a hundred small lessons by Ashley Hay is one of those books that i really enjoyed reading. it is not a fast-paced book, there isn’t any crazy action or catastrophic drama. it is quiet and subtle, thoughtful, and deliberate.
it is the story of a home. a house that becomes a central character through the lives of two different women who find this place to be home at similar stages of their lives. elsie and lucy each move into this home to raise a family, to be wives and mothers. lucy is our present day protagonist having moved into elsie’s home when elsie suffers a fall and is no longer able to live on her own.
i fell in love with each of these characters and their stories. stories that were so delicately written and woven together that reading this book was like sitting for coffee with two women with wisdom to share. i also fell in love with their home. this idea that this particular house is more than plaster and wood and cabinets – it is a home.
i loved the tranquil intricacies Ashley used to give each of these women strong voices. elsie was not in the house with lucy, but the strength of her character subtly carried through to lucy’s storyline.
a hundred small lessons was a beautiful change of pace for me and i recommend putting it on your list. and grab it for a friend too. it deserves to be shared.
4/5 stars from this girl.
want to win a copy of this book for yourself? Just click here!
This November 28th, 2017, ATRIA BOOKS is proud to publish Ashley Hay’s A HUNDRED SMALL LESSONS, a profoundly relatable tale of two mothers from two different generations attempting parenthood and life and general. Their two stories interweave through the house that bears witness to their lives, a building which becomes a sort of character itself, sharing its secrets and memories. In this luminous and deeply affecting novel, Hay puts into words exactly the small things, feelings we experience daily and the beauty and impact of small accumulating moments across years. Prepare to learn a few lessons….and maybe even cry a little.
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 “poetic dialogue, and stunning imagery” (RT magazine) to weave an intricate, bighearted story of what it is to be human.
Ashley Hay is the internationally acclaimed author of 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. She has also written four nonfiction books. She lives in Brisbane, Australia.