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The Smallest Thing Kindle Edition
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This month's Book With Buzz: "The Lying Game" by Ruth Ware
From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers "In a Dark, Dark Wood" and "The Woman in Cabin 10" comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel. See more
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Top customer reviews
Instead of facing all of the opportunities that a young person should, she faces death, loss, and lack of freedom on a daily basis. Being 17, Em is a realistic character. Sometimes I wanted to shake her. Most of the time I wanted to hug her. This is not only a great story about a young girl who wants to live a life outside of the legacy that generations of her family have forged, it's about a young woman coming into her own and becoming her best self even in the most unfortunate circumstances.
One more thing, while I loved this author's previous novel, it always thrills me to read and witness an author's craft improving. This book is better than the last, and I can hardly wait to read her next one. Happy Reading.
Lisa Manterfield's second novel is a winner. The Smallest Thing is the engaging and wonderfully written story of Emmott Syddall, a seventeen-year-old English girl whose bucolic Derbyshire village is afflicted with a mysterious, deadly pandemic.
Already struggling against what she perceives are the claustrophobic constraints of growing up in a tiny hamlet where everyone knows everyone else's business, Em is forced to confront her fears, her future, her ethics, and the secrets of her fractured family when the village of Eyam is quarantined by the government. You don't have to know the history of Eyam to enjoy the story, but a little knowledge of Eyam's medieval plague history will add richness and depth to this captivating, modern retelling of the tale.
Readers who enjoyed Ms. Manterfield's first novel, A Strange Companion, will recognize her graceful and effortless writing style, which reaches out to the reader and invites them to walk with Em as she tries to make sense of the chaotic world collapsing around her. Even better, this second novel is deeper, broader in scope, and more complex than the first.
Everything in Em's life is fair game: her relationships with her parents, her desperate desire for freedom and a big city life in London, the achingly beautiful bond she shares with her best friend and partner-in-crime Deb, and the bliss, betrayal, heartbreak, and ecstasy of love. Em's emotional conflicts are captured with poignancy, gentle (and sometimes dark) humor, and psychological truth. Truly outstanding work.
From the book jacket:
"The very last thing 17-year-old Emmott Syddall wants is to turn out like her dad. She’s descended from ten generations who never left their dull English village, and there’s no way she’s going to waste a perfectly good life that way. She’s moving to London and she swears she is never coming back.
But when the unexplained deaths of her neighbors force the government to quarantine the village, Em learns what it truly means to be trapped. Now, she must choose. Will she pursue her desire for freedom, at all costs, or do what’s best for the people she loves: her dad, her best friend Deb, and, to her surprise, the mysterious man in the HAZMAT suit?
Inspired by the historical story of the plague village of Eyam, this contemporary tale of friendship, community, and impossible love weaves the horrors of recent news headlines with the intimate details of how it feels to become an adult—and fall in love—in the midst of tragedy."
As I read the novel, I found myself constantly wondering how things could possibly get worse for Em (they somehow always did), and how she was going to get herself out of the predicaments she kept getting herself into. It was a wonderful way to spend several hours of my weekend.
A wonderful second novel, The Smallest Thing is a gripping read and a delicious mix of suspense, laughter, loss, and redemption. It's an excellent book and I highly recommend it.
I really think this could have been a BBC drama. I was hanging on the edge of my seat! But it's deep and emotional, and so beautifully written.
Most recent customer reviews
Emmott, a 17 year old girl, is dying to break away from her village and make a life for herself...Read more
Wow! I didn’t remember the description of this book. I opened it on my kindle started reading and had problems putting it down when it...Read more
I have been MIA for about three weeks. I have another endeavor which I'm trying really hard to work out.Read more
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