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Joel is a newly single parent after having lost the mother of his child. He’s young and struggling with grief and parenting alone.
In the first part of the book Joel is with his partner Dan and it’s Dan’s inability to be a full time parent and commit to a monogamous relationship that eventually leads to their break-up.
In the second half of the story Joel meets Liam. Liam is just who Joel needs, older, steady, loving, caring, interested in parenting.
Though there isn’t as much time as I’d like with the couple as a couple, what there is, is very sweet.
What I appreciated about this book was that it showed a different side to Jay’s writing. She is always a very fluid writer, giving us well-developed characters who are, more than anything, real.
This is the most “angsty” of her books that I’ve read, and it showed her talent for drama as well as light-hearted comedic romance.
Though I would have liked more time with the new couple and perhaps less with Dan, I can see how showing us more fully what happened in the past made Joel who he is now and why he makes the decisions he does.
I thought Evie was well portrayed too and enjoyed the relationship between her and Joel very much.
If you are looking for a more “realistic” take on romance, with some hard twists and turns to the story, this is a great book to check out.
Again I love that we are given a British narrator. He does a great job giving each character a unique voice and he does a great job with the emotion.
I loved his Liam and even thought Claire and Evie were nice (women and kids can be difficult to voice but he did a great job.)
I think his work continues to improve with each narration and I think this is my favorite of his narrations so far.
Overall, 4.25 of 5 stars
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Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
I love this story because it is about letting someone in at the point in your life when you need someone the most but really don't want to need anyone at all. Joel's life and the life of his daughter gets thrown into a tailspin after tragedy and when he meets Liam the feelings he feels scare him, can he reach out and grab this good thing before it's gone?
This novel would have been 5 star for me if it weren't for Dan's Liverpudlian accent, or attempt at one. Worse was to come though through the character of Liam and that awful Bristolian (if that is the proper name for all things Bristol! I know that people say folks from Scotland are Scotch, when we are in fact Scots! Scotch is a drink! So please forgive me if I have Bristolian incorrect.) accent. The narration of the novel would have been carried out far more pleasantly and easier to listen to had these accents been left out! Jay, do yourself a tremendous favour and leave the attempts at accents out in future. You are one of my favourite novelists and this book unsteadily made what was a steady supporter, into one who will be very wary of buying your novels in future but I will stick with you for the moment. Having just listened to approximately 8 to 10 of your novels in a row, will, or should, give you an idea of how much I favour and support your writing! Just drop the accents. I didn't even finish this book it was so sickening.
What would have made The Little Things better?
Having rather enjoyed "Scrap Metal" (Harper Lee) and a little less - "Then the Stars fall" (Brandon Witt), this story by comparison is rather lame. It is entirely formulaic, the love interest is introduced in the obvious manner; essentially the author has taken an overused romantic formula, and just added water via the character names - no drama, no twists, nothing unexpected, weakly developed characters, etc. The narration only just saved it to the extent that I listened to the end.