Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Release Day Review: Little Broken Things by Nicole Baart

Publisher: Atria Books
Pub. Date: November 21st, 2017
Pages: 368

Genre: Fiction / Literary Fiction / Mystery


An engrossing and suspenseful novel for fans of Liane Moriarty and Amy Hatvany about an affluent suburban family whose carefully constructed facade starts to come apart with the unexpected arrival of an endangered young girl.

I have something for you. When Quinn Cruz receives that cryptic text message from her older sister Nora, she doesn’t think much of it. They haven’t seen each other in nearly a year and thanks to Nora’s fierce aloofness, their relationship consists mostly of infrequent phone calls and an occasional email or text. But when a haunted Nora shows up at the lake near Quinn's house just hours later, a chain reaction is set into motion that will change both of their lives forever.

Nora’s “something” is more shocking than Quinn could have ever imagined: a little girl, cowering, wide-eyed, and tight-lipped. Nora hands her over to Quinn with instructions to keep her safe, and not to utter a word about the child to anyone, especially not their buttoned-up mother who seems determined to pretend everything is perfect. But before Quinn can ask even one of the million questions swirling around her head, Nora disappears, and Quinn finds herself the unlikely caretaker of a girl introduced simply as Lucy.

While Quinn struggles to honor her sister’s desperate request and care for the lost, scared Lucy, she fears that Nora may have gotten involved in something way over her head—something that will threaten them all. But Quinn’s worries are nothing compared to the firestorm that Nora is facing. It’s a matter of life and death, of family and freedom, and ultimately, about the lengths a woman will go to protect the ones she loves.

What Did I Think About the Story?

I fell in love with the cover of Little Broken Things when I saw it earlier this year and so already had it on my radar when author Nicole Baart posted that she was looking for reviewers to join her street team. I've participated in a few of these teams before and have had really good luck finding some excellent reads this way. I'm so glad I joined this team as Little Broken Things is such a heartfelt, touching story of piecing life back together after immense pain and finding a support system in places you didn't necessarily think you'd find it.

The story is mainly told through three women's perspectives: Nora, a woman looking to protect a young girl - Lucy/Everlee - at all costs and willing to sacrifice anything to do it; Quinn, Nora's sister, who finds herself the unlikely protector of Lucy at the same time as she's struggling somewhat with creating her own family; and Liz, Nora and Quinn's tightly-buttoned mother, who seems to have lost hold of her family and wants desperately to bring them back together again somehow. Sporadically sprinkled in between these perspectives is that of Nora's best friend, Tiffany, a woman who is also connected closely to little Lucy and who struggles between protecting this little girl and giving in to the love of a conniving and possessive man. As the story unfolds so many questions are asked - who are Lucy's parents? Why did Nora leave this little girl without giving anyone any information about her? Where did Tiffany go? Why is Nora convinced that Lucy is in so much danger? - and the answers to all of these questions and more are slowly dropped within the narrative, leaving the reader to pick up the various pieces and put them back together to reveal all right before the end. While I will admit that I had an idea where some of the story was headed and what would be revealed, I had the best time seeing just how all would be laid into place and how those revelations would effect all of the various characters.

I think what I enjoyed more than anything else, even the mysteries surrounding the greater story, was the way that these women all came together to try and protect this young girl. Even while they all seemed to want to shake or slap each other at times, they had this sweet, scarred girl to protect and love, which in turn ended up bringing them closer together again. It also made them put their own personal issues and selfishness aside and to realize what was important in the here and now.

There is a lot of pain and abuse suffered by most of our characters, something that, within the hands of a less skilled writer, could have been really hard to read about. While it was still incredibly heartbreaking to know what some of these characters experienced (or, in some cases, had to learn that their loved ones inflicted on other people), Nicole Baart delicately dropped this information throughout the story with such tenderness and heart without having to go into lurid details. While I don't typically have a problem with more graphic writing, those that due will be quite happy to know that Baart approaches the subjects with care.

Little Broken Things is a beautifully written, inspiring story about resilience and recovery after the worst possible things happen, and about taking all of those broken pieces of a person left over after tragedy strikes and reshaping them into a new life, often with the help and support of people you might not have expected to be there to help you pick up the pieces. It's also about the many shapes of a family and just what that word means. While the mystery aspect might not have been overly hard to figure out, the story as a whole is quite beautiful and I recommend it to anyone that enjoys a character-driven narrative.

What Did I Think About the Cover?

Well I picked this cover for one of my weekly Cover Crushes earlier this year, so it probably goes without saying that I adore the cover! I love the soft focus over the young girl, making her seem both mysterious and somewhat unidentifiable. It really is gorgeous and I could stare at the cover for days.

My Rating: 4.5/5.0

Thank you to author Nicole Baart and Atria Books for providing me with a free copy of Little Broken Things in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine alone. For more information about the book, including other reviews, author information, and links to where you can purchase a copy, see Goodreads HERE.


  1. Great review, Colleen! I'm on the blog tour for this on in early December but haven't started reading it yet. Reading your review has gotten me even more excited about it!

    1. Thanks so much!! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!