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Friday, July 11, 2014

"Little Mercies" by Heather Gudenkauf- Absorbing!


In her latest ripped-from-the-headlines tour de force, New York Times bestselling author Heather Gudenkauf shows how one small mistake can have life-altering consequences…

Veteran social worker Ellen Moore has seen the worst side of humanity—the vilest acts one person can commit against another. She is a fiercely dedicated children's advocate and a devoted mother and wife. But one blistering summer day, a simple moment of distraction will have repercussions that Ellen could never have imagined, threatening to shatter everything she holds dear, and trapping her between the gears of the system she works for.

Meanwhile, ten-year-old Jenny Briard has been living with her well-meaning but irresponsible father since her mother left them, sleeping on friends' couches and moving in and out of cheap motels. When Jenny suddenly finds herself on her own, she is forced to survive with nothing but a few dollars and her street smarts. The last thing she wants is a social worker, but when Ellen's and Jenny's lives collide, little do they know just how much they can help one another.

A powerful and emotionally charged tale about motherhood and justice, Little Mercies is a searing portrait of the tenuous grasp we have on the things we love the most, and of the ties that unexpectedly bring us together.


Published by:  Harlequin MIRA
Pages:  320
Genre:  Fiction
Author:  Heather Gudenkauf
Website:  http://www.heathergudenkauf.com


Heather Gudenkauf is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Weight of Silence and These Things Hidden.

Heather was born in Wagner, South Dakota, the youngest of six children. At one month of age, her family returned to the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota where her father was employed as a guidance counselor and her mother as a school nurse. At the age of three, her family moved to Iowa, where she grew up. Having been born with a profound unilateral hearing impairment (there were many evenings when Heather and her father made a trip to the bus barn to look around the school bus for her hearing aids that she often conveniently would forget on the seat beside her), Heather tended to use books as a retreat, would climb into the toy box that her father’s students from Rosebud made for the family with a pillow, blanket, and flashlight, close the lid, and escape the world around her. Heather became a voracious reader and the seed of becoming a writer was planted.
Heather Gudenkauf graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in elementary education, has spent her career working with students of all ages and continues to work in education as a Title I Reading Coordinator.

Heather lives in Iowa with her husband, three children, and a very spoiled German Shorthaired Pointer named Maxine. In her free time Heather enjoys spending time with her family, reading, hiking, and running. She is currently working on her next novel.


It wasn't until I read Heather Gudenkauf's bio. that I discovered she has "profound unilateral hearing impairment."  Now that I'm deaf in one ear, I feel a new kinship with her.  I wonder if this hearing loss of  hers contributes to her extraordinary sense of characterization and conversational timing as she writes.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and can hardly wait to read her latest, "Little Lies."

The opening chapters of the book are shocking and simply drag us into the story.  The predicament of the social worker mother is one we immediately identify with, and; now that her same "mistake" is in our nation's attention this summer, it's even more compelling!  I was physically rocked by what happened to her and her child.

The secondary storyline kept close pace with the primary one...it was just as gripping.  Ms Gudenkauf is a great storyteller who knows how to captivate and keep us guessing.  None of her characters are run-of-the-mill.

If you're looking for a book that is different and will hold your attention throughout, this is one of them.  I've been tired reading books with similar plots and themes.  Heather Gudenkauf took me on a journey I appreciated and will look forward to in others of her books.

5 stars                                Deborah/TheBookishDame



I've been hearing a lot about this book and need to get my hands on a copy!

Cholil Wawan

nice article

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