Dorothy Caldwell Minor, aka The Book Whisperer, comes on strong in praise for Susan Meissner’s The Nature of Fragile Things!
A little about Dorothy:
“I am an avid reader and also enjoy Indie and foreign movies. I retired from teaching English at Tulsa Community College after teaching as an adjunct first and then twenty-four years as a full-time faculty member. I was also involved in faculty development, planning and facilitating workshops for colleagues. I like technology and using technology to enhance learning. As an adjunct, I started a book club on campus, and it is still going strong thirty-one years later! I also belong to two other book clubs.I’ve included a picture from a Chautauqua Tea at TCC, complete with hat and brooch! I enjoy collecting vintage rhinestone brooches.”
Dorothy’s book club, Circle of Readers:
“We meet twice monthly. The first of the month, we all read a book and discuss it; the second time we meet, we discuss other books we’ve read. We enjoy inviting authors to join us! We have 20 members, and we are located in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. We are currently reading When Time Stopped by Ariana Neumann and enjoy reading fiction, historical fiction, memoir, nonfiction, YA.”
Read on for Dorothy’s review of The Nature of Fragile Things:
Four words I would use to describe The Nature of Fragile Things by Susan Meissner: addictive, memorable, heart-wrenching, and dynamic. Once I opened the book and began reading, I had a hard time putting the book down. Previously, I had read A Fall of Marigolds and The Last Year of the War by Susan Meissner. I enjoyed both of those books and found them compelling as well.
Set against the backdrop of the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco, The Nature of Fragile Things takes readers on a journey through several women’s lives. Sophie, Belinda, and Candace are three women conned by a man who constantly changed his name and his back story. Martin Hocking is the man readers meet in the beginning only to learn that he has reinvented himself repeatedly by changing his name. He is a master criminal and can spin a story without a hint of it being false even though it most certainly is.
Without giving anything away, this review focuses on the bonds women forge to help one another, particularly in times of extreme crisis. Belinda, pregnant, and looking for her husband James, who is missing, shows up at Sophie’s door thinking that James is a friend of Martin, Sophie’s husband. The story instantly becomes complicated when both women learn valuable information about both James and Martin.
Sophie invites Belinda to stay overnight and the two of them and Martin’s young daughter Kat to whom Sophie has become a mother will seek help from the police early the next day. Just as they are prepared to leave the home, suitcases in hand, the earthquake hits with full force.
Now, the three are in a desperate race just to save themselves and find shelter. The rest of the story reveals what these women and other women whom they will discover have in common. They must deal with the aftermath of the earthquake, find safety, and ensure that Martin and James cannot find them.
Meissner has created a compelling story that keeps readers on the edge of their seats as they read. What will befall the women next? Will Sophie be able to keep Kat, the girl she has come to regard as her own daughter?
Susan Meissner will meet with my book club in August when we discuss The Nature of Fragile Things. We are truly looking forward to an exciting discussion. The Nature of Fragile Things has also been nominated for a possible book talk for the Friends of the Tulsa City-County Libraries this fall. The Friends’ committee will be voting on six selections later this summer.
For individual readers and for book clubs, The Nature of Fragile Things will provide a truly memorable read. The discussion can encompass a wide variety of topics: mail order brides, conmen, bigamy, and spousal abuse, along with the strength of women’s friendships and redemption.