The Nature of Fragile Things by Susan Meissner transports readers to San Francisco, California in 1905 where Sophie Whalen has agreed to marry Martin Hocking. Sophie was living in New York after immigrating from Ireland when she saw Martin’s advertisement for a bride and mother for his daughter, Kat. They marry the day Sophie arrives in San Francisco, and she quickly adjusts to her new role. Martin travels for work leaving Kat and Sophie alone. One April evening, Sophie is surprised by the visitor. This woman sets in motion a chain of events that will change their lives and that of another woman with a connection to them. The next morning a devastating earthquake hits the San Francisco area forcing the women to flee. The Nature of Fragile Things is a well-written and crafted historical novel. The authors descriptive writings captured the time-period and events. She really captured the earthquake and its devastation with her word imagery. I could visualize the scenes and what our characters were experiencing. I could tell that Susan Meissner did her research for this book. The characters were developed and at the heart of the story. It was fascinating how it all tied together with the amazing “oh my goodness” moment near the end. I especially appreciated the epilogue that nicely wrapped up this fascinating tale. I do not want to say too much and ruin this captivating story for you. I have read all of Susan Meissner’s novels and I found this one better yet different from her other books (such as Lady in Waiting). The Nature of Fragile Things has secrets, love, lies, loss, friendships, betrayal, a mother’s love, and justice. Now we must wait another year for Susan Meissner’s next novel (sigh).
The Avid Reader
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