Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Review: The Nature of Fragile Things by Susan Meissner

The Nature of Fragile Things
by Susan Meissner 

Publisher: Berkley
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  April 18, 1906: A massive earthquake rocks San Francisco just before daybreak, igniting a devouring inferno. Lives are lost, lives are shattered, but some rise from the ashes forever changed.

Sophie Whalen is a young Irish immigrant so desperate to get out of a New York tenement that she answers a mail-order bride ad and agrees to marry a man she knows nothing about. San Francisco widower Martin Hocking proves to be as aloof as he is mesmerizingly handsome. Sophie quickly develops deep affection for Kat, Martin's silent five-year-old daughter, but Martin's odd behavior leaves her with the uneasy feeling that something about her newfound situation isn't right.

Then one early-spring evening, a stranger at the door sets in motion a transforming chain of events. Sophie discovers hidden ties to two other women. The first, pretty and pregnant, is standing on her doorstep. The second is hundreds of miles away in the American Southwest, grieving the loss of everything she once loved.

The fates of these three women intertwine on the eve of the devastating earthquake, thrusting them onto a perilous journey that will test their resiliency and resolve and, ultimately, their belief that love can overcome fear.

Kritters Thoughts:  Sophie Whalen moved from NYC to San Francisco to change her life and boy did it!  Sophie Whalen answered a newspaper add for a widower who needed a companion and someone to help him with his daughter as they mourned the loss of a wife and mother.  All isn't what it seems and then things take a turn when San Francisco suffers an earthquake and subsequent fire that will alter Sophie's life.  

My favorite historical fiction reads teach me about a point in history that I am unfamiliar with while reading a great story with characters that I am interested in and a plot that keeps me reading to the last sentence.  Sophie was a fantastic character to follow and I was rooting for her from the beginning.  The twists and turns in the plot happened at just the right time and the conclusion satisfied me to no end!  

I can vaguely remember hearing about this particular earthquake and the devastating effects that it had on this city and beyond.  It was so interesting to read this book with the 2021 perspective and how easily someone could disappear in 1906, especially amid a tragic and debilitating event.  I had to remind myself often of how different finding someone during this type of event in 1906 is from the here and now.    

I have read quite a few of Susan Meissner's books and they have all been so enjoyable.  I think there are two or three of her historical fiction novels that I need to read and would love to prioritize reading them soon.  

Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Ebook 2021 Challenge: 4 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Berkley.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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