Review: Little Mercies

Title: Little Mercies
Author: Heather Gudenkauf
320 pages, published June 2014
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Source: purchased for myself

From GoodReads:

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.

My Review:

I thought this was an excellent book! I loved how the two storylines (Ellen's and Jenny's) seemed so separate but yet entwined so beautifully and ironically at the end.  This book was emotional, heartbreaking, real, and beautiful.  The book is so thought provoking--Ellen's "single moment of distraction" mistake makes you see the situation from a totally unique and different angle (I don't want to give a way the details.).

Gudenkauf's writing is beautiful. The book is structured so that one chapter is from Ellen's perspective, and the next one is from Jenny's. Sometimes this will not work for me in a book, but in this case it worked perfectly. The writing style and story reminded me of Jodi Picoult's books--which I love.

If you're looking for a heartwarming emotional story, this book is perfect!

Overall rating for "Little Mercies": A

Happy Reading!


  1. I've been putting this one off and I need to read it!! Great review. Glad to see you enjoyed it.


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