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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

A Small Indiscretion

ISBN: 9780812995442
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: 01/27/2015
Format: Hardcover
My Rating: 3 Stars
For readers of Amy Bloom, Meg Wolitzer, and Lorrie Moore, A Small Indiscretion is a gripping and ultimately redemptive novel of love and its dangers, marriage and its secrets, youth and its treacherous mistakes.
A Small Indiscretion fixes an unflinching eye on the power of desire and the danger of obsession as it unfolds the story of one woman’s reckoning with a youthful mistake.
At nineteen, Annie Black trades a bleak future in her washed-out hometown for a London winter of drinking to oblivion and yearning for deliverance. Some two decades later, she is married to a good man and settled in San Francisco, with a son and two daughters and a successful career designing artistic interior lights. One June morning, a photograph arrives in her mailbox, igniting an old longing and setting off a chain of events that rock the foundations of her marriage and threaten to overturn her family’s hard-won happiness.
The novel moves back and forth across time between San Francisco in the present and that distant winter in Europe. The two worlds converge and explode when the adult Annie returns to London seeking answers, her indiscretions come to light, and the phone rings with shocking news about her son. Now Annie must fight to save her family by piecing together the mystery of her past—the fateful collision of liberation and abandon and sexual desire that drew an invisible map of her future.
A Small Indiscretion is a riveting debut novel about a woman’s search for understanding and forgiveness, a taut exploration of a modern marriage, and of love—the kind that destroys, and the kind that redeems.

My Review

A special thank you Random House and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
A SMALL INDISCRETION, by Jan Ellison is an absorbing emotional family drama debut of one woman’s secrets of the past for an exploration of marriage, love, and forgiveness.
From past (Europe) to present (US-San Francisco) readers learn about Annie black, an artistic interior lighting designer, who has some indiscretions in her past in London. She is married to Jonathan, a doctor for twenty one years. They met in Ireland and moved to San Francisco and have three children Robbie, Carla, and Poly.
One day Annie receives a photograph in the mail that reminds her of her time in Paris, and it reignites a passion, and while on a business trip to London, she rekindles an old acquaintance, which sets off a chain of events she never expected.
Things begin to fall apart. Her husband leaves. Their son, Robbie, is in an accident. The girls, Claire and Polly, are shuffled back and forth between parents. Her store, The Salvaged Light is damaged when the ceiling falls in, and now her son is in a coma and the woman Emme (who works in Annie’s store), is missing. So all in all things are not looking good for Annie.
Ellison keeps readers in suspense by switching from Annie’s earlier life in London in her early twenties to present day in a diary like format from mother to son.
A novel of being torn between a past life of chaos and a more settled life- insights of a modern marriage and how devastating secrets become to all involved. The narrator, Annie Black, tells the story, while keeping a mysterious and intriguing tone with twists and turns.
Nice writing for a debut novel; however, I was not totally invested or connected with the characters, especially Annie; however, look forward to reading more from the author.
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