Cassie, lawyer, wife and new mother is facing a tough time adjusting to the birth of her daughter, Sophie. Husband Jonathan seems almost oblivious to anything being wrong, and her ex – the potential One of her past – Malkie is hired by her law firm, and adds a whole heap of confusion to her already muddled mindset.
Tiny Acts of Love basically cuts the shit out. That’s the best (and probably not most eloquent) way to put it, because it’s just kind of exquisite. I can’t deny it, and I’ve said it when I’ve been reading Paige Toon’s books: I am a chick-lit cynic, and – before now – had often been put off by clichés or cheesy writing styles, but this is a success in a whole other place.
Because, sure, it has the fundamentals of many chick-lit books, but it’s actually real. It’s gruesome, it’s hard and it’s harrowing. New motherhood isn’t all smiles and rainbows, and Cassie is a real example of that. I mean, at first it’d be weird if you didn’t dislike her husband for his dismissive attitude, but then as it goes you realise not everyone can cope with it the way they’d expect.
And, back to those fundamentals that rear their head: they’re done differently. I felt a moment approaching at one point and willed it not to – it would fit the trend as it were, but not the story at hand (something that happens all too often). But no, not here.
It’s unbelievably easy to read – hence why, at 1.22am I am currently typing furiously. After a string of crime novels (like, seriously, I keep picking a new one by accident, not realising there’s a mystery at its core) I wanted something that wouldn’t be a thinker, even just for the sake of getting a quick read out the way, but this is just ridiculously consuming, and I’m kind of knackered.
So, is it really chick-lit? I don’t really think that matters. It has all the hallmarks of it in terms of romance, old flames, new challenges, and the like, but it’s done differently, better. It seems like its written from a more mature, or better spoken place. It’s got a kind of gorgeous undertone, with passing phrases seeming almost too well written in comparison to the situation, and it’s got a lot more going on than a straight cut love story at the core. I should really sleep, but this book kept me up.
And I like sleep, so that says something.
6th Mar 2014 | Black & White Publishing