“And wasn’t it sweet to be where you were and let it remind you of the past for once, despite the upset, instead of always looking on into the mechanics of the days and the trouble ahead, which might never come.”
Claire Keegan’s short novel Small Things Like These is so easy to become enamored with. The main character feels so human–flawed, but incredibly earnest and well-intentioned at heart. It’s amazing how Keegan drops us into this story so briefly, and yet right away we feel engrossed in the community, as though we’ve been alongside these characters for hundreds of pages before.
The tone of this novel is the very definition of bittersweet. It’s hard and heartbreaking to read about people struggling through a long winter with little money. But the main character is filled with hope. Time and time again he notices the small things and reflects on how meaningful those mere moments have become in the long run. It’s reassuring, comforting, and grounding to read.
I love the way this novel ends. Keegan brings us right up to the edge of what could be the second half of the novel, but instead leaves us wondering. It’s a brilliant way of emphasizing that it’s the process of the character getting to that point–all the small moments leading up to that one action–that really matters.
If you’re in the mood for a quiet yet powerful novel, I’d highly recommend this one.
Have you read anything by Claire Keegan? I’d love to know.
Take care xx
Leave a Reply