The Nature of Fragile Things by Susan Meissner
publication: February 2nd 2021 by Berkley Books
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 handsome. Sophie quickly develops deep affection for Kat, Martin's silent five-year-old daughter, but Martin's 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.
The Nature of Fragile Things is set around the 1906 earthquake in San Fransisco. Sophie has traveled from the east coast to the west coast to marry Martin and be a mother to Kat. As Sophie learns more about her husband she realizes that things are not quite as she expected. She works to unravel the mystery surrounding Martin. Sophie understands that she is not only fighting for her well being but also that of Kat and the other’s that Martin has deceived.
Susan Meissner is a must-read author for anyone who loves historical fiction. She takes a time from long ago and uses her talent to bring the story to life. She tells how the characters live their lives, what they see, what they do, and how they do it. As I read the story, I can picture the house that Sophie lives in with Martin, I can hear her voice as she becomes a mother to Kat, and I can feel her fear as the life she thinks she has finally achieved is threatened.
I recommend picking up your own copy of The Nature of Fragile Things by Susan Meissner. This book tells an amazing historical fiction story.
*** Thank you Tara O’Connor, NetGalley, and Tall Poppy Writers for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
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Meet Susan Meissner
Susan Meissner is the critically-acclaimed author of 20 novels. Her engaging stories feature memorable characters facing unique and complex circumstances, often against a backdrop of historical significance. A multi-award winning author, her books have earned starred reviews in both Publishers Weekly and BookList. She was born and raised in San Diego, California, but spent some of her adult life living in Minnesota as well as in England and Germany, before returning home to southern California in 2007. Susan attended Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego. Prior to her writing career, she was a managing editor of a weekly newspaper in southwestern Minnesota. She enjoys teaching workshops on writing, spending time with her family, reading great books and traveling. Susan makes her home in the San Diego area with her husband Bob, a pastor and chaplain in the Air Force Reserves. They are the parents of four adult children.