Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan: 5*****

Small Things Like These

This is a marvelous and touching book about one man, Bill Furlong, whose life around Christmas in 1985 is just a marvelous short story, It is a book that can easily be read in one day, and if given the choice of Christmas books I would select this over A Christmas Carol. It is a touching story of an Irish gentleman who is married and has 5 daughters, and owns his own coal/timber business. He has no idea who his father was, since the birth certificate was marked Unknown, and after his mother died he was raised by a neighbor.. He reflects on his life, he reflects on not having a father, on never getting the one thing he wanted from Santa Claus – a 500 piece jigsaw puzzle about a farm. He has become successful, but not wealthy, he lives simply and you can tell his love for his own family. One day he delivers a load of wood to the convent and discovers a young girl locked in a coal bin, and he becomes almost a different person. I have a hard time writing about this book without providing spoilers, and also because it is one of the most unique novellas I have read. It is a story of love, kindness, cruelty and about the infamous Magdalen Laundries in Ireland, established by the Catholic Church and the source of shameful treatment for most of the young ladies who pass through.
Quite simply, give this book a read. It is just a heartwarming story that will possibly bring a tear to your eye by the time you finish.

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