14 November 2017

Today's Read: A Hundred Small Lessons by Ashey Hay

Review: A Hundred Small Lessons by Ashley HayWhen you move to new digs, do you wonder about the people who lived there before you? As Lucy Kiss is settling her young family into their new house, Elsie Gormley is trying to let go of the place that holds most of her fondest memories.

It was early on a winter's morning when she fell—the shortest day of 2010, the woman on the radio said. From where Elsie lay, quite still and curled comfortably on the thick green carpet between the sofa and the sideboard, she could see how the sun coming in through the back door made a triangle on the kitchen floor. The light caught the pattern on the linoleum and touched the little nests of dust that her broom had missed under the lip of the kitchen cupboards.
A Hundred Small Lessons by Ashley Hay (Atria / Simon & Schuster, 2017, opening lines; eARC)

Quick Facts
  • Setting: Brisbane, Australia; modern times
  • Circumstances: Two women making new starts: Lucy is getting used to being a stay-at-home mom, being a homeowner, and living in a new city. Elsie is adjusting to assisted living and the loss of the house in which she raised her children. As each woman copes with changing circumstances, their stories begin to interweave.
  • Characters: Lucy Kiss and her husband and infant son; Elsie Gormley and her late-husband and grown twins.
  • Genre: literary fiction, women's fiction
  • Themes: family, motherhood, marriage, making a lasting life, coping with change
  • Why I want to read this novel: The answer to my opening question, for me, is yes. Every time I've moved, I've wondered about the people who lived in my home before me, especially if they've left something behind to give me a clue. I enjoy character studies and am looking forward to meeting Lucy and Elsie. I also like the idea that the two women are at opposite ends of their adult family life, yet are facing similar issues, such as loss of independence and changing self-images.
  • What reviews have said: Kirkus: "slow-moving, yet profound." Publishers Weekly: "a rich dual character study." Australian Book Review: "holds powerful truths, simply told."

19 comments:

Tina 11/14/17, 6:39 AM  

That interests me too, I think I will add it to my Goodreads library.

Vicki 11/14/17, 7:29 AM  

This sounds like a very touching story.

S J Higbee 11/14/17, 7:36 AM  

What a fascinating premise and yes... I'm with you - I do wonder about the people who have lived in this house before me, especially as I've never lived in a new-build and two of the houses I've inhabited were over 100 years old. My TT today is an epic fantasy with a difference -
https://sjhigbee.wordpress.com/2017/11/14/teaser-tuesday-14th-november-2017/

Kym Thorpe 11/14/17, 7:55 AM  

I don't often read modern settings, but I also wonder about those who've lived in a place before me, so I think I'd keep reading. Here's my Teaser/Intro post for this week: http://bit.ly/2zC0ztK

Laura Thomas 11/14/17, 7:56 AM  

Sucl lovely visual writing. I'd read this:)

My TT from Passing Strange

Sherry Fundin 11/14/17, 9:07 AM  

I do wonder. Things in the house seem to prompt questions, whether it's the cracked mirror or the stain on the carpet.
sherry @ fundinmental

Catherine BookClubLibrarian 11/14/17, 9:11 AM  

As someone contemplating a move, I think I'd like to read this novel.

(Diane) bookchickdi 11/14/17, 10:09 AM  

This one is next up for me on my TBR list, I'm on the TLC Tours for A Hundred Small Lessons.

Kathy Martin 11/14/17, 10:46 AM  

I've been seeing this book around. I hope you enjoy it. This week I am showcasing Heartstone by Elle Katherine White. Happy reading!

Laurel-Rain Snow 11/14/17, 11:33 AM  

Oh, yes, I love imagining the lives of people who lived in houses I have moved into...and sometimes they leave clues behind.

Thanks for sharing, and for visiting my blog.

Laura 11/14/17, 12:09 PM  

It sounds like an interesting book. Funny the things you notice in a situation like that. My teaser is from Paradox Bound by Peter Clines.

Les in Oregon 11/14/17, 1:49 PM  

This sounds like a lovely novel. I haven't read a lot of books set in Australia and would like to, so I've added this to my TBR list on Goodreads. Thanks!

Margot 11/14/17, 1:54 PM  

I like how the story starts. The whole plot seems quite sweet.

BooksPlease 11/14/17, 3:15 PM  

I enjoy character studies too and this one looks fascinating with two contrasting people.

Cleo Bannister 11/14/17, 4:02 PM  

Like you I answered yes to that opening question and so of course I'm drawn to your choice this week - I hope it lives up to your expectations.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea 11/14/17, 5:08 PM  

I like the cover and intro leaves me curious for more. I hope you are enjoying this one.

Anita LeBeau 11/14/17, 8:35 PM  

I like the premise of this book. I do wonder about who lived in a home, or apartment. I've always lived in new homes, but apartments are always turning over, changing inhabitants. I wish I lived in an old home with a rich history. Thanks, but not so sure I should be happy about adding another book..ha ha.

Daryl 11/16/17, 10:04 AM  

the premise of this novel appeals because it rings so true ...i remember my mom being so excited to live in a place no one else had ever lived in ... some place with everything new everything untouched by anyone but her ... thanks!

Deb in Hawaii 11/18/17, 11:15 AM  

I am on tour for this one in a few weeks. I too was attracted to the premise. ;-)

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