Author: Claire Keegan
Published by: Grove Press on Nov. 30, 2021
Genres: Historical Fiction
Source: Publishers Group Canada
Book Rating: 9/10
It is 1985 in a small Irish town. During the weeks leading up to Christmas, Bill Furlong, a coal merchant and family man faces into his busiest season. Early one morning, while delivering an order to the local convent, Bill makes a discovery which forces him to confront both his past and the complicit silences of a town controlled by the church.
Already an international bestseller, Small Things Like These is a deeply affecting story of hope, quiet heroism, and empathy from one of our most critically lauded and iconic writers.
Astute, thought-provoking, and memorable!
Small Things Like These is a short but affecting story that takes you to County Wexford during Christmas 1985 and into the life of Bill Furlong, a coal and timber merchant and father of five daughters who, after discovering some whispered but often ignored rumours to be true about the local convent-run laundry and the girls who are housed within, must decide whether to continue to turn a blind eye about the atrocities that may be occurring there or risk his stable, comfortable life and do what he knows in his heart of hearts is the right thing to do.
The prose is sophisticated and descriptive. The characters are gentle, kind, and sympathetic. And the plot is an exceptionally moving tale about family, morality, community, relationship dynamics, and the harrowing history of Magdalen laundries in Ireland.
Overall, Small Things Like These is a powerful, pensive, well-written story by Keegan where the space between the words resonates as loudly as the words themselves and is a beautiful reminder, especially at this time of year, that caring is truly the root of morality.
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Thank you to PGC Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.