Friday, 15 September 2017

The Smallest Thing by Lisa Manterfield + Giveaway

The Smallest Thing by Lisa Manterfield
Published in America by Steel Rose Press on July 18th 2017

How I got this book:
Received a review copy via Xpresso Book Tours

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Add The Smallest Thing to your Goodreads

The very last thing 17-year-old Emmott Syddall wants is to turn out like her dad. She’s descended from ten generations who never left their dull English village, and there’s no way she’s going to waste a perfectly good life that way. She’s moving to London and she swears she is never coming back. But when the unexplained deaths of her neighbors force the government to quarantine the village, Em learns what it truly means to be trapped. Now, she must choose. Will she pursue her desire for freedom, at all costs, or do what’s best for the people she loves: her dad, her best friend Deb, and, to her surprise, the mysterious man in the HAZMAT suit?

Inspired by the historical story of the plague village of Eyam, this contemporary tale of friendship, community, and impossible love weaves the horrors of recent news headlines with the intimate details of how it feels to become an adult—and fall in love—in the midst of tragedy.

I visited the village of Eyam a couple of years ago spending time in the informative little museum there learning the story of how, when the great Plague of 1665 was inadvertently brought to their doors, this heroic community of 260 people chose to quarantine themselves in an attempt to save their neighbours in the surrounding villages and towns. Lisa Manterfield took that original tale and used it as inspiration for The Smallest Thing. This modern-day version bears some relation to the historic truth, but is also very much its own story and I loved reading it!

Manterfield understands the teenage small-town claustrophobic experienced by Emmott Syddall and I felt a lot of both sympathy and empathy for this character throughout the novel. The situation in which she ultimately finds herself is extreme, but always highly plausible - especially as I already knew Eyam had suffered like this before. The tense depiction of a village under siege is brilliant and I could easily imagine the fear and suspicion blooming as more people became sick. (If you're squeamish like me, rest assured that there aren't any gruesome symptom descriptions to contend with!) In fact Manterfield creates this atmosphere so well that I forgot I was reading a Young Adult novel. This book transcends that genre and I would happily recommend it to adult readers as well as teenagers. 

Meet the author:
Lisa Manterfield is the award-winning author of I’m Taking My Eggs and Going Home: How One Woman Dared to Say No to Motherhood. Her work has appeared in The Saturday Evening Post, Los Angeles Times, and Psychology Today. Originally from northern England, she now lives in Southern California with her husband and over-indulged cat. A Strange Companion is her first novel.

Author links: 
Website ~ Goodreads ~ Facebook ~ Twitter

And now for the giveaway!
Open until September 21st 2017, the prize is a copy of The Smallest Thing and a $50 Amazon gift card.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Etsy Find!
by Foxglove And Cowslip in
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  1. Great review, Stephanie! This sounds like a well written and compelling read! Glad you liked it! :)

    1. Even better than expected! Thanks for the read :-)

  2. I like the sound of this and with it being YA I appreciate not too much gore and nightmare material.

    1. I thought this was great! Well worth a read :-)