I once again had the opportunity to hear Heather Gudenkauf speak at our local Barnes and Noble. It’s always a pleasure to see Heather as she is friendly, warm and honest about her journey as a writer. After her reading and Q & A, I picked up a copy of her latest novel, Little Mercies, which I immediately started reading almost as soon as I got home. I was immediately sucked into Little Mercies and it didn’t let me go until the end.
Heather is very talented with her character development. The characters in Little Mercies are real especially Ellen. I am not a mother, but my heart ached and my eyes filled with tears during her most trying moments. I can’t imagine what it would be like for a parent to read this novel. They would probably need to buy stock in tissues just to make it to the last page!
My favorite thing about Heather’s books is the way she rolls out the plot. The point of contention comes early. She patiently puts her characters through hell while, every once in a while, shining a flashlight in the darkness to give the characters and the reader hope–a little mercy so to speak. She doesn’t rush the story or push the characters beyond what would be considered a reasonable breaking point. The events and emotions are all very real. All these things together make Little Mercies a thumbs up.