Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Review: Little Mercies by Heather Gudenkauf


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.

Publication Date: June 24, 2014

This book left me with such a pain in my gut the entire time I was reading it. The child abuse horror stories depicted by the author are not for the faint of heart. The book took me a long time to finish because I needed to give myself a mental break from the heartache I found between the pages. However, I have to give the author kudos for making me so emotionally invested in Ellen’s story.

Honestly, I was a little unsure going into Little Mercies. I had read another book by the author and I didn’t totally love the story. This book proves why it’s a good idea to always give an author another chance. Little Mercies was such a powerful read and I’m sure the story will stay with me for a long time.

I liked the alternating point of view narration and found myself relating on so many levels to both Jenny and Ellen. I admired their strength in the face of terrible circumstances. I thought their reactions were realistic and I could easily imagine so many other women and girls finding themselves in similar situations with no easy way out.

Child abuse is a tough topic to read about, but I though the author handled it in an honest, but sensitive way.

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

Thanks to the publisher for a copy of the novel for review!


  1. This sounds like a very hard book to read, but one that would be worth it.

  2. What an awesome review! Great that you found a book that left you with such a well of emotions. Nicely done. WRITE ON!

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