Little Mercies

  • by Heather Gudenkauf
  • Narrated by Kate Rudd, Tanya Eby
  • 8 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In her latest ripped-from-the-headlines tour de force, New York Times best-selling author Heather Gudenkauf shows how one small mistake can have life-altering consequences…. Veteran social worker Ellen Moore has seen the worst side of humanity - the vilest acts one person can commit against another. She is a fiercely dedicated children's advocate and a devoted mother and wife. But one blistering summer day, a simple moment of distraction will have repercussions that Ellen could never have imagined, threatening to shatter everything she holds dear, and trapping her between the gears of the system she works for. Meanwhile, ten-year-old Jenny Briard has been living with her well-meaning but irresponsible father since her mother left them, sleeping on friends' couches and moving in and out of cheap motels. When Jenny suddenly finds herself on her own, she is forced to survive with nothing but a few dollars and her street smarts. The last thing she wants is a social worker, but when Ellen's and Jenny's lives collide, little do they know just how much they can help one another. A powerful and emotionally charged tale about motherhood and justice,Little Mercies is a searing portrait of the tenuous grasp we have on the things we love the most, and of the ties that unexpectedly bring us together.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Loved the story; hated the narration

What did you love best about Little Mercies?

The story was a new one and believable. The characters were believable and likable - warts and all. I have read news stories about tragedies such as these but never a novel. Good subject.


What other book might you compare Little Mercies to and why?

Maybe some of Anna Quinland's books. Black & Blue, Every Last One.


Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Kate Rudd and Tanya Eby ?

I would have cast a young reader (child or teenager with a believable kid's voice) for Jenny. The adult narrator didn't work for that character. I hated the Ellen narrator. The male voices were awful. Her 'tragic moments" were not done well. Hard to describe but she missed it. Too breathy; too whiney. Some books are better read and some books are better listened to. This is one that I would have enjoyed more if I had just read it.


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No but in a fairly short period of time. A couple of days.


Any additional comments?

I liked the book very much but the narration bothered me so much that it took away from my enjoyment of the experience.

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- Ryan's Mom

Powerful story

This is a powerful book, and at times hard to read. This is definitely a ripped from headlines book, when the unthinkable happens to social worker Ellen, how do you get people to understand that it was an accident when the guilt of it is ripping you apart. Then we have runaway Jenny whose dad is in jail and her mother ran off with the man that beat Jenny when she was younger but luckily she is found by a kind woman who also happens to be Ellen’s mother Maudene.

Ellen has seen the most awful things in her career as a social worker but one moment of distraction changes her whole life and the life of her family and she ends up on the other side of the fence wishing with everything that she could go back and start the day over. This book shows the difference between outright abuse and neglect and accidents but sometimes social services and the media don’t see the distinction between the two. My heart broke in Ellen’s storyline when the awful thing happened my heart was racing and it was just really tough to read.

Jenny is spunky and courageous and luckily pretty street smart I liked her and was rooting for her to find a better life. Although her storyline was a bit too happily ever after and felt a little rushed I was still happy for her.

Tanya Eby’s narration as Jenny was very well done and believable but Kate Rudd’s narration was so hysterical it got really old, I can understand that in certain moments of this book the hysteria was needed but it was constant and it seemed to be all the characters are just screeching and whiny. I do understand this was a taut emotional book but I wish Rudd had dialed back a bit.

As I said this is a powerful book, I think this would be a good book for a bookclub because I think it would bring about a great discussion. I wasn’t a huge fan of the ending I felt both stories were rushed and a bit too tied up in a bow for my taste.

3 Stars
4 Star narration for Eby
2 1/2 Star narration for Rudd
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- MissSusie66

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-24-2014
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio