Title: Little Lovely Things
Author: Maureen Joyce Connolly
Publication: April 2, 2019
Genre: Women’s Fiction
SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)
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.
**A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**
Maureen Joyce Connolly took a typical kidnap story and made it into a story about survival, recovery, and so much more than you would imagine to get from a book like this.
The story follows Claire as she has a surge of illness and her girls go missing while she is passed out in a gas station bathroom. What I found interesting about how Connolly wrote this story is that it wasn’t just from one point of view. We got to see so many different aspects of a kidnapping case. We had the parents, obviously distraught. We had a random man traveling to a new home on the road. You had the police investigating. Then you had that view of the kidnapper and of one of the children. Typically when you read stories like this it’s all the investigative side and the parents reactions. Sometimes you find one that is from the view of the kidnapped. This one showed full circle the emotions and trauma that surface in a situation like this.
It also wasn’t just a quick recovery story either. We see how a loss like this tears a family up and changes how they simply live. It shows how resilient kids are to trauma and yet so vulnerable at the same time. It shined light on the fact that there are still good people in the world, even if their background might seem iffy.
The only complaint I have about Little Lovely Things is that there were quite a few times when I felt the story lulled. It wasn’t exciting to read. It wasn’t interesting. It was like it slowed down just a touch too much and as a reader, I want to be interested. I want the story to make me want to turn the page. It didn’t dissuade me from wanting to keep watching, but it was a bit hard at times.
Overall, Little Lovely Things was a great book that told the total story of how something as horrifying as a child kidnapping can completely uproot lives, even more so than just the family. Anyone who loves a slightly suspenseful women’s fiction novel should pick it up. Such a great story.
STAR RATING: 4/5
Pick up your copy of Little Lovely Things by Maureen Joyce Connolly on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your local bookstore. Also make sure to add it to your To Reads list on Goodreads and leave feedback for the author when you are finished. You can check out more from author Maureen Joyce Connolly on her website HERE!