Title: Little Broken Things
Author: Nicole Baart
Published: November 21, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Obtained: Amazon Purchase
Synopsis: Quinn and her older sister, Nora, haven’t stayed in contact in their adulthood. But one day, Nora texts Quinn to meet her and drops a little girl into Quinn’s life with the instructions to keep her safe and keep her a secret. Quinn and her husband are currently living in a lake house owned by her mother, Elizabeth, who eventually discovers the little girl in Quinn’s possession. Quinn, Nora and Elizabeth realize that keeping this little girl safe may very well put all of them in danger.
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I’ve never been stumped trying to write a book review before. I have no clue what I’m going to write, so I’m just going with the flow here. I read this along with Salt Water Reads on Instagram, and none of their book selections have disappointed me yet. This one was no exception.
I had trouble putting this book down. The plot was very well-paced and surprising, and I kept wanting to read on to see what happens to the characters. I found myself very invested in the storyline, and although at times it was rather predictable, that didn’t take anything away from me at all. Little Broken Things is listed as both suspense/thriller and contemporary fiction, but I feel that it leans way more towards contemporary fiction. There is a bit of a mystery to the plot, but that mystery doesn’t necessarily drive the whole story.
This was quite a dysfunctional family, but at the same time they seemed rather normal. Jack Sr. and Liz had three children; Jack Jr. (JJ), Nora and Quinn. Each has grown and gone their own separate ways. Now that Jack Sr. has passed, Liz is trying to fit into this world alone. I can tell right away that she isn’t exactly lonely or sad to not have her husband anymore, which tells me that their marriage was more of a partnership rather than for love. Liz is one of four main POVs.
Nora left after high school and has barely looked back. Something kept her away, and I had my own theories as to what that was. She was usually the rebellious child, the one who fought against her parents and what they wanted for her. The story opens up with her POV.
Then there’s Quinn, who seemed like the golden child. Engaged to be married to her high school sweetheart, she decides to go to college for education in California and ends up marrying a California artist. They both lose their jobs and move back to Quinn’s hometown in Minnesota. She is another POV that we see. We barely see JJ at all, but he does play an interesting part in the story.
The story begins with Nora dropping off a child with her sister, Quinn. This child’s origins are unknown to both the reader and Quinn, and leads all of us to question where she came from. Known as Lily, she is an integral part of the story, and leads all three women to realize something about their own roles as mothers. Quinn has been trying to get pregnant for awhile and loves kids, and Liz suddenly realizes that she may not have been the perfect mother for her own three kids.
Nora’s part in Lily’s life is even more intriguing. Is she her biological mother? Did she kidnap the child? All of these possibilities are laid before us, but the ending may surprise you. I was not quite surprised, as I guessed the ending fairly early on, but there was so much more to this story than the predictable ending.
I love that Nicole Baart brought such unconventional ideas of motherhood to the table. She also writes about the question of sacrifice or selfishness and whether these two things can be mutually exclusive. There was so much heart and soul in Little Broken Things, and I’m so glad I got to be a part of that.
I loved this story and what the thoughts it brought to my mind. We had a fantastic discussion on Salt Water Reads and it brought to light even more than I ever could have imagined alone. I really enjoy being a part of a book club, even if it’s only an online one. If you’re interested in character development with a touch of thriller, this is an obvious choice!
Memorable Quote: “They say home is where the heart is, but I’ve known for a long time that it’s far more complicated than that.”