Book Title and Author: Lovely Little Things by Maureen Joyce Connolly
Publication Date and Publisher: April 2, 2019 by Sourcebooks Landmark
Genre: Mystery, Fiction, Suspense
Pages: 304 pages
Buy on Amazon.com
Date Read: February 24, 2019 (e-arc)
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 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.
Little Lovely Things is an excellent, compelling debut by Maureen Joyce Connolly. It’s a must read that grabs your attention from the beginning of the novel and never ends because Connolly writes with such vivid, eloquent prose!
Medical resident Claire Rawlings is on her way to work with her two young girls, Andrea and Lily, in her car when she’s suddenly so sick from an allergic reaction. The dizziness, weakness, and nausea are so overwhelming that she must pull over at a gas station, so she can frantically get to the bathroom—leaving her sleeping girls in her running car. She passes out and when she wakes, her car and her daughters are missing. This is only the start of a horrendous nightmare for her and her husband Glen, whose lives are shattered by the girl’s disappearances.
Connolly did an outstanding job with the plot of her novel—I’ve read a couple of other books recently with child disappearance as the main plot, but Connolly writes it in such an original way. I thoroughly enjoyed how she gave the storyline a hint of mysticism and touch of folklore with the addition of a character from the Sioux Native American tribe and characters from the Irish Travellers clan. I thought this added a lot to the originality of the plot, characters, and settings.
Little Lovely Things is a heart-wrenching story that as a mother especially pulled at my emotions and left me in tears throughout. Although the novel is taut with tension and full of suspense throughout, this is also an emotionally evocative book! Connolly is an astoundingly astute writer and whether you are a parent are not, this affecting and heartbreaking novel will make you feel all the emotions experienced by every one of the characters, whether those feelings are guilt, loss, grief, hopelessness, faith, hope, forgiveness, and love.
I was so impressed this was a debut because Connolly writes like a much more established author. This really is an outstanding debut, and I can’t wait to read what she writes next! I highly, highly recommend it!
**Thank you Netgalley, Sourcebooks Landmark, and Maureen Joyce Connolly for the ARC in exchange for my fair and honest review.**