Book Review – Tiny Little Thing by Beatriz Williams

Title: Tiny Little ThingSpring Book Review Button
Author: Beatriz Williams
ISBN: 9780399171307
No. of Pages: 368
Genre: Adult Fiction
Origins: G. P. Putnam’s Sons
Release Date: 23 June 2015

Synopsis:

“In the summer of 1966, Christina Hardcastle—“Tiny” to her illustrious family—stands on the brink of a breathtaking future. Of the three Schuyler sisters, she’s the one raised to marry a man destined for leadership, and with her elegance and impeccable style, she presents a perfect camera-ready image in the dawning age of television politics. Together she and her husband, Frank, make the ultimate power couple: intelligent, rich, and impossibly attractive. It seems nothing can stop Frank from rising to national office, and he’s got his sights set on a senate seat in November.

But as the season gets underway at the family estate on Cape Cod, three unwelcome visitors appear in Tiny’s perfect life: her volatile sister Pepper, an envelope containing incriminating photograph, and the intimidating figure of Frank’s cousin Vietnam-war hero Caspian, who knows more about Tiny’s rich inner life than anyone else. As she struggles to maintain the glossy façade on which the Hardcastle family’s ambitions are built, Tiny begins to suspect that Frank is hiding a reckless entanglement of his own…one that may unravel both her own ordered life and her husband’s promising career.”

Thoughts on the Novel: While not the strongest of her novels so far, Tiny Little Thing will not disappoint Ms. Williams’ fans. She brings the same gorgeous prose and impeccable descriptions to Tiny’s story as she has done with everything else. What is lacking, however, is a hard-luck story with a fascinating historical backdrop. Tiny’s story is interesting, but it is not necessarily relatable. There is a notable absence of danger and too much attention devoted to the privileges afforded the Hardcastle and Schuyler families to take the story to the next level.

In many ways, Tiny’s story is reminiscent of Rose in the movie Titanic; in fact, there is one scene in particular which will have readers immediately recalling the movie. Like Rose, Tiny is feisty but has spent her entire life obeying and following the careful path set in place for her by her mother. She is a wealthy girl who chafes at the gilded cage that surrounds her. She knows she has no right to complain but cannot help but feeling trapped by the family ambition and her belief in her husband’s potential career. It is only through interactions with her sister and the return of the mysterious Caspian when she finally gives herself permission to start showing her true personality and fighting for her freedom. However, unlike when Rose, the only thing at stake here is Tiny’s happiness and Frank’s political career.

Still, even without the lack of life-or-death battle, Tiny Little Thing contains plenty of drama. While one may not be able to relate to a life of untold wealth and privilege, one can relate to Tiny’s need for happiness, her longing for a simpler life, and a love that is pure, honest and whole. There is also Mad Men-era sexism and bias displayed so despicably by the Hardcastle men that will make a modern-day reader’s blood boil. Tiny’s story is emotionally powerful, which is the novel’s biggest strength.

Given the fact that Ms. Williams will soon be releasing the final novel in the Schuyler sisters’ series and certain events that occur at the end of this one, readers may feel like Tiny Little Thing is a filler story meant to tide over readers until that last novel. It is simply lacking the mystery and intrigue from Vivian’s story (The Secret Life of Violet Grant) and from the synopsis of Pepper’s, Along the Infinite Sea. Good but not great given Ms. Williams’ previous novels, readers will still enjoy Tiny Little Thing but wish for more depth and action.

Tiny Little Thing by Beatriz Williams

BOTTOM LINE:  Good but missing the historical drama and danger of WWII that made THE SECRET LIFE OF VIOLET GRANT so amazing.

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Book Review – The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler

The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler

Title: The Book of Speculation Author: Erika Swyler ISBN: 9781250054807 No. of Pages: 352 Genre:  Speculative Fiction Origins: St. Martin’s Press Release Date: 23 June 2015 Synopsis: “Simon Watson, a young librarian, lives alone in a house that is slowly crumbling toward the Long Island Sound. His parents are long dead. His mother, a circus…

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Sunday Reflections on Tuesday – 30 June 2015

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As of tomorrow, June is over. It’s been quite the month. Already, the beginning of the month is nothing but a blur. I suspect it won’t be too long before the details about the rest of the month fade as well. I liken it to childbirth. You remember how incredibly busy you are but forget…

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? – 29 June 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? Button

Hosted by Sheila from Book Journey, this is a weekly event to share what we’ve read in the past week and what we hope to read, plus whatever else comes to mind. To learn more about each book, just click on the book cover! Finished Last Week:   I didn’t read as much as I…

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Audiobook Review – Misery by Stephen King

Misery by Stephen King

Title: Misery Author: Stephen King Narrator: Lindsay Crouse ISBN: 9780451169525 Audiobook Length: 12 hours, 11 minutes Genre: Horror Origins: Mine. All mine. Release Date: 8 June 1987 Synopsis: “Paul Sheldon. He’s a bestselling novelist who has finally met his biggest fan. Her name is Annie Wilkes and she is more than a rabid reader–she is…

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Book Review – The Ice Twins by S. K. Tremayne

The Ice Twins by S.K. Tremayne

Title: The Ice Twins Author: S. K. Tremayne ISBN: 9781455586059 No. of Pages: 320 Genre: Psychological Thriller Origins: Grand Central Publishing Release Date: 19 May 2015 Synopsis: “A year after one of their identical twin daughters, Lydia, dies in an accident, Angus and Sarah Moorcroft move to the tiny Scottish island Angus inherited from his…

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Book Review – Things You Won’t Say by Sarah Pekkanen

Things You Won't Say by Sarah Pekannen

Title: Things You Won’t Say Author: Sarah Pekkanen ISBN: 9781451673555 No. of Pages: 352 Genre: Contemporary Fiction Origins: Washington Square Press Release Date: 26 May 2015 Synopsis: “Every morning, as her husband Mike straps on his SIG Sauer and pulls on his heavy Magnum boots, Jamie Anderson tenses up. Then comes the call she has…

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? – 22 June 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? Button

Hosted by Sheila from Book Journey, this is a weekly event to share what we’ve read in the past week and what we hope to read, plus whatever else comes to mind. To learn more about each book, just click on the book cover! Finished Last Week: Did Not Finish: Currently Reading: Currently Listening: Up…

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Sunday Reflections – 21 June 2015

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The recitals are officially done! This week was tough with four-hour tech and dress rehearsals every day, followed by the recitals on Friday night and Saturday night. Since I was part of the backstage crew, moving scenery and props, I could not just drop Holly off and pick her up later. I know I am…

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Food for Thought: 10 Bookish Questions

Food For Thought

This meme has been going around the Interwebz in one form or another for quite a while now. I would give credit where it is due, but I honestly have no idea who originated this or how it started. Sorry! Just know that someone much more awesome than me started this one! Since it is…

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