There are times that you just go into a book blind and come out thinking that what you have just read is so moving, so well done, and so spot on. And them you think this author’s writing, her understanding, and way she presents to her reader’s this story is so accomplished……and then you notice that this is a debut novel.
I believe in all our lives we have dealt with grief, tragedy, and anguish. We ask ourselves the what if question time and time again followed by the if only I had …..
Emma has seen much unhappiness in her life, from a father whose goal to make money seems to have consumed him, to a mother who is both distant and likes alcohol too much. Emma is driven, a graduate of Harvard for both her bachelor’s and MBA degrees and she too seems to be consumed by success. How much like her father is she? Then there is Lucas, a man she loves, who owns a sheet rocking company. They seem an unlikely pair but they are something special, they are a couple in love. They have a young son and Lucas, being a kind, receptive person has a bevy of friends. Life is good until it isn’t.
However, Emma’s success requires her to be away a lot and as time goes on, this facet becomes a point of struggle between the couple. Then tragedy ensues and it is this that forms a wedge between the couple that seems to be unable to be repaired.
Emma relates her story through her thoughts, one night in the local bar she now frequents daily with a number of Lucas’s friends. The author has Emma release bit and pieces of her story as we meet and get to know the people who surround her. We also are allowed to see Emma’s anguish, how she has to face the questions that plague her, that make her life a series of despair and misery. As all the pieces come together what we really see is a story of how women often sacrifice their life for a career, for money, for prestige and when tragedy strikes are ill prepared for the consequences, for the one thing money can not buy is time, time spent with those you love, time for finding that inner peace, time for making time for the moments one treasures.
It has been a wake up call for Emma and in a way a wake up call for so many women who find themselves consumed with success.
I definitely recommend this book for all who so enjoy a book that bears a message, a book that allows us to realize that our life is a brief period on the earth and the times that matter are those spent with those we love and those who love us.
Thank you to Anna Bruno, Atria Books, and NetGalley for an ARC of this well done novel due out on August 18, 2020.
and here’s the author:
Anna Bruno is a writer and teacher at the University of Iowa’s Tippie College of Business. Previously, Anna managed public relations and marketing for technology and financial services companies in Silicon Valley. She holds an MFA in fiction from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, an MBA from Cornell University, and a BA from Stanford University. She lives in Iowa City with her husband, son, and blue healer. Ordinary Hazards is her first novel.