The Nature of Fragile Things by Susan Meissner | Book Review

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.


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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.

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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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