The Nature of Fragile Things by Susan Meissner | Book Review

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Nature of Fragile Things by Susan Meissner | Book ReviewThe Nature of Fragile Things by Susan Meissner
Also by this author: Stars Over Sunset Boulevard, The Last Year of the War
Published by Penguin Publishing Group on 2021
Genres: Fiction, Historical, Literary, Women
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
ISBN: 9780451492180
Goodreads
five-stars

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.
From the acclaimed author of The Last Year of the War and As Bright as Heaven comes a gripping novel about the bonds of friendship and mother love, and the power of female solidarity.

I love that feeling of being swept away by a book. The Nature Of Fragile Things by Susan Meissner was one of the first books that swept me away this year. Meissner is an author I am fast coming to really appreciate. After all, I really enjoyed The Last Year Of The War and Stars Over Sunset Boulevard. So, you better believe that with this three-peat of enjoyment all of her releases are now on notice for me.

Meissner’s The Nature Of Fragile Things provides an intimate look at the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake through the lens of a young immigrant woman named Sophie Whalen, now, Sophie Hocking. Sophie immigrates to New York City and is expecting a better life. Only, it isn’t. She’s working in a factory and living in a crowded tenement, missing Ireland. She sees an ad in the paper placed by a man looking for a bride. He’s in San Francisco. Sophie answers the ad and heads to San Francisco, full of hope for the life ahead of her.

Sophie falls head over heels for Martin’s daughter, Kat, and is immediately thrilled to be her mother. With Martin, on the other hand, it is not an easy road. He is on the road for work a lot and is super mysterious about his job. Meanwhile, Sophie is adjusting to a more middle class life than what she is used to. One night while Martin is out on the road, a woman shows up at Sophie’s house.

It turns out that this woman has a connection to Martin that Sophie never would have expected. Making matters even worse? It is on the eve of the San Francisco Earthquake. Then, we have the connection of another woman out in Arizona. There is a tangled web for Sophie to unravel while also dealing with the fallout of the earthquake.

The Nature Of Fragile Things completely had my attention. This book reminded me why I return to historical fiction time and time again. I loved that Meissner was able to make the time period come alive. The plot was compelling. Even more compelling to me, however, were the characters. Each morsel I got about Sophie and her history fascinated me, but also at turns made me feel such empathy for her. If you’re looking for a book to transport you to another time, get a copy of The Nature Of Fragile Things by Susan Meissner.


five-stars
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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.

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