Book Title: Little Broken Things
Author: Nicole Baart
REVIEWED BY: CHELSEA
Genres: Suspense Fiction, Mystery, Family Drama
Pub Date: 11/21/17
I have something for you. When Quinn Cruz receives that cryptic text message from her older sister Nora, she doesn’t think much of it. They haven’t seen each other in nearly a year and thanks to Nora’s fierce aloofness, their relationship consists mostly of infrequent phone calls and an occasional email or text. But when a haunted Nora shows up at the lake near Quinn’s house just hours later, a chain reaction is set into motion that will change both of their lives forever.
Nora’s “something” is more shocking than Quinn could have ever imagined: a little girl, cowering, wide-eyed, and tight-lipped. Nora hands her over to Quinn with instructions to keep her safe, and not to utter a word about the child to anyone, especially not their buttoned-up mother who seems determined to pretend everything is perfect. But before Quinn can ask even one of the million questions swirling around her head, Nora disappears, and Quinn finds herself the unlikely caretaker of a girl introduced simply as Lucy.
While Quinn struggles to honor her sister’s desperate request and care for the lost, scared Lucy, she fears that Nora may have gotten involved in something way over her head—something that will threaten them all. But Quinn’s worries are nothing compared to the firestorm that Nora is facing. It’s a matter of life and death, of family and freedom, and ultimately, about the lengths a woman will go to protect the ones she loves.
Little Broken Things is indeed the next desirable novel for fans of Liane Moriarty and Amy Hatvany; I could spot so many similarities in their writing styles and, while Baart is a new to me author, I felt like I had come home to a familiar story all the same. Little Broken Things is a story filled with emotion, tension, and domestic drama. The book itself had some dark secrets spilled into the narrative and did manage to maintain an overall heavy feel, but I would still characterize this as a lighter read in the sense that it didn’t contain the graphic violence that many readers like to avoid. If you enjoy suspenseful mysteries without all the added grotesque flair, this one is for you!
The story is told through multiple POVs that were easy to follow; I found it an intriguing way to reveal the secrets and story piece by piece to the reader, a clever twist in itself. The characters were very onion like; not necessarily everyone will like them but they are multilayered and add flavor to the book. Personally, I thought they brought the story to an entirely advanced level and appreciate what the author accomplished; knowing her background and her advocacy for adoption and children, I could feel her knowledge wrapped up in this fictional story as a way to bring attention to very real issues.
There’s not much I can say about the plot without spoiling things, but the pacing was a bit up and down. Obviously the beginning with the text messages and the big conclusion were compulsive to read, and the middle was fairly steady, but may be a bit slow to the reader who is used to a high octane thriller as their go to read. I could just as easily see this book enjoyed on a beach vacation as I could picture someone curled up under the covers in a mountain cabin by a warm fire reading it. The story was neither full on fluff or total heavy darkness; it had a nice balance to appeal to a wide array of readers and would highly recommend to the fans of dramas surrounding family secrets. Bonus- you get to stare at that gorgeous cover every time you pick it up!
*Many thanks to the publisher for providing my copy; it was a pleasure to provide my honest thoughts here.