A Hundred Small Lessons: Book summary and reviews of A Hundred Small Lessons by Ashley Hay

A Hundred Small Lessons

by Ashley Hay

A Hundred Small Lessons by Ashley Hay X
A Hundred Small Lessons by Ashley Hay
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  • Published in USA  Nov 2017
    304 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

From the author of the highly acclaimed The Railwayman's Wife comes an emotionally resonant and profound new novel of two families, interconnected through the house that bears witness to their lives.

When Elsie Gormley leaves the Brisbane house in which she has lived for more than sixty years, Lucy Kiss and her family move in, eager to establish their new life. As they settle in, Lucy and her husband Ben struggle to navigate their transformation from adventurous lovers to new parents, taking comfort in memories of their vibrant past as they begin to unearth who their future selves might be. But the house has secrets of its own, and the rooms seem to share recollections of Elsie's life with Lucy.

In her nearby nursing home, Elsie traces the span of her life - the moments she can't bear to let go and the places to which she dreams of returning. Her beloved former house is at the heart of her memories of marriage, motherhood, love, and death, and the boundary between present and past becomes increasingly porous for both her and Lucy.

Over the course of one hot Brisbane summer, two families' stories intersect in sudden and unexpected ways. Through the richly intertwined narratives of two ordinary, extraordinary women, Ashley Hay uses her "lyrical prose, poetic dialogue, and stunning imagery" (RT magazine) to weave an intricate, bighearted story of what it is to be human.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. This graceful novel, with its unflinching approach to reality and its gentle undercurrents of sadness, nostalgia and hope, is a highly recommended read for fans of literary fiction." - Books + Publishing (Australia)

"Hay's perceptive prose illuminates both Elsie's and Lucy's lives, resulting in a rich dual character study that spans generations." - Publishers Weekly

"Her intricately layered story, bolstered by perspectives of an old mother and a young one, tackles the thorny questions of what it means to become a parent and how it feels to be no longer needed as one. Lyrical and tenderhearted, this will delight fans of Liane Moriarty and Kate Hewitt." - Booklist

"Readers who loved the quiet introspection of Anita Shreve's The Pilot's Wife and Elizabeth Strout's Olive Kitteridge will enjoy the detailed emotional journeys of Hay's characters. Their stories will linger long after the final page is turned." - Library Journal

"[Hay] slowly weaves a tale of past and present lives, exploring the sense that the gap between the two women is not impervious to sensitive souls. Both Elsie and Lucy are finely and sympathetically drawn, and their lives highlight issues that affect many women. A cerebral tale, slow-moving but profound." - Kirkus

"Hay truly encapsulates how our lives are interwoven. We are sent on a journey through the decades as small events and echoes of memories overlap, intersect and suddenly converge into a beautiful portrait spanning the past, present and future. Every word has a purpose and resonates…Readers will fall in love with the vivid landscapes of Brisbane and the impeccable, lyrical language that seeps from the pages." - RT Book Review

"Hay renders the small details of an undramatic, decent life with tenderness that is touching and compelling…a measured piece of writing that works carefully to create pensive and evocative images of time and place and people." - The Australian (Australia)

"Hay's intelligent scrutiny of the human psyche gives depth to this neatly constructed story." - Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)

"A book that overflows with gratitude for the hard, beautiful things of this world, and for the saving worlds of our imagination." - Helen Garner, award-winning author of Everywhere I Look

The information about A Hundred Small Lessons shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

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Author Information

Ashley Hay Author Biography

Photo: Nigel Beebe

Ashley Hay is the internationally acclaimed author of four nonfiction books, including The Secret: The Strange Marriage of Annabella Milbanke and Lord Byron, and the novels The Body in the Clouds and The Railwayman's Wife, which was honored with the Colin Roderick Award by the Foundation for Australian Literary Studies and longlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award, the most prestigious literary prize in Australia, among numerous other accolades. Ashley is on the web at www.ashleyhay.com.au.

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