A review by serendipitysbooks
Small Things Like These, by Claire Keegan

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


 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.

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