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Little Mercies [Kindle Edition]

Heather Gudenkauf
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
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Book Description

Sometimes, one small mistake can have life-altering consequences...

As a veteran social worker, Ellen Moore has seen it all - the vilest acts one person can commit against another. The only thing that gets her through the workday is knowing her job helps children. That, and her family: her husband, Adam, and three beautiful kids, twins Leah and Lucas, and eleven-month-old Avery. But with a blink of an eye - with one small mistake - Ellen is suddenly at the mercy of the system she works for. Avery is ripped from her clutches, and her whole world begins crashing down around her.

Meanwhile, ten-year-old Jenny Briard has been living with her well-meaning but good-for-nothing father since her mother left them. When her father decides to pack their belongings and move to a new state, Jenny thinks she might be on the road to a better life. But soon she finds herself on her own, forced to survive with nothing but a few dollars and her street smarts. Evading police and the social system, Jenny finds refuge with a kind-hearted waitress. The last thing she needs is a social worker, but when Ellen and Jenny's lives collide unexpectedly, little do they know just how much they can help one another.

Praise for Heather Gudenkauf:

‘This will have you gripped until the last page’ – Closer

‘Deeply moving and lyrical’ – Company

‘A memorable read’ – Sunday Express

‘totally gripping’ – Marie Claire

‘Set to become a bookclub staple’ – The Guardian

'Fans of Jodi Picoult will devour this' - Red

'Gudenkauf’s prose is searingly raw... Thrilling and emotionally tender, this novel, with its driving pace, will appeal to fans of...Jodi Picoult.' - Booklist

‘This gripping novel is moving and thought-provoking’ -Heat

‘Emotionally-charged’ -My Weekly



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More About the Author

Heather was born in Wagner, South Dakota, the youngest of six children. At the age of three, her family moved to Iowa, where she grew up. Having been born with a profound unilateral hearing impairment Heather tended to use books as a retreat. Heather became a voracious reader and the seed of becoming a writer was planted.

Heather graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in elementary education, has spent her career working with students of all ages and is currently a Literacy Coach, an educator who provides curricular and professional development support to teachers.

Heather lives in Dubuque, Iowa with her husband, three children, and a very spoiled German Shorthaired Pointer named Maxine. In her free time Heather enjoys spending time with her family, reading, hiking, and running. She is currently working on her third novel.

Heather's first novel The Weight of Silence was a TV Book Club pick.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, stunning read 23 Jun. 2014
By ElaineG TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
I absolutely loved this read. Ellen is a social worker, dedicated to the vulnerable and abused children she has sworn to protect. If you can image the most vile thing that one human thing can do to another - then she has seen that thing. She is also a wife and mother and balancing her two roles can sometimes feel like walking a tightrope.

One small mistake, one which sadly I could easily imagine happening, and when you read about it your jaw will drop, will turn the tables on Ellen completely, the rug will be pulled from under her feet and she will see the system "from the other side".

The story is told from her perspective as well as that of Jenny, a ten year old girl, separated from her father who has arrived in Cedar City alone with a bit of money, and address scrawled on an envelope and the knowledge that she must stay away from those in authority. She finds help in the form of Maudeen a local kind hearted waitress and when Jenny's story collides with that of Ellen, they will both find that they have something to offer the other.

It is an absolutely spellbinding read, parts of which are quite harrowing - the stories of what some of the children that Ellen has met in her professional life have suffered would absolutely break your heart. The characters are believable, acting in believable ways. I particularly liked how Ellen's children are portrayed, Lucas and Leah are going through a particularly traumatic time and it shows - they are not little angels every second of the day, they are behaving like all children do at one point or another.

The story moves at a good pace and I found I just did not want to put it down, I had to keep on reading until it reached its conclusion.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gripping story 2 July 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
Publication Date: 4 July 2014
Published by: Harlequin MIRA

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The Blurb:

Sometimes, one small mistake can have life-altering consequences...
As a veteran social worker, Ellen Moore has seen it all - the vilest acts one person can commit against another. The only thing that gets her through the workday is knowing her job helps children. That, and her family: her husband, Adam, and three beautiful kids, twins Leah and Lucas, and eleven-month-old Avery. But with a blink of an eye - with one small mistake - Ellen is suddenly at the mercy of the system she works for. Avery is ripped from her clutches, and her whole world begins crashing down around her.

Meanwhile, ten-year-old Jenny Briard has been living with her well-meaning but good-for-nothing father since her mother left them. When her father decides to pack their belongings and move to a new state, Jenny thinks she might be on the road to a better life. But soon she finds herself on her own, forced to survive with nothing but a few dollars and her street smarts. Evading police and the social system, Jenny finds refuge with a kind-hearted waitress. The last thing she needs is a social worker, but when Ellen and Jenny's lives collide unexpectedly, little do they know just how much they can help one another.

My Review:

I always get excited when I see a new book coming out by Heather Gudenkauf as I have read all her books to date and loved them. Little Mercies is no exception. I always find her books gripping reads with some serious and sensitive storylines.

If anyone has read the short story Little Lies, you will already have a brief introduction to Ellen Moore who is the main character. If not, don't worry, it is not essential.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
Oh wow.
I don't actually know what to write here. My head and heart are thumping. I can't get out of my head that this book could actually be real life. It horrifies me.
I can't give a proper review for Little mercies to you, I don't know how. All I can say is that no matter what be kind to people because you sure as hell don't have a clue what is going on in theirs. There are good people on this earth and it's them that seem to be the ones who get s*** on terribly whilst the bad laugh and continue on easily. Life is all about love, family, friends, gratitude, kindness and happiness, and the one thing this book does is make you think hard about them five things and about the life you lead.

A chilling tale of fear, neglect, and having the courage to help others in need.
Fantastic read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Compelling and thought provoking read. 4 Aug. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
Little Mercies is the fourth novel from Heather Gudenkauf and it is just as good as her others if not better. The last few books I had read were all light and easy enough reading so it was a change to read something more gritty and hard-hitting that dealt with a traumatic event that could so easily happen to anyone. It is essentially the story of how one small error can have such devastating consequences for a tight knit family and change their lives dramatically .

The story has two main characters Ellen - an overworked, stressed social worker and mum to three children, Leah (9) , Lucas (6) and Avery (11 months) - and Jenny – a ten year old girl who has been through untold horrors and has had to grow up way before her time. Each chapter is told from either Ellen or Jenny’s point of view so we get to experience how each character is feeling at any given time in the story.

One morning Ellen has overslept and is rushing for a morning meeting while trying to get her children ready for the day. She receives a phone call from one of the young children on her case list, the child is upset and terrified and needs Ellen's help as something terrible is happening at her home. Ellen rushes off to help little realising what her husband Adam had been trying to tell her. This will prove to have a devastating consequence for Ellen and her family.

One small mistake can have such a life altering consequence; this could so easily happen to anyone . Mothers are under such pressures these days and is extremely hard to keep on top of everything and strike the right balance between work and home life. But the tables are turned on Ellen when she becomes the focus of an investigation. How can she prove she was innocent and it was just a simple error of miscommunication?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth Reading
I really enjoy her writing. She loves to surprise and shock you.

A very good read.
Published 15 days ago by Vivienne Dangerpen
5.0 out of 5 stars Hard to put down
Suspense filled page turner.
Published 20 days ago by Hannah
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good book
Captivating read that had me hooked in it the characters
Published 20 days ago by G
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent read.
Very thought-provoking. I found this book difficult to put down and am looking forward to reading more by this author.
Published 23 days ago by Gladys
5.0 out of 5 stars I really enjoyed this book
I really enjoyed this book. It gripped me from the first page, and I just couldn't put it down. It shows how a mistake can make your life spiral out of control. Brilliant.
Published 1 month ago by Denise Wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartwrenchingly page turning
I really do like this author and her style of writing, it's page turning stuff. I feel connected to the characters and want to know what will happen next. Read more
Published 1 month ago by MRS TA YELLAND
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A very good fast read, look forward to reading her other books : )
Published 1 month ago by vicstar
5.0 out of 5 stars another great read
Another amazing read from this author. You felt you could really connect with the plot and the characters. Five stars
Published 1 month ago by Sam
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this book, you wont be disappointed
Brilliant book, highly recommended
Published 1 month ago by adele galloway
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read.
Really enjoyed this book, would recommend it.
Published 1 month ago by Mrs. A. Robbins
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