Published by Mira on July 1, 2014
Genres: Contemporary Fiction
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In her latest ripped-from-the-headlines tour de force, New York Times bestselling author Heather Gudenkauf shows how one small mistake can have life-altering consequences...
Veteran social worker Ellen Moore has seen the worst side of humanity--the vilest acts one person can commit against another. She is a fiercely dedicated children's advocate and a devoted mother and wife. But one blistering summer day, a simple moment of distraction will have repercussions that Ellen could never have imagined, threatening to shatter everything she holds dear, and trapping her between the gears of the system she works for.
Meanwhile, ten-year-old Jenny Briard has been living with her well-meaning but irresponsible father since her mother left them, sleeping on friends' couches and moving in and out of cheap motels. When Jenny suddenly finds herself on her own, she is forced to survive with nothing but a few dollars and her street smarts. The last thing she wants is a social worker, but when Ellen's and Jenny's lives collide, little do they know just how much they can help one another.
A powerful and emotionally charged tale about motherhood and justice, Little Mercies is a searing portrait of the tenuous grasp we have on the things we love the most, and of the ties that unexpectedly bring us together.
Ellen Moore is a seasoned social worker for the Department of Human Services who has had to make many tough, unpopular calls regarding the children she oversees. When she finds herself on the other side following tragic circumstances, Ellen has the opportunity to experience the impact of some of her past decisions. Meanwhile, 10-year old Jenny Briard suddenly finds herself alone in a strange city after being separated from her father. Her world collides with Ellen’s and Jenny cannot believe her fortune as a social worker is the last person she wants in her life.
The story takes a hard turn early on and I got hooked. I could feel Ellen’s pain and agony, Jenny’s fear and trepidation. It was heart wrenching at times, frustrating at others when confronted with the bureaucracies of the system. The alternating points of view really worked for me as I knew they’d ultimately intersect but didn’t know when or how. I liked the writing style, sparse for pace but detailed when outlining the characters and conveying the emotions of the moment. This is my first book by the author and I’ll be looking for more of her titles.
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