coming!
“As much as I would like to protect the children I work with from the truth, I learned very early on that lies, big or little, eventually destroy, or at the very least, erode their faith in the world.”
Ms. Gudenkauf does it again! Those of you who have been following me for a while know that she is hands down one of my favorite authors. Starting with The Weight of Silence which left me so speechless I didn’t know what to read next for about a month. Then with These Things Hidden which also left in a kind of “book readers euphoria” for a few weeks.
Her writing is so real and fluid you feel like you are a peeping-tom, quietly looming in the bushes of the lives of her characters. Not to mention the twists and turns she has always placed in the perfect points in her books. Little Lies is no different! A novella prequel to Little Mercies, it gives you a backstory in to the work relationship of Ellen and Joe; a social worker and a police officer who seem to be a little more than friends.
It deals with a case that we have seen before. A woman is found dead by the side of her young child who is very much alive. What ensues is a who-dun-it and why that is so gripping to read, I couldn’t it down. At 44 pages (Kindle) it’s a short read. But it being summer I was sitting outside enjoying a beverage and baking in the heat and even though I could barely stand the heat from the sun I stayed until I was finished.
She never disappoints me and I can’t wait to pick up Little Mercies. Unfortunately, before I read this book I had already made a commitment, to myself, that I would read the worldwide “Big Library Read”, A Murder in Time. I just discovered that I can borrow ebooks from my library. Game changer. So, until then, Ellen and Joe are going to have to be put on hold and; as always, Thanks, Ms. Gudenkauf!
This is going to be a hard one. Which is probably why it’s taken me so long to post this. I fell in love with Gudenkauf’s story telling back when I read The Weight of Silence, I couldn’t put it down and finished it within days. The same happened with this book. The chapters switch from Allison, a young girl newly released from jail and has had to bare the brutality that comes with her crime and also the judgment of her family. Brynn, her sister who is the only one who knows the true story of what happened the night that Allison was arrested and she isn’t talking. Charm, a teenager going to nursing school and is also taking care of her estranged mother’s ex-boyfriend whom she recognizes as her dad. Claire, a woman who had trouble conceiving in the past and owns a bookstore with her husband.
The reason this is so tough is that I am not one to spoil a good book and there are so many twists in this one that it’s hard to describe without blowing it wide open. For anyone who has read any of Gudenkauf’s work you can commiserate with me. Every voice is clear and concise and well thought out. You feel for each woman and can understand why things played out the way they did and why each character made the choices that she did. It’s always refreshing to read a book with strong female characters who can hold their own and carry a book to it’s satisfying conclusion.
Like I said before, I love Gudenkauf and can’t wait to pick up another book by her. This was an emotional rollercoaster of a book but ultimately satisfying.