Little Lovely Things

Little Lovely Things

by Maureen Joyce Connolly

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Overview

"A shattering adventure." — Jacquelyn Mitchard, bestselling author of The Deep End of the Ocean

A mother's chance decision leads to a twist of fate that is every parent's worst nightmare

It is the wrong time to get sick. Speeding down the highway on the way to work, her two little girls sleeping in the back seat, medical resident Claire Rawlings doesn't have time for the nausea overtaking her. But as the world tilts sideways, she pulls into a gas station, runs to the bathroom, and passes out. When she wakes up minutes later, her car—and her daughters—are gone.

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.

As hopeful and uplifting as it is devastating, Little Lovely Things is the story of a family shattered by unthinkable tragedy, and the unexpected intersection of heartbreak and hope.

Perfect for readers of Watch Me Disappear and After Anna!

Additional Praise for Little Lovely Things:
"Little Lovely Things is an insightful and moving read that is well worth the journey." — Vivian Schilling, bestselling author of Quietus

"Combining the suspense and razor-sharp outlook of a Gillian Flynn novel, Maureen Connolly's debut sizzles. I finished Little Lovely Things in one heartbreaking, tear-batting gulp. Connolly takes risks that make the reader's heart start anew. Finding shards of hope amidst the chaos of tragedy is a testament to both the writer, and the characters she creates." — Jenny Milchman, USA Today bestselling author of Wicked River

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781492672500
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication date: 04/02/2019
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 2,629
File size: 780 KB

About the Author

Maureen Joyce Connolly is a former owner of a consulting firm that helped develop medications for ultra-rare diseases. While she misses her old career, she loves being a full-time writer. Maureen received her bachelor's degree in physiology from Michigan State University and her master's degree in liberal studies from Wesleyan University. Her background and love for science and the natural world informs and inspires her writing. Little Lovely Things is her debut novel.

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Little Lovely Things: A Novel 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 29 reviews.
cloggiedownunder 5 months ago
Little Lovely Things is the first novel by American poet and author, Maureen Joyce Connolly. It is any parent's worst nightmare: two young daughters in a car at a gas station, mother having passed out in the rest room from a medication reaction, wakes to find the car and the girls gone. Lily Rawlings is just fifteen months old; her sister Andrea is four and a half; but despite police barricades quickly set up, there’s no sign of the girls or the car. Their parents, Claire and Glen are distraught at the possibilities. Witnesses are not reliable and the possible suspect has disappeared. Without including spoilers, not a lot more can be said about the plot, but any reader who, from the back-cover blurb, thinks they know where this story is going will be mistaken. Already from the second chapter the reader knows who has taken the girls, but there are several surprises in store before the story reaches its exciting climax. What can be said of this moving tale is that it features a Native American as a key character, a persistent old psychiatrist, some Irish Travellers and a touch of the paranormal. The Rawlings experience the double-edged sword of live media appearances and learn how feelings of guilt and self-recrimination, as well as unspoken blame, do damage to a marriage once thought strong. What these abductors do, and the jaw-dropping ease with which they rationalise their actions, will stagger readers. Connolly easily conveys the emotions of the protagonists from various narrative perspectives. Her characters are believable for all their human flaws and weaknesses; the trauma and its aftermath see them grow and develop; the feisty Andrea and the young Lakota man are likely to be favourites. A stirring and thought-provoking read, this is a brilliant debut novel that will have readers eager for more from this talented author.
Anonymous 10 days ago
As much a look at the trauma of loss as a fast-paced thriller, Little Lovely Things by Maureen Joyce Connolly explores the depths of a parent’s nightmare come true, the kidnapping of two little girls. When Claire, a medical student juggling her marriage, parenthood, and the stress of finishing her residency, succumbs to a gut-wrenching illness and has to leave her daughters in the car for less than five minutes, her entire world plunges into free-fall. Without ruining the wonderful, well-told plot woven by Connolly like a master, Claire struggles to find happiness in what remains of her life. Buoyed by the hope of Jay White, a wandering ex-con with a touch of shamanistic intuition, Claire fights through her days with the dream that her daughters might still be alive. Keep a box of tissues handy, Connolly’s gorgeous prose reaches deep into the heart of every parent, tempering the trauma of loss with the magic of a mother’s love.
Anonymous 13 days ago
I felt like the writing style was not to my liking. It was a good story. Also, I felt like the ending could have been a little longer, or maybe there is another book to follow?
Kristin975 12 months ago
Little Lovely Things hit me with so many emotions that I was not expecting. As a mother, the thought of my child being kidnapped has always been one that leads to major fear. Claire is on her way to work with her two daughters in the backseat. As she's driving, she becomes extremely sick, pulls into a gas station, and goes into the bathroom, leaving her daughters in a running car. She passes out and when she comes to, her car and daughters are gone. This book took off so quickly and dragged my emotions through so many highs and lows. I finished it in one day because i just not possibly put it down and not find out what was coming next!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this book at a book signing at my local Barnes and Noble store and I’m so glad I did! The storyline really kept me on my toes and I had a very difficult time putting the book down once I started it. Very emotional, never boring! I highly recommend it!
Ashcclapp More than 1 year ago
What a great suspense! I honestly felt like I was reading an "adultified" version of The Face on the Milk Carton....that was obviously much darker. I really liked how I couldn't quite figure this one out, especially as little twist is thrown at the reader within the first quarter of the book that I just didn't expect. I appreciated the time that the author took in creating the characters as you really get a sense of the guilt and raw emotion the mother feels throughout the entire novel as well as the lack of comfort that Andrea/Colly feels throughout her everyday life after the "event". My favorite character by far, though, was Jay. He was a great connecting character which I find many mysteries and suspense novels lacking these days. He was the one you couldn't help but root for and his journey from beginning to end just felt so perfect and fulfilling.  There were a couple times in the book that I felt it dragged a little and tried to overemphasize the already established emotional scars that Claire had formed but those times never lasted for longer than a reader could handle. The differing points of view helped with the pacing in this case because there was always a different person to jump too relatively quickly. I was very impressed with this novel and am really looking forward to seeing more from this author. Many thanks to Source Books for this book in exchange for my honest review.
Renwarsreads More than 1 year ago
I was so happy to get an advanced copy of this book. I was hooked from the very beginning, it almost felt like I was reading a YA book because the story starts out with a bunch of 15 year old kids, but time does pass and the things that these kids carry with them as they grow into adults shape their future lives. Another great one by Lisa Scottoline!
Towrin Zaman More than 1 year ago
This was not an easy read... Claire, a medical student and a mother of two, gets afflicted with an allergic reaction to a double dosage of vaccine while driving her two daughters, and it's so bad that she has to pull into the nearest gas-station to go to the bathroom, on the verge of vomiting and passing out, leaving her two daughters sleeping in the car. That's the last she sees of them because the couple of Moira and Eamon, Irish travelers come across the kids, and Eamon impulsively decides to abduct the girls because their mother apparently This was such an intricately weaved tale, with complex characters. It was fascinating to read the point of view of the couple who abducted the kids too. Moira, in particular, was a destructive character with multiple layers. Then there was Jay White, a Native American with a supernatural sense of insight. There preternatural themes playing throughout the book, with dreams playing a major role. But it was the interplay of guilt and blame between Claire and Glen that really stuck with me. None of the characters were perfect, Claire the least. In fact, I was frustrated with Claire more than any other characters. But I also felt so much compassion for her! The writing was sublime and subtly descriptive, if at times too unorthodox, which might not be for everyone, because it did disrupt the flow of my reading at times. But Maureen Joyce Connolly is definitely a debut author to look out for.
SilversReviews More than 1 year ago
Glen, Claire, Andrea, and Lily had the perfect life until the day Claire had to pull off the road because of dizziness, leave the car running with her daughters in it because of the heat, and then return to find the car and her daughters gone. Could anything worse have happened? Of course the answer is no. A missing child is a parent's worst nightmare. We follow the Rawlings family as they move through the heartbreaking days as the police investigate with no luck. As you read you will feel their pain as they remember their daughters and special occasions. An interesting twist is another story line that will have you guessing how both stories connect. For a debut novel, Ms. Connolly definitely knows how to put words together to make a fast-paced, tense, unable-to-put-down read with memorable characters. Even though the subject isn't pleasant, Ms. Connolly did a superb, creative job with the topic and with pulling you into the story line and connecting with the characters. LITTLE LOVELY THINGS is heartbreaking, heartwarming, and has 98% likeable characters. 5/5 This book was given to me as an ARC by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was lucky enough to win an autographed arc copy of this book from the Author Maureen. This book was so well written that I personally experienced intense emotions reading it, for example in the beginning when one of the main characters Claire felt ill, I felt nauseous. This book invokes so many emotions in you I had a knot in my stomach reading most of it, especially towards the end It is a definite edge of your seat page turner. If you like a fast paced emotionally charge read, then this book is for you! I highly recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
First things first, BRAVO to Maureen Joyce Connolly on her debut novel LITTLE LOVELY THINGS. I am not going to give a synopsis of the book as the book description does this for you, without showing its hand. Many reviewers opt to provide a synopsis of the book. However, if I give the reader a synopsis of Connolly’s novel, there is no reason to read the book. “Wakhán Thánka,” he repeated, calling to the Great Spirit, to the souls of his mother and his grandmother, because what he had just found was beyond…” – LITTLE LOVELY THINGS I will say this much about this must-read book. Connolly gives us a novel that oscillates between loss, hope, despair, empathy and a myriad of other feelings that run the gauntlet of emotions. LITTLE LOVELY THINGS is a gripping and heart-wrenching suspense novel that evokes emotions whether you want to feel them or not. She weaves intuition and the spirit world into her book through the inclusion of the traditional Irish Travelers’-clan and a Sioux member of the Lakota nation tribe. Connolly nailed her plot, characters, settings, Points of View (POVs), the conflict, et cetera. Moreover, speaking of POVs, it is difficult for a seasoned author to write using shifting POVs. However, Connolly did so seamlessly as an established author with several published books. Furthermore, she did so without leaving me feeling lost or confused at any point from the time I started reading Connolly’s novel until I had read the last page. Connolly’s LITTLE LOVELY THINGS wastes no time in grabbing a reader’s attention and interest from the start of her novel by catalyzing her characters from the beginning of her book and fully developing a distinct voice for each principle character in LITTLE LOVELY THINGS. She does so by finessing each character, some much more complicated than others, and ascribing the relevant actions and emotions of each personality. LITTLE LOVELY THINGS was not a telling novel, but rather a showing story in which the reader experiences the feelings of the characters while progressing through the pages of LITTLE LOVELY THINGS. Connolly, just as any other exceptional authors accomplished this through her ability to write descriptive, authentic prose. “They were almost there, all the way to safety, when…Bam! The trailer blew like a tin can filled with firecrackers.” – LITTLE LOVELY THINGS Connolly’s background in psychology played well for her by enabling her to apply the rudiments of psychological behavior and emotions of her primary characters. Connolly's psychology background was an invaluable asset to Connolly, using her knowledge of the psyche of others, both good and bad. I never felt suspicious of that which I should be experiencing as I read from character to character which was Connolly’s way of ensuring she did not lose her readers, avoiding getting multiple characters mixed up and resulting in chaos in her debut novel. Connolly wrote for her readers. While feeling Connelly’s character’s emotions, these emotions invoked feelings within me that were my own, which is what an author wants. I certainly hope that Connolly is planning to write a sequel to her debut novel LITTLE LOVELY THINGS. Thank you to Sourcebooks Landmark Publishing, Maureen Joyce Connolly and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review LITTLE LOVELY THINGS. - D.B. Moone
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
First things first, BRAVO to Maureen Joyce Connolly on her debut novel LITTLE LOVELY THINGS. I am not going to give a synopsis of the book as the book description does this for you, without showing its hand. Many reviewers opt to provide a synopsis of the book. However, if I give the reader a synopsis of Connolly’s novel, there is no reason to read the book. “Wakhán Thánka,” he repeated, calling to the Great Spirit, to the souls of his mother and his grandmother, because what he had just found was beyond…” – LITTLE LOVELY THINGS I will say this much about this must-read book. Connolly gives us a novel that oscillates between loss, hope, despair, empathy and a myriad of other feelings that run the gauntlet of emotions. LITTLE LOVELY THINGS is a gripping and heart-wrenching suspense novel that evokes emotions whether you want to feel them or not. She weaves intuition and the spirit world into her book through the inclusion of the traditional Irish Travelers’-clan and a Sioux member of the Lakota nation tribe. Connolly nailed her plot, characters, settings, Points of View (POVs), the conflict, et cetera. Moreover, speaking of POVs, it is difficult for a seasoned author to write using shifting POVs. However, Connolly did so seamlessly as an established author with several published books. Furthermore, she did so without leaving me feeling lost or confused at any point from the time I started reading Connolly’s novel until I had read the last page. Connolly’s LITTLE LOVELY THINGS wastes no time in grabbing a reader’s attention and interest from the start of her novel by catalyzing her characters from the beginning of her book and fully developing a distinct voice for each principle character in LITTLE LOVELY THINGS. She does so by finessing each character, some much more complicated than others, and ascribing the relevant actions and emotions of each personality. LITTLE LOVELY THINGS was not a telling novel, but rather a showing story in which the reader experiences the feelings of the characters while progressing through the pages of LITTLE LOVELY THINGS. Connolly, just as any other exceptional authors accomplished this through her ability to write descriptive, authentic prose. “They were almost there, all the way to safety, when…Bam! The trailer blew like a tin can filled with firecrackers.” – LITTLE LOVELY THINGS Connolly’s background in psychology played well for her by enabling her to apply the rudiments of psychological behavior and emotions of her primary characters. Connolly's psychology background was an invaluable asset to Connolly, using her knowledge of the psyche of others, both good and bad. I never felt suspicious of that which I should be experiencing as I read from character to character which was Connolly’s way of ensuring she did not lose her readers, avoiding getting multiple characters mixed up and resulting in chaos in her debut novel. Connolly wrote for her readers. While feeling Connelly’s character’s emotions, these emotions invoked feelings within me that were my own, which is what an author wants. I certainly hope that Connolly is planning to write a sequel to her debut novel LITTLE LOVELY THINGS. Thank you to Sourcebooks Landmark Publishing, Maureen Joyce Connolly and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review LITTLE LOVELY THINGS. - D.B. Moone
lsmoore_43 More than 1 year ago
When I started this book I did not expect to have my heart ripped out, my emotions so raw and the tears to flow so hard. From the first to the dramatic ending this book made me cry. Ugly sad tears and at times tears of happiness for the characters. I rooted for Claire and Glen to make it through the worse thing that can possible happen to a couple. For them to cling to each other and help each other through this horrible time. They had so much pain and loss. From blaming themselves to possibly blaming each other. They didn’t sit and talk things through. It was like they didn’t except what happened. Maybe closed down to it. Claire certainly had enough guilt for both parents and Glen in ways made me so mad. I thought he was a bit cold but in reality I’m sure he was suffering too. How do you go on when the things you treasure most are taken from you. You have no idea where they are or what is happening to them. This was certainly a sad story with a very good ending. I loved almost all the characters. I did not like Moira. I found her to be very unlikable and cold. I know she went through a lot but there was no excuse for the things she did. She was cold hearted and I just did not like her. Jay I loved. He was full of compassion and cared about the parents of these two beautiful girls. He played a pivotal role in this story and I really loved him. He was a down on his luck drunk who had more feelings than lots of people would have had. This book is a page turner for sure. It has things going on that will keep you in edge, keep you wondering how it’s all going to play out. It’s a story of love, loss, empathy, caring, sadness, tragedy and you will want to keep reading to see what happens next. It’s a well written book. This author did a great job of this book. She sure brought out the emotions in me. When you read it have plenty of Kleenex handy because I promise you will need them. I loved the ending but there is one thing I do wish would have happened or been taken care of. Another 5 star review from me. Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks for the ARC in exchange for my honest unbiased review. I highly recommend this book!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
great+book
CCinME More than 1 year ago
Difficult story to read evoking strong emotions. The characters were well developed and the reader can easily follow them. The material is sometimes very difficult making the characters all that more human. Very good!
357800 More than 1 year ago
4+ Stars Very Well Done Debut! And another new author to keep on my radar. Most of us have probably read stories, both fiction and non-fiction involving child abduction, but LITTLE LOVELY THINGS has one unsettling, gut-wrenching part, in particular, that will stay with me for a long time that occurs after a mother's violent illness and frightening decision. What you'll find here is a compelling read about a struggling loving family with two adorable children and great prospects for the future, a dog nicknamed G you will come to love, a mysterious, gifted man with a troubled past, an old, clever psychiatrist....and two brainless desperate young adults you are guaranteed to abhor who make the worst decisions. Don't miss LITTLE LOVELY THINGS; a painfully tragic, but hopeful story.
Holly More than 1 year ago
When a book starts out with the mother of two little girls while dealing with an allergic reaction to a double dose of a shot that forces her to black out to only wake up to a mother's worst nightmare come true, it's then that you know that this will be a good read! The books starts out slow then you get to that pivotal moment when Claire wakes up to her car and her girls missing, then you go on this high and low race to that ending that will make you cry for what happens in the end. I can't spoil too much of this book but I will say that there will be points along the way that will force the book out of your hands just to think what Claire and her husband Glenn are dealing with. I will say that ending will totally make up for all the bad parts in between that will make this read, a best seller in my mind! Some parts are slow to get through but once you figure out what is happening in the book especially toward that explosive ending, you will be glad that you stuck it out for the whole story! For being a debut novel from this Author, I can only imagine what will come next from this brilliant Author in the future! Thank You to Maureen Joyce Connelly for writing such a fantastic debut novel that will stay with the reader for a long time!!! I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book from Suzy Approved Book Tours!
lovelyfourblog More than 1 year ago
On the way to dropping off her children at daycare, Claire begins to suffer from an allergic reaction. Having to abruptly stop at a gas station off the freeway, Claire runs into the restroom with her car still running with her daughters inside. She blacks out and regains consciousness moments later to then discover that her daughters are missing. The storyline definitely kept me on my toes and I love that each chapter was written in one of the four different character's perspectives. Maureen did a fantastic job for her debut. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for their next book to binge read. **Thanks to SMITH Publicity, Inc. for providing me a complimentary copy of LITTLE LOVELY THINGS by Maureen Joyce Connolly in exchange for my honest review.**
AmberK1120 More than 1 year ago
I received a free copy of this book for my participation in the review tour. This book was such a pleasant surprise. I went into it expecting a thriller experience - a fast-paced “who dunnit” ride through the pages. Instead, Connolly set this up as more of a character study, delving into the lives of these characters after the abduction, and it was exactly the book I needed. As you already know, characters are my jam. So when I realized the way this story was going to play out, I was ready for it. I loved that Connolly took us into the minds of each of the major players in this story. It gave the reader a glimpse into the thought processes that led to some of their actions, actions that I know I’d have interpreted differently had I not known their thoughts. I was able to empathize with everyone (or at least understand why they thought what they were doing was right). I’m realizing I don’t have a lot of words to say about this book because it’s the kind I normally just shove at someone and say, “read this, but make sure you have Kleenex handy”. It’s full of emotions and desperate decisions. And I think you’ll even find yourself wondering how you’d react if you were in each of their shoes.
BettyTaylor More than 1 year ago
This story reveals how a simple decision can turn into a tragedy. So hard to believe this is Maureen Connolly’s debut novel. It reads like a seasoned author had written it. Totally riveting! Suspenseful! So hard to put down! A heart-breaking story of child abduction and its aftermath, the fast-paced story pulled me in and refused to let go until the final breath-taking scene. Claire Rawlings is the mother of two lovely little girls and a medical resident, thus lives the typically chaotic life of all women in her situation. One morning as she is rushing to get the girls ready to take to daycare she ignores the rash on her stomach that is a reaction to a vaccine. But as she drives to work she is gripped by severe nausea and dizziness and is forced to pull into a gas station. A short time later she awakens on the floor of the gas station’s restroom and finds both her vehicle and daughters gone. Thus starts the frantic search for her precious little girls. Claire beats herself up for leaving them even for a moment, and her guilt seriously strains her marriage. Claire and her husband must now find a way to keep their hope alive while trudging through each day. The story is relatable with well-developed, memorable characters. We have all made quick decisions that could have gone wrong. We can all understand the extreme guilt a mother would feel if her decision resulted in harm to her children. Every day marriages fall apart from the tragic loss of the children. The story delves a bit into the Native American and Irish Travelers cultures. At first I didn’t buy into throwing in these two cultures, but it worked really well. I look forward to more fantastic books from this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a tough read. The story of a mom getting sick and stopping at a gas station restroom turns into her two little girls being kidnapped. Seeing the story from several perspectives certainly made me feel for every character in this book, but the overall story really haunted me. I couldn't put the book down for needing to know what was going to happen next. This was a hard read but also a great one. I received an advanced copy in exchange of an honest review.
Shelley-S-Reviewer More than 1 year ago
I must admit that this story exceeded my expectations. The intensity of the story line kept me thoroughly riveted and engrossed. With a complex and realistic cast of characters, the author does a phenomenal job of showing Claire's undying mother's love and emotional quest to find her daughter(s). The author transports the reader into this fast-paced white-knuckle story line with her creative interweaving of psychological tension that leaves the reader's heart palpitating until the ending leaves them emotionally spent. Little Lovely Things is a very well written debut novel with excellent pacing. This is definitely a page turner you should consider adding to your library. Connolly’s writing style is outstanding, easy to follow with great scene setting. I’ll definitely read her next one.
MeganLeprich More than 1 year ago
Thank you so much to Sourcebooks and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. Please tell me I'm not the only one that balled like a big baby at the ending. Happy tears of course but holy moly did that ending get me. Claire is training to become a doctor and her life is pretty great with her two daughters, husband, and their dog. One morning she wakes up feeling a little off but knows she can't miss work and needs to drop her daughters off. On the way there she has to pull over at a gas station and in the bathroom ends up passing out while her two girls are still in the running car. Two homeless, drug addicts stumble upon the car and the guy convinces the girl they should take the kids and the car away from what he says is a druggie mom. When Claire finally wakes up she can't believe that her car and her two babies are gone. The search begins to find the kids then tragedy hits in more than one way and Claire and her husband give up hope. Except Claire can't help but feel that her older daughter is still out there. She can't anticipate how much her life is about to be thrown for a loop again. I was a little skeptical about this book at first when all of the Native American culture and language started. I myself know absolutely nothing about their culture and beliefs so I was lost more than a few times. I feel that the author could have explained the language and some of the wording better. Instead I found myself constantly having to stop reading so I could google to figure out what they were talking about. But then as I got more and more into the story I found myself hooked. I didn't want to stop reading because I was dying to know what was going to happen next. Another thing I liked about the book was how many different points of view there was. Instead of having the whole story told just through Claire's perspective you also got two other major characters voices and what was going on with them. It made the story so much more in depth and better than I could have anticipated. Such a great read even though the whole book will have you on an emotional rollercoaster.
deniseadelek More than 1 year ago
Lovely Little Things by Maureen Joyce Connolly begins with the unthinkable happening. Claire, a mother and physician-in-training has caught a bug going around her hospital and is having an allergic reaction. In her rush to get her daughters squared away at daycare and to make her rounds, she collapses at a gas station. When Claire comes to, the unthinkable has happened: her daughters have been taken right from her car. This story is told from the perspective of Claire, racked with grief and devoted only to her career, as she comes to terms with both of her daughters' deaths, as well as Moira, an Irish traveler who is responsible for the worst day of Claire and her husband's lives. The two other narrators bring the story full circle, as we understand the deep grief that Claire and her husband Glen are experiencing. Restless spirits and travelers are an underlying theme in this story; everyone is very unsettled and there is the constant desire to move around and an attempt to outrun the past. I enjoyed the elements of Lakota culture, as well as the backdrop of the Midwest in its most unforgiving state. This book is Connolly's debut novel, and kept me racing to the finish.
Lisa_A_Listwa More than 1 year ago
The storyline in Little Lovely Things is one of terrible tragedy and a parent's worst nightmare, but Maureen Joyce Connolly handles the story with care and makes it an enjoyable read - if that's even the right word for a story like this. While the events of the novel are difficult to handle, the story is immediately engaging and holds the reader's attention. I liked Connolly's treatment of the characters and found them to be genuine and realistic. I found it easy to both like (and dislike) Claire and Glenn for exactly this reason. They are just like any two people you might know in real life complete with their own set of complicated emotions, life situations, and problems. The story does not end with a completely neat resolution, but what in life does? I actually prefer an open-ended finish to a story. The one thing I didn't love about the novel was Jay's involvement. I loved his character but often felt that he didn't quite fit into the narrative, that he was more of a forced plot device. Overall, this was a fast and easy read. 3.5/4 Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC ebook.