The Nature of Fragile Things

The Nature of Fragile Things

Large Print - 2021 | Large print edition.
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"April 18, 1906: A massive earthquake rocks San Francisco just before daybreak, igniting a devouring inferno. Lives are lost, lives are shattered, but some rise from the ashes forever changed. Sophie Whalen is a young Irish immigrant so desperate to get out of a New York tenement that she answers a mail-order bride ad and agrees to marry a man she knows nothing about. San Francisco widower Martin Hocking proves to be as aloof as he is mesmerizingly beautiful. While Sophie quickly develops deep affection for Kat, Martin's silent five-year-old daughter, his odd behavior leaves her with the uneasy feeling that something about her newfound situation isn't right. Then one early-spring evening, a stranger at the door sets in motion a transforming chain of events. Sophie discovers hidden ties to two other women. The first, pretty and pregnant, is standing on her doorstep. The second is hundreds of miles away in the American Southwest, grieving the loss of everything she once loved. The fates of these three women intertwine on the eve of the devastating earthquake, thrusting them onto a perilous journey that will test their resiliency and resolve and, ultimately, their belief that love can overcome fear. From the acclaimed author of The Last Year of the War and As Bright as Heaven comes a gripping novel about the bonds of friendship and mother love, and the power of female solidarity"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: Waterville, Maine : Thorndike Press, a part of Gale, a Cengage Company, 2021.
Edition: Large print edition.
ISBN: 9781432885403
Characteristics: 511 pages (large print) ; 23 cm.
large print.


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Mar 12, 2021

A captivating , easy to read story with well developed characters whose secrets are slowly and suspensefully revealed. Even though it takes place during the 1906 San Francisco earthquake , it is more a romance than a historical fiction novel. Fragility is indeed the main theme.

Jan 23, 2021

Ding. Ding. Ding. We have another winning historical fiction title from Susan Meissner. This new release is set in the time of the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906. I looked forward to reading this one as I have not encountered many books featuring this historic event. Our main character is an Irish immigrant named Sophie. She has just arrived in San Francisco to marry a man who advertised for a new wife and mother for his little girl Kat. The man Sophie meets is lacking in feeling and warmth, but provides the creature comforts she needs. And she has little Kat to lavish love on. She is content. Then the day of the earthquake cracks the ground and her life into pieces. Her greatest concern is Kat. There are many questions to be answered. Interspersed throughout is the transcript of Sophie's interview with a U.S. Marshall more than six months after the earthquake. What has happened to Martin? Why is Sophie being interrogated? Meissner does a masterful job with pacing. Sometimes the transcript will prompt a question in the mind of the reader which is answered in the next section of the narrative. Others pop up early and are answered with a big reveal that comes much later. I was enthralled and will be remembering this one all year.

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