Little Mercies Reviews
“Heather Gudenkauf writes stories that really pull a person in. Her books cover topics in the news and this one is no exception. It challenges your feelings and conceptions/impressions about something dreadful (can’t give away the topic for fear of spoiling it for others)and the person who caused it to happen. There is much to savor in this book…unconditional love being the main lesson. Makes you sad for those who live without it.”
–Goodreads (Read more reviews)
Gudenkauf (One Breath Away) is back with a riveting, fast-paced story. Ellen Moore, a social worker and harried mother of three, is bowed under the weight of her caseload of suffering children. Her life is shattered when, engrossed with an emergency case, she accidentally leaves her 11-month-old daughter in a hot car. Suddenly her baby is struggling for life, her employers are accusing her of child neglect, and her marriage is under tremendous strain. The breakneck pace of Ellen’s disintegration is tempered with alternating chapters from the point of view of ten-year-old Jenny Briad, who has a loving but ne’er-do-well father and a mysterious past. This work combines page turning intensity with deep questions about priorities and the sacrifices women make in their lives. The portrayal of the frenzied speed of a mother’s life leading ultimately to tragedy is similar to Lisa Genova’s Left Neglected, but with the additional horror of every parent’s worst fear: harming their own child. VERDICT
This novel is full of hope, despite a sometimes harrowing focus on abused children. Recommend to those looking for a quick read with lots to discuss; ideal for book groups.
“LOVED this book. Little Mercies is one of those books that immediately draws you into the story. The main character could be me or you or the neighbor next door, caught in an unimaginable nightmare when one small mistake has life-altering consequences. This book is described as a powerful and emotionally charged tale about motherhood and justice, but that barely scratches the surface. I enjoyed how the author tells the story from two perspectives and alternates between each main character until she eventually intertwines the two storylines. I can’t say much more without giving away the plot, but this is a story that will resonate with every mother and one that leaves you wondering, What if…”
Jo-Lynne ~ via Goodreads
“A story of motherhood, guilt, and redemption, Little Mercies examines our deepest fears and highest hopes. Gudenkauf’s prose is searingly raw, as Ellen’s confusion, guilt, and pain are laid bare. Thrilling and emotionally tender, this novel, with its driving pace, will appeal to fans of Lisa Scottoline and Jodi Picoult.”