Little Lovely Things
by Maureen Joyce Connelly
published April 2, 2019
Publisher: Recorded Books (April 2, 2019)
Listening Length: 10 hours and 14 minutes
Narrator: Elisabeth Rodgers
About the book
A mother’s chance decision leads to a twist of fate that is every parent’s worst nightmare.
Claire Rawlings, mother of two and medical resident, will not let the troubling signs of an allergic reaction to prevent her from making it in for rounds. But when Claire’s symptoms overpower her while she’s driving into work, her two children in tow, she must pull over. Moments later she wakes up on the floor of a gas station bathroom-her car, and her precious girls have vanished.
The police have no leads and the weight of guilt presses down on Claire as each hour passes with no trace of her girls. All she has to hold on to are her strained marriage, a potentially unreliable witness who emerges days later, and the desperate but unquenchable belief that her daughters are out there somewhere.
Little Lovely Things is the story of a family shattered by an unthinkable tragedy. Played out in multiple narrative voices, the novel explores how the lives of those affected fatefully intersect, and highlights the potential catastrophe of the small decisions we make every day.
“A shattering adventure.” — Jacquelyn Mitchard, bestselling author of The Deep End of the Ocean
“Little Lovely Things is an insightful and moving read that is well worth the journey.” — Vivian Schilling, bestselling author of Quietus
“Combining the suspense and razor-sharp outlook of a Gillian Flynn novel, Maureen Connolly’s debut sizzles. I finished Little Lovely Things in one heartbreaking, tear-batting gulp. Connolly takes risks that make the reader’s heart start anew. Finding shards of hope amidst the chaos of tragedy is a testament to both the writer, and the characters she creates.” — Jenny Milchman, USA Today bestselling author of Wicked River
When my friend Suzy was looking for listeners for the audiobook tour for Little Lovely Things, it was almost like fate. See, she needed people who hadn’t read the book yet, and low and behold, here I was. It was odd because last year when my good friend Kate (@bookapotamus if you aren’t already following her) toured for this book and told me it was a must read, I went out and picked it right up. It even says in my Amazon history that I purchased it April 15, 2019. But, like everything else, the book got put to the wayside, and other blog tours and new releases came out and Little Lovely Things hit the TBR Backlist.
And now here I am. Finally getting to a backlist book, and even better, getting to do one of my favorite things, listening to it on audio. Now if you haven’t tried audio, let me talk about that for a second. I was against it for quite a while. Only listened to it in the car. It just didn’t seem right. But as I’ve gotten older and listened to the advice of friends, I gave it another try. My god it’s wonderful.
- I can put down the book I am reading and get up and pop my headphones in and make supper and continue listening where I left off in the book.
- I can jump in the car to go somewhere and still listen to my book.
- I can pop my headphones in when Geoff is talking to me when I am trying to actually read, and have somebody READ ME MY BOOK!
Seriously though, this has been a godsend. With technology today there are so many more options, subscriptions and free plans. Its worth it. Library books are also free on audio if you have a library card, and there is no wait time.
Now let’s talk about LITTLE LOVELY THINGS.
Claire, a medical student, is driving in the car with her two little girls when she starts to have some type of allergic reaction. Mentally aware enough of what is happening to her, she has the wherewithal to pull over into a gas station so as not to cause an accident or harm her children. In an attempt to get to the ladies room and keep the door open so she can still visualize her children, she becomes severely ill and passes out, while the bathroom door closes behind her. When Claire finally arouses, she finds that her car and her children are gone.
Tell me that right there isn’t enough to just make your heart sink into your gut?
Imagine reading that.
Now imagine listening to someone describe it to you.
It was 100 times worse.
For some reason when you read a book you get all the thrills and chills, but you still seem to have some control over it all. When you are listening to an audiobook, and someone else is telling you a story, it’s almost like you are physically watching this scene play out and you literally feel and react as if you are right there. I can tell you right now I had to take a half of a Xanax with this one, I felt like I WAS CLAIRE.
The story has multiple main characters that all come together to tell this gut wrenching tale of love, loss, choices made, and guilt felt. It’s gritty and its raw, and it literally made my heart pound the entire time. Its hard to believe this is actually Connelly’s DEBUT novel! And the narrator, Elisabeth Rodgers, major props to her. She read so brilliantly. Every time that bird squawked I screamed “SHUT UP BIRD!” She was just that good.
There is so much depth to this story, and I want to tell you so much more but I can’t, it will ruin and spoil, and I just don’t do that. But what I can say is that this was phenomenal. In the book world it was a page turner, in the audiobook world I couldn’t get narration speed to tell the story fast enough for my liking before it all jumbled together. I’m surprised this wasn’t made into a movie. What an unsuspected thrill ride. Definitely give this one a chance. Read it, if you’re into audio, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this one, YOWZA! (Amazing what having the right person read your book can do)!
4.5 Stars and once again I must round up to 5 because Amazon and Goodreads do not listen to their customers and won’t allow us to give half stars.
I just would like to thank Maureen Joyce Connelly, Suzanne Leopold of Suzy Approved Book Tours and Recorded Books for the copy of this book for my unbiased and honest opinion for review. (Oh and @bookapotamus too, just because she TOLD me to read this a year ago)!
Buy the Book
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About the Author
Maureen is a former owner of a consulting firm that helped specialty drug companies to develop medications for ultra-rare diseases. Maureen received her Bachelor’s degree in physiology from Michigan State University and her Master’s degree in Liberal Studies from Wesleyan University. Her background in science and love of the natural world informs and inspires her writing. LITTLE LOVELY THINGS is her debut as a novelist. She is also an award-winning poet, published in diverse outlets such as Emory University’s Lullwater Review and Yankee Magazine.
Maureen is a foodie and appreciates interesting recipes. She also enjoys painting (especially flowers and sycamore trees), competing in races with her dragon boat team (Go Fierce)!, and reading (of course). She relishes spending time with her three children, her husband and her pets; a ridiculous terrier named Huckleberry, and a plump orange cat, Pumpkin.
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