BOOK REVIEW: LITTLE BROKEN THINGS by Nicole Baart

Little Broken ThingsLittle Broken Things by Nicole Baart
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“In our brokenness, we are made strong. In our brokenness lies our true beauty.”

Those aren’t words from Nicole Baart’s latest – and perhaps best to date – novel, LITTLE BROKEN THINGS. The words are mine and they were the first words that came to me when I had turned the last page, closed the book and set it on the bedside table.

LITTLE BROKEN THINGS is the story of three women and the events that have intertwined their lives irrevocably and unforgivingly. It is a story of truths and lies and deceptions… of secrets hidden away and buried beneath the weight of years. Until one day the appearance of an innocent child forces the exhumation of a past that has been denied for far too long.

LITTLE BROKEN THINGS is a beautifully layered mystery, one that showcases the author’s story craft as well as her deep understanding and empathy of the human condition. With shifting points of view between Quinn, Nora, and Liz, chapter by chapter, the reader is drawn deeper and deeper into the mystery of Lucy.  Each page turn is a slow reveal as the author draws the reader further and further into the lives of a family charitably described as broken.

Liz, the matriarch, for whom appearance is more than just important; it is the only thing that matters and she would drown in the waters of denial before letting anyone see even a hint of imperfection or brokenness.

Quinn and Nora, the daughters, whose idea and ideals of life have always been divergent must now come to terms with a past they didn’t ask for but, to a small degree at least, they were complicit in.

Ms. Baart weaves these women’s stories together, layer upon layer, revelation upon revelation, building to a surprise ending more than worthy of any best-selling suspense novelist currently in the market. The tension throughout is palpable and reminiscent of a Mary Kubica or Heather Gudenkauf novel in its deftness and execution. With her seemingly inexhaustible compassion, sensitivity, and understanding of the human condition, the author tackles such once taboo subjects as sexual assault and abuse in a manner that others in her field could take notes from.

Breathtaking in its depth, LITTLE BROKEN THINGS, cast through the eyes and hearts of a complex, multi-faceted cast of characters, tells the story of family broken by the flaws and imperfections of humankind. It is a story of love and betrayal, a taut unveiling of their brokenness and the search for redemption.

LITTLE BROKEN THINGS marks the author’s official debut to a favorite genre of mine… suspense. Hitting all the marks, this insightful and well-paced mystery is a ‘must-read’ that more than satisfies and one I recommend without reservation.

Thank you,

Veronica Marie Lewis-Shaw
10 February 2018

(Writing under a large mushroom somewhere in the Pacific Northwest)

View all my reviews

About VeronicaThePajamaThief

Bio: Veronica Marie Lewis-Shaw Born in Lisboa, Portugal to parents of Portuguese/Russian descent, Veronica Marie and her wife, Christina Anne, call the Pacific Northwest home, where the couple are “still very much on honeymoon!” When not teaching and finishing her own studies for a Masters in Sociology, Veronica writes fiction, primarily noir - "I love dark!". Her long fascination with noir fiction prompted Veronica to try her own hand at writing fiction several years ago. She has been published in Pulp Metal Magazine, The Lost Children: A Charity Anthology, the horror anthology 100 Horrors, from Cruentus Libri Press, Nightfalls: an End of the World anthology, Drunk On The Moon 2: A Roman Dalton anthology and Gloves Off: Near To the Knuckle's debut anthology. Veronica has also appeared in the inaugural issue of Literary Orphans magazine and her horror/urban fantasy short story SOUL TAKER was recently chosen for inclusion in Lily Childs' february femmes fatales, an urban fantasy/horror anthology. Veronica counts among her mentors - Carole A Parker, Lily Childs, Paul D Brazill, Richard Godwin, Joyce Juzwik and Vicki Abelson. She is currently working on the third draft of her first novel – a memoir – as well the second draft of her first fiction novel, a fantasy novel and the publication of a collection of her flash fiction and short stories. Lily's The Feardom and Vicki Abelson's Women Who Write Facebook writing group have both been a tremendous source of support and inspiration for Veronica. Veronica’s writings can be found athttp://veronicathepajamathief.blogspot.com/ andhttp://veronicathepajamathiefwritespoetry.blogspot.com/, andhttps://veronicathepajamathief.wordpress.com/
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