Reviews tagging Confinement

Small Things Like These, by Claire Keegan

3 reviews

serendipitysbooks's review against another edition

Go to review page

dark emotional reflective slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

4.75

 Small Things Like These is a small, perfectly formed gem, a wonderful start to my holiday reading.

It’s set in a small Irish village in the lead up to Christmas 1985. Bill Furlong is happily married with five daughters. He’s a coal and timber merchant with a successful business yet he feels disenchanted with his life. While making a delivery to the local convent he sees something he wasn’t supposed to, something that causes him to revisit his own upbringing and realise how life could have been very different and vastly more difficult for him. It also has him thinking about his own daughters, what he wants for them and how they deserve to be treated. It’s a quiet and tender story about one man who shows courage, kindness and steadfastness with a full awareness of the power he is confronting and what it may cost him.

I loved this beautiful yet powerful little novella. It’s a poignant character study and a searing indictment of the Catholic Church, written in gorgeous prose. I can’t wait to read more by Claire Keegan.
 

Expand filter menu Content Warnings

marywahlmeierbracciano's review against another edition

Go to review page

challenging reflective medium-paced
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

Irish master of short stories Claire Keegan delivers a pocket-sized novel in a richly drawn village of secrets and the status quo.  It’s 1985 and Christmas is nearing.  Bill Furlong’s coal and firewood business is busy as ever, but on an early delivery to a laundry run by nuns, he comes across an unholy sight.  Furlong is no Scrooge—a good man is he—but recognition of his privilege, complicity, and hypocrisy sets him on a journey of self-discovery not unlike that of A Christmas Carol.  Furlong’s recognition of the worth of those around him, and of himself, will warm your heart and open your eyes. 

Expand filter menu Content Warnings

house_of_hannah's review

Go to review page

dark hopeful informative inspiring reflective sad fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

Thank you so much to Grove Atlantic and NetGalley for providing me with an e-ARC; it is greatly appreciated. 

This novella had a very cozy and gentle feel for dealing with such a dark subject matter. I was completely absorbed into this story, and felt all the emotions along with the main character, Furlong. 

It is reiterated several times in the story how you often cannot see things that are right in front of you. This is shown in every aspect of the novella, especially the convent that the town seems to keep as an open secret. Essentially this book is Furlong reflecting on his life, the little things people have done to get him here, and how one action of his can cause so much change. 

One of my favorite scenes is when Furlong is lost on an unfamiliar road. He stops and asks where the road leads, but is told that the road can take him wherever he wants to go. I really feel like this reflects on the decisions we make everyday, and foreshadows the decision that Furlong will have to make later in the story.  

I truly found this novella to be lovely, reflective, and heart-breaking. It was a beautiful reading experience, and I cannot wait for it to be released so that I can purchase my own copy. In the mean time I will definitely be checking out this author's other works.

Expand filter menu Content Warnings
More...