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A Million Things

by Emily Spurr

A Million Things by Emily Spurr X
A Million Things by Emily Spurr
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  • Publishes in USA 
    Aug 24, 2021
    304 pages
    Genre: Novels

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  • Sylvia T. (Rancho Mirage, CA)
    Rae's Story

    The courageous and determined Rae with dog Splinter by her side won me from the first page. This beautiful story grabbed my attention and I loved the way each chapter was a new day in Rae's battle to stay afloat while her Mum was missing. This debut will burrow deep into your chest and stay there long after the last page. Rae's story of grief, love and resilience is both heartbreaking and inspiring.
  • Carol R. (North Mankato, MN)
    A Million Things
    This book had me from the start as I wasn't sure if the disappearance of Rae's mother was the result of a crime or something else entirely...I was hoping Rae wasn't responsible. The details are revealed through Rae's interactions with Lettie, the odd neighbor living next door, and her daily excursions with Splinter, her dog, and constant companion. Thank goodness for the devotion of our beloved pets and the concern of neighbors, to dig at the truth. It is also a lesson in knowing when to intervene when something just doesn't seem right.
  • Jennie R. (Highland, CA)
    All the feels...
    I fell hard for Rae, the protagonist in this novel. What a strong, smart, scrappy, vulnerable, and resourceful little girl. The relationship that develops between Rae and Lettie, the neighbor with a hoarding tendency, added such depth to the story. Every character in this book, from Rae's teacher, Mrs. Pham, to Oscar, the boy down the street, lends something important to move the story along and continues to illustrate Rae's character. Initially, I felt the ending was rushed, but then it occurred on me that the way the novel unfolded was likely meant to impress upon the reader what the passage of time and the unfolding of events felt like from Rae's perspective. This is the best book I've read so far this year. Highly recommend.
  • Susan W. (Berkley, MI)
    I Wish I Knew these Characters
    I loved this book. The character development of the quirky people who live in this neighborhood is great. They are all very believable; they are compelling. I appreciate the light the author shines on mental health without being preachy. From Rae to Lettie to Rae's mom, everyone's reactions to the people in their lives affected so many lives. Will the trajectory of their lives change, or will they fall back into old habits and patterns? Are "the million things" events, thoughts, memories? I'm not sure. I find myself thinking about the people in this book, wondering what happens to them after the book's end. That is one of a million things that made this a memorable book for me.
  • Jo S. (Tonganoxie, KS)
    Devastating and Beautiful
    This book caught my attention from the get go. I have family in Australia so I enjoy books with Australian settings but the subject matter is what hooked me as it's very close to my heart. This book will be fantastic for bookclub discussions and people with personal or family histories dealing with mental health issues. I enjoyed Emily Spurrs writing style and was shocked to find myself in tears several times reading this amazing story! It was both Beautiful and at times Devastating hanging out in Rae's head. Lettie and Rae's relationship, based on their shared experiences, will be eye opening to those who have been blessed not to have had to deal with mental health issues which makes this book a Jewel! 5 stars. I loved everything about this book! Looking forward to more Spurr books!
  • MaryJane B. (Lynch Station, VA)
    A Million Things
    Reading this novel was an adventure as facts normally announced at the beginning of a book were revealed a little at a time. The reader has to determine who the main character is. A boy or girl? Age? Location of the story? Who is this "you" the main character speaks to? Like the peeling of an onion, the main character is revealed as a ten year old girl, Rae who is living alone in Australia with her dog Splinter in a small house. Where is her missing parent "you"? Is it her mother or father?

    She navigates her day getting to school, walking Splinter, buying groceries, cooking simple meals, cleaning the house, doing her laundry, paying bills and keeping all adults in her world ignorant of the fact that her parent is missing. Her neighbors who at first seem nosey, standoffish and strange slowly reveal their true characters. The daily stress in Rae's lonely world as she tries to keep her terrible secret from her teacher, neighbors, authorities and a nosey little boy all come to a head in a near tragedy.

    This is a wonderful story of a brave, resourceful young girl whose daily life leaves the reader wanting to know more about what is going to happen next.
  • Mary S. (Bow, NH)
    Home alone - but so much better!
    I groaned when I read the first few pages of A Million Things, thinking here we go again, the old "child left on their own" trope. Fortunately, I stuck with it and by the next chapter, I was hooked.
    This is a delightfully sad story about a 10 year-old girl (Rae), a dog (Splinter) and a hoarding old lady (Lettie) who lives next door. The resiliency of all three of them is what keeps this book interesting and from turning maudlin.
    Rae's mother disappears but Rae is used to being on her own, and carries on, taking care of herself and Splinter. When Lettie falls and needs Rae's help the story line takes it's most interesting turn. Watching Rae, Lettie and Splinter form their own family is the crux of the book. And, with all families there are ups and downs, yet they keep going.
    For me, the only disappointment of the book was the ending - which is very realistic - but sometimes you want to suspend reality! Read this book, you won't be sorry.
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