A Hundred Small Lessons

Ashley Hay. Atria, $26 (304p) ISBN 978-1-5011-6513-9
Hay’s engaging third novel (after The Railwayman’s Wife) explores the lives of two women connected by a house. In Brisbane, Australia, Lucy Kiss; her husband, Ben; and their young son, Tom, have just moved into the home where Elsie Gormley lived for more than 60 years. Elsie’s children decided that it was time for her to move to a nursing home because of a recent fall after which she lay helpless on the floor for hours. Through flashbacks, Hay recounts Elsie’s life with her husband, Clem, and twins Don and Elaine. Elsie’s memories are cleverly juxtaposed against Lucy’s early motherhood, and though Lucy has traveled the world with her husband as he changed jobs and Elsie lived in Brisbane her entire married life, the similarities in the two women’s lives gradually come to the forefront. Hay’s perceptive prose illuminates both Elsie’s and Lucy’s lives, resulting in a rich dual character study that spans generations. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 10/30/2017
Release date: 11/28/2017
Ebook - 978-1-5011-6515-3
Paperback - 978-1-5011-6514-6
Library Binding - 978-1-4328-4577-3
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-5082-4466-0
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