Sunday, March 1, 2020

A Hundred Small Lessons; Ashley Hay and Such a Fun Age; Kiley Reid

TITLE: A Hundred Small Lessons
AUTHOR:  Ashley Hay
PUBLISHER: Simon & Schuster Audio
PUB. YEAR: 2020
SETTING: Australia 

FORMAT: audio
RATING: - 3.5/5

Elsie Gormley, husband Clem, and now adult children have enjoyed a long life and shared history in the family home in Brisbane, AU. Now Elsie is forced to leave it all behind after a fall has her entering a nursing home.  Her home is sold but, her memories of the past remain.

Lucy and Ben and their young son are the new owners of Elsie's former home. They are a young couple trying to adjust to a lifestyle change since becoming parents.  When Lucy finds an item belonging to Elsie, she feels a connection to her and the home's history.

A character driven novel, well written that delves into the personal lives and challenges of the two families: love, motherhood, marriage life and death. Although the story is well written it was very slow for me. It's been compared to Olive Kitteridge; Elizabeth Strout (which I loved) but, I didn't see the connection.  I think this story will appeal to readers who like quiet reflective fiction.

TITLE: Such a Fun Age
AUTHOR:  Kiley Reid
PUBLISHER: Penguin Audio
PUB. YEAR: 2020
SETTING: Philadelphia
FORMAT: eGalley/audio
RATING: - 3/5

Alix Chamberlain is a 30-something, white woman and successful social influencer who knows what it takes to get the attention of others.  Emira Tucker is a 20-something, black woman and college graduate who is trying to figure out a direction for a satisfying future, but for now, she babysits Briar, the young daughter of Alix.

Early on in the novel there is a racially motivated incident at a grocery store where a security guard questions Emira being out late at night with Briar, a white child. Emira is detained while her story is investigated. The whole scene is filmed by a young white man, Kelley.  Alix is horrified when she learns what has happened and wants to make it up to Emira.

This is a character driven novel; I thought the characters was unlikeable and shallow and found them pretty annoying on audio as well. I was disappointed that the Emira character, who I wanted to root for, was so underdeveloped.   I felt this story had potential but, the execution was the issue. I didn't get the hype over this novel.


  1. I'm with you on Such a Fun Age. I felt like it had potential and I missed something when I read it.

  2. Too bad about Such a Fun Age. I still hope to read it but will dial back my expectations. thanks.

  3. Neither slow or annoying works for us!

  4. Thanks for your reviews of these two.

  5. I've been looking forward to reading Such A Fun Age, but keep reading reviews that are similar to yours. I may take a pass on it.

  6. Shallow and unlikable characters are just not going to do it for me. I don't have to love the character, but they've got to have some umph to them to keep me reading.

  7. I've been interested in reading Such a Fun Age but after reading your thoughts I think I'll pass.

    And the comment by "Unknown" is ridiculous! No wonder he/she wants to remain "Unknown!


Thanks for taking the time to visit and double thanks for any comments. If you ask a question in your comments, I will try to reply to it here, or by email if your settings allow me to do so. Thanks again for visiting.