Monday, September 22, 2014

Review: Little Mercies by Heather Gudenkauf, and Little Lies by Heather Gudenkauf

I recommend reading this prequel novella, before you jump into Little Mercies. Little Lies has its own enclosed story, but introduces you to some of the characters you will meet in Little Mercies.  The story can stand alone and does not need to be read with Little Mercies, but the ending does leave you hanging, you have been forewarned. Ellen is a social worker investigating the death of a mother whose body is left beneath a statue at the local park. A little boy is found near the dead body. What does the little boy know? Does this relate to a similar case thirteen years earlier? Can Ellen help discover who the little boy is? Will she find the killer? A lovely little compact mystery that starts off quickly and just keeps rolling. A touch of thriller, a touch of suspense, a few life lessons, certainly worth a read.

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Little Mercies continues Ellen's story. Something happens that is shocking. How can you live with a mistake you have made? Are social workers free from claims of child neglect? Can you picture yourself in someone else's shoes, even if you feel that someone is a menace to society? I don't want to give away any of the story so I am being very vague. Two stories intersect, one is Ellen's, the other is a young girl named Jenny. Where and why they cross will be left to you to find out. I loved Gudenkauf's writing. She makes you feel for her characters. I found myself questioning some long held beliefs and looking at "neglectful" parents in a new way. I guess many of us think that people in authority, are not capable of mistakes, or should never have an accident, obviously that is not true. The story also deals with a very current subject that is happening more and more across the country. It could be a true story, so it really grabs you.

If you enjoy a good mystery, a story from a child's perspective, and wonderful characters who you will care about, you should really try Heather Gudenkauf. I haven't been disappointed with any of her stories. They include:
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I loved all three of the above stories and can highly recommend them.
Ms. Gudenkauf has an interesting personal history. You can find it and other items about her here:

I have a contest to win Little Mercies that you can enter until September 25th. You can find it here.
You really should read this wonderful story, why not enter to win your own copy?!

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