Tuesday, November 23, 2021

The Nature of Fragile Things by Susan Meissner ~ Book Review

Sophie Whalen is an Irish immigrant living in New York City when she answers an ad in the paper for a mail order bride.  Without meeting, she agrees to marry Martin Hocking who lives in California.  Sophie knows it's a marriage of convenience and that is just fine with her.  Martin is a widower who needs a mother for his 5 year old daughter and Sophie needs somewhere where she can feel warm, safe, be provided for and have a child to love.   But once Sophie marries Martin and moves into his home, she finds Martin though wonderfully handsome a strange and secretive man who doesn't seem to care for his own daughter.  But Sophie has her own secrets so she lets things be while she finds solace in building a relationship with 5 year old Kat.  When a strange woman shows up at the door with questions, it starts an unraveling  in Sophie's and the stranger's lives that leads them to yet another piece of the puzzle that is Martin Hocking.  With information in hand, Sophie and the stranger confront Martin and events lead to decisions that will intertwine and change their lives forever.  Then a catastrophic earthquake hits and actual survival becomes the number one priority.  

This book was a page turner.  I love the way Susan Meissner weaves a story and in this one she uses the April 1906 earthquake and resulting fires that devastated San Francisco as a physical backdrop to her characters complicated lives which are under going a personal shaking and devastation .  Once the story got going I found I couldn't put it down because I just had to know what was going to happen and what the secrets were that were all coming to the surface.  I loved the characters of the women.  It's a story of survival both physical and personal but also of friendship in the midst of the unbelievable and of the resilience of women to move beyond the devastating.  Loved this story.  

Rated it 10/10

Read Your Shelf Challenge met for November:  A book with a night scene on the cover
and Reading Challenge:  Read a book on hold at the library








8 comments:

Barbara Harper said...

This sounds really good. I love the books of hers that I have read.

Faith said...

this sounds really good!! Yet another one to add to my "want to read" list! thanks for the good review

nikkipolani said...

Thanks for this review, Susanne! I have liked most of Susan Meissner's books and have put this one on hold at my library.

Deb said...

Hi Susanne. This one sounds good. I have always been fascinated by that 1906 earthquake in San Francisco, so I am going to check and see if our library has this one. As I was telling Faith, our libraries out here frequently do not have the same books as libraries in the east. I am not sure why, but many of the books you and Faith review are not even in the catalogue.

Deb said...

P.S. Yea - our library has it and I have added it to my list! Thanks!

Karen said...

Oh, this sounds good. And a new author for me. I added it to my Goodreads list.

Karen said...

I just looked at her book list, and I read A Fall of Marigolds, which I loved. Cool! More books to read!!

nikkipolani said...

Thanks again for this recommendation -- just finished it. Very interesting premises and you are right about the storyline pushing page turns.