Title: Little Lovely Things by Maureen Joyce Connolly
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense
Length: 304 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
If only things had been different
It is the wrong time to get sick. Speeding down the highway on the way to work, her two little girls sleeping in the back seat, medical resident Claire Rawlings doesn’t have time for the nausea overtaking her. But as the world tilts sideways, she pulls into a gas station, runs to the bathroom, and passes out. When she wakes up minutes later, her car—and her daughters—are gone.
The police have no leads, and the weight of guilt presses down on Claire as each hour passes with no trace of her girls. All she has to hold on to are her strained marriage, a potentially unreliable witness who emerges days later, and the desperate but unquenchable belief that her daughters are out there somewhere.
As hopeful and uplifting as it is devastating, Little Lovely Things is the story of a family shattered by unthinkable tragedy, and the unexpected intersection of heartbreak and hope.
Taking place during the early to mid 1990s, Little Lovely Things by Maureen Joyce Connolly is a heartbreaking, suspenseful novel about two little girls who are kidnapped.
Almost finished with her residency, Claire Rawlings is a busy mom of two daughters, fifteen month old Lily and four year old Andrea. Husband Glen is a teacher who also coaches to supplement the family income. While on her way to work with the girls, Claire is suddenly taken ill. Leaving her daughters asleep in the car, she dashes into the ladies’ room where she passes out. During that brief window of time, Lily and Claire vanish. The police immediately begin searching for the girls, but will any of their scant leads help locate them?
Native American Jay White is ready to get his life on track. While en route to the place where he hopes to start fresh, he makes a shocking discovery. After meeting Claire, Jay feels a kinship with her and the two inexplicably remain in touch over the years. Despite a few struggles, Jay has completely turned his life around when he meets one of his new neighbor. When his long suppressed intuition begins speaking to him, will Jay trust the feeling that something is not quite right with his new acquaintance?
Over the course of four long years after their daughters’ disappearance, Claire and Glen never quite get their fractured marriage back on track. Claire has never dealt with her overwhelming guilt for her daughters’ kidnapping. As she and Glen continue to drift apart, is it too late to save their once happy marriage? And will they ever find the answers to the questions that continue to plague them about their children’s kidnapping?
Little Lovely Things is an emotional novel that is quite captivating. The characters are multi-dimensional with true to life weaknesses and realistic strengths. The storyline is fresh and imaginative and the various settings are vibrantly developed. Although not a traditional mystery, Maureen Joyce Connolly keeps readers on the edge of their seats as the novel hurtles to a dramatic denouement. The conclusion is a bit abrupt yet satisfying. An outstanding debut that I truly enjoyed and highly recommend.