Read advance reader review of A Million Things by Emily Spurr, page 3 of 5

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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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    Aug 2021, 304 pages

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There are currently 33 member reviews
for A Million Things
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  • 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.
  • Barbara C. (Riverside, CA)
    Unusual Friendship
    Rae had been raising and taking care of herself and her dog for a long time. I found her maturity unremarkable. Many of us remember what that was like for us as kids. We grew up fast too. We applaud her for her moxie, staying clear of the authorities as long as possible. Thank God for Lettie. She gave Rae a cause. This author is a real clear teller of tales. I appreciated the writing very much. One of my favorite BookBrowse books ever.
  • Karen S. (Allston, MA)
    A seemingly "small story" about a million things
    I loved this book about unthinkable abandonment and how that feels to a 10 year old with an "old soul." The fragile and oddly reliable relationships were completely real to me, even though it was all from Rae's perspective. On occasion It seems a bit unrealistic for a 10 year old to be so mature and capable, but then I thought again and remembered how much some kids deal with. Spurr's storytelling drew me in from the very beginning, and her portraits of people were comforting, despite everything. A number of flawed people, but no human demons. The book is a quick read, though I did not want to rush it, and let it unfold at its own pace.
    For dog lovers, Splinters is a gem.
  • Gail B. (Albuquerque, NM)
    "I hate you. I need you. Please don't be gone."
    Covering for her mother's disappearance, ten year old Rae does her best to keep up appearances, cleaning her home, walking her dog, going to school, feeding herself. People do like her, but she shuns contact with everyone until gradually she warms up to her neighbor Lettie. A sweet story of a little girl trying to cope with the impossible. I couldn't put it down.
  • Theresa P. (Arkport, NY)
    A captivating read
    A novel that finds a ten year old girl, Rae, deciding to deal with life on her own. I applauded the things she did for herself—getting to school, cleaning the house, doing the shopping, and walking her dog. I enjoyed the connection she made with her hoarder neighbor, an older woman, while she was discouraging every attempt by the young boy down the road to be friends. I cheered for her successes, yet I didn't want her to be in survivor mode. I didn't know when she would be discovered, or when her life would fall apart. I had to keep reading, hoping for the best. A captivating read!

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