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Small Things Like These
Small Things Like These | Claire Keegan
82 posts | 70 read | 59 to read
An exquisite winter tale of courage - and its cost, set in Catholic Ireland. It is 1985, in an Irish town. During the weeks leading up to Christmas, Bill Furlong, a coal and timber merchant, faces into his busiest season. As he does the rounds, he feels the past rising up to meet him - and encounters the complicit silences of a people controlled by the Church. The long-awaited new work from the author of Foster, Small Things Like These is an unforgettable story of hope, quiet heroism and tenderness. '[Claire Keegan] creates luminous effects with spare material, so every line seems to be a lesson in the perfect deployment of both style and emotion.' Hilary Mantel
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Cazxxx
Small Things Like These | Claire Keegan
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Pickpick

Set in 1980‘s Ireland this is a very short but impactful read following a kind hearted man realising something sinister in the confines of the church. I had never heard of Magdalen laundries before reading this and found it very sad. I always love books set in Ireland. 4 ⭐️

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AnneCecilie
Small Things Like These | Claire Keegan
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In a small time in Ireland in the days just before Christmas in the mid 80s, Bill Furlong is delivering coal to his customers. Due to its length, I‘m not sure how much more I can tell without spoiling it. The length is also a reason for way I don‘t think book will stay with me.

I think this is the first book I read from this year‘s Booker shortlist

6th book for #SuperSeptember
@Andrew65

Andrew65 Brilliant 👏👏👏 2w
plemmdog I‘m excited to read it… I picked it for my December book club 2w
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Kristin_Reads
Small Things Like These | Claire Keegan
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📖 9.22.22 || This is beautiful and I‘m glad I didn‘t wait until Christmas to read it. I confess I wasn‘t aware of Magdalen laundries nor that they existed until 1996. This is shortlisted for the 2022 Booker prize.

Kristin_Reads @jlhammar You were right! Thank you for the recommendation to start with this one first! 2w
jlhammar So glad you liked it! If you want to try more Keegan, this one is one of my favorite reads of 2022. Looks like the US edition is set to be released Nov 1. 2w
jlhammar And if you're up for some heartbreak, The Magdalene Sisters (2002) and Philomena (2013) are both great films about the Magdalene Laundries. 2w
Kristin_Reads @jlhammar I‘ll definitely keep an eye out! 2w
Kristin_Reads @jlhammar Thank you for the recommendations! 2w
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nathandrake1997
Small Things Like These | Claire Keegan
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Mehso-so

Bill Furlong, a Dickensian gentleman who ticks all the "good boxes" (good husband, good father, good neighbour and maybe a good son), is a timber and coal merchant who spends his day dropping off orders of timber and coal to his clients.....(continued in comments)

nathandrake1997 ....Before our rendezvous with Bill though, we are introduced to the world he inhabits. 80's Ireland in festive season, a few days shy from Christmas. There are meat pies to be baked, furnaces to be stoked, hot whisky to be chugged. But, amidst this festive cheer is lurking something really sinister.... 2w
nathandrake1997 ....That something sinister being the abhorrent Magdalene Laundries, a catholic run crime ring where women that a patriarchal society considers of "ill repute" are caged and exploited while their illegitimate children are forcefully put up for adoption at high prices.... 2w
nathandrake1997 ....Bill delivers timber and coal to one such dubious establishment. Bill is aware that not everything about this particular business transaction is as it seems on the surface, but is rendered in a position of helplessness due to the world he inhabits.... 2w
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nathandrake1997 ....So far, it seems like one of those "helpless cog in a larger machine" stories. And when Keegan sticks to that particular framework, her prose soars.... 2w
nathandrake1997 ....There is a particularly poignant segment half way through when Bill spots a victim of the Magdalene Laundries and while interacting with the perpetrator, has to come to terms with his existential helplessness, drives the themes of the novella home in a poignant manner.... 2w
nathandrake1997 ....We see Bill being a family man while unwittingly helping a ghastly institution that wrecks families. This moral conundrum lends the novella its heft and layered complexity.... 2w
nathandrake1997 ....It drives the point home that for better or worse, this is a "human" story and more often than not, the "human experience" and helplessness go hand in hand. And that seems to be the point that Keegan is trying to make. Until....she doesn't.... 2w
nathandrake1997 ....Towards the end, the novel abruptly shifts in an optimistic direction where Keegan leads her protagonist to perform an act that feels so out-of-character that it took me a few moments to come to terms with the fact that the conclusion and the moments preceding it are part of the same novella.... 2w
nathandrake1997 ....For the first two thirds of the novella, Bill is trying to come to terms with the helplessness of his participation in this atrocious situation. But then the sudden pivoting in a "oh I know what's happening is quite bad but there is so much good that has happened as well" feels difficult to buy into because Bill is a regular Joe.... 2w
nathandrake1997 ....Yes, regular men can be heroes, but what doesn't work with Keegan's approach is the startling lack of nuance while handling this thematic and emotional shift. The transition from "helpless pessimism" to "hopeful optimism" needed more scenes, more moments, probably more layers to Bill's character as well.... 2w
nathandrake1997 ....A lack of the aforementioned things leads one to think of the novella committing an act of thematic dishonesty. I'm not sure how well this comment will age....but the last third of this novella evoked the thematic and emotional dishonesty of an Ayan Mukerji film.... 2w
nathandrake1997 ....Overall, SMALL THINGS LIKE THESE worked for me until it didn't. 2w
BarbaraBB You‘re the first so-so review I‘ve read but you make perfectly clear why it didn‘t completely work for you 2w
BookwormM I didn‘t get on with this one either but that was because I felt it was too saccharine and because for this particular story I felt a female narrative would be more appropriate say Bill‘s wife also would have liked to hear more from a Magdalene‘s point of view 2w
batsy Appreciate your review! I was feeling quite monstrous for not being sold on this book like others have—I felt the ending was too neat, and in a way kind of emotionally manipulative. Which bummed me out, because I really loved how she set the scene and wrote about his inner conflicts and turmoil. 2w
nathandrake1997 @BarbaraBB When the longlist was revealed, I was actually rooting for this novella because I love novellas. But, when I finally got a chance to read it, I was genuinely heartbroken by how disappointing the novella turned out to be! 1w
nathandrake1997 @BookwormM Bill's wife would have been a much better narrator. Also, I wish the Magdalene Laundries subplot was more fleshed out. 1w
nathandrake1997 @batsy I found the ending manipulative as well. For a novella about something as ghastly as the Magdalene Laundries, ending on a "so a lot of bad has happened, but a lot of good has happened as well" note left a really sour aftertaste in my mouth. 1w
16 likes18 comments
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MysticFaerie
Small Things Like These | Claire Keegan
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Pickpick

4⭐/5⭐

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GatheringBooks
Small Things Like These | Claire Keegan
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#IndelibleMoments Day 19: I have a feeling the nature of #Kindnesses is featured in this story. Recent book haul.

Eggs Lovely cover 😍 3w
53 likes1 comment
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SanjanaGhosh
Small Things Like These | Claire Keegan
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Mehso-so

You learn something new everyday....even if it's from fiction. For example I did not know about Magdalene laundries which is the main plot of this book.

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BookNAround
Small Things Like These | Claire Keegan
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The last line of my review: Keegan's tale is a thoughtful and reflective, slightly melancholic morality story devastating in its restraint, quiet and unadorned and skillful. And it will stay with the reader long after the last page is turned. Full review at: http://booknaround.blogspot.com/2022/06/review-small-things-like-these-by.html

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lele1432
Small Things Like These | Claire Keegan
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Pickpick

4⭐️s! What a lovely little gem about simple things that make a simple life, and the evil and injustice that can hide in plain sight anywhere. I knew nothing about the Irish Magdalen laundries before this book, and I actually wish it was longer! Glad it made it to the #Booker shortlist. Also, I‘m a sucker for stories based in Ireland! #Pop22 #Booker2022

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Libby1
Small Things Like These | Claire Keegan
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It‘s here!!!

Small Things Like These for the win.

I‘m disappointed that The Colony by Audrey Magee missed out, but I‘m delighted for Claire Keegan.

#BookerPrize

TrishB Have only read 2 of these. The Keegan and The Trees. 1mo
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jlhammar
Small Things Like These | Claire Keegan
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My favorites from the #Booker2022 longlist titles I‘ve read. I‘d be pleased if any of these wonderful books make the shortlist (announced tomorrow), but I‘m especially rooting for tagged, The Colony and The Trees.

I haven‘t read Trust, After Sappho, Glory or Seven Moons, but might yet if they end up shortlisted.

Ruthiella I‘m super curious to see what makes it! But I don‘t think all three Americans will make the cut. 1mo
charl08 Ooh, nice stack. I have my fingers crossed for 1mo
JamieArc I‘m currently reading The Trees and can‘t put it down! It will be one of my favorites, alongside The Colony and Small Things as well. 1mo
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jlhammar @Ruthiella Yeah, I don't either. This is definitely not a shortlist prediction on my part, just the ones that were tops for me. Can't wait to see where the judges land! 1mo
squirrelbrain Great list! Excited to see who makes it…. 1mo
jlhammar @JamieArc Yay, so happy to hear that! I remember feeling the same about The Trees - such a propulsive read. 1mo
Cinfhen Funny, I thought I had no desire to read this book but now I‘m rethinking my decision since our other choices are so similar 1mo
Hazel2019 I haven‘t read Booth, Treacle Walker or Oh William from your list. I have copies of all three though so I will be getting to them for sure! 1mo
BarbaraBB We share our three top choices! I am in the midst of Booth, enjoying it too. 1mo
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Jas16
Small Things Like These | Claire Keegan
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Pickpick

In spite of the slim page count Keegan creates such a vivid character in Furlong, the kindhearted father of five daughters who works hard to provide for his family and helps out his neighbors when he can. It is Christmas time and money is tight for everyone when he stumbles on something that he knows isn‘t right, even though everyone around him seems to be ignoring it, it eats at him. Slim but satisfying and a story that will linger in my mind.

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks 💚💚💚 1mo
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Abailliekaras
Small Things Like These | Claire Keegan
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Pickpick

A small gem. Set in Ireland, it tells the story of Bill Furlong and his moral dilemma when he sees wrongdoing by the church. Keegan creates complex characters - especially Bill as a good man, uneducated but thoughtful - & a true portrait of a marriage in spare prose. It also says much about Ireland, the hold of the church and how society can shape us. It‘s hard to go against the tide and do the right thing. Rich, humane & beautifully executed.

Suet624 Great review. Great book. 1mo
Abailliekaras @Suet624 thank you! It‘s up now on our podcast Books On The Go. ☺️🎧 1mo
CarolynM Another great review🙂 1mo
Abailliekaras @CarolynM thank you! ☺️ 1mo
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ClairesReads
Small Things Like These | Claire Keegan
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Pickpick

A quiet wee novella about choosing to do the right thing rather than the expedient thing against the backdrop of catholicism in Ireland. I found moments in this quite moving, Keegan handles the internal conflict of her protagonist quietly and thoughtfully. It's a short piece that works well within the parameters of brevity. I didn't finish hoping for more, or wishing it were longer. A thoughtful, meditative read.

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BookishTrish
Small Things Like These | Claire Keegan
Pickpick

Lots to think about with this one

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mjtwo
Small Things Like These | Claire Keegan
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Pickpick

21-25 Aug 22
#Bookerlonglist 3
Set in 1980s Ireland, this is the story of William Furlong, a coal merchant, who in making a delivery to a convent at Christmas time discovers it is actually a home for unwed mothers, many of whom appear to be traumatised and perhaps abused.
It is very short - I read it in three nights - but quite powerfully raises the question of what is risked by a person who stands up to an institution like the Catholic Church.

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Elias1
Small Things Like These | Claire Keegan
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Pickpick

One of this years Booker longlisted books and a well deserved nomination imo. Soulful, beautifully written and relevant. Something about Ireland; exceptional authors. ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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batsy
Small Things Like These | Claire Keegan
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Pickpick

A small story with big consequences, gracefully told with an economy of prose. Set in the mid-1980s during the Irish Troubles, it does very well in capturing the atmosphere of a small Irish town during Christmas. The place comes alive, & the story initially casts a spell. The Magdalen laundries & the Catholic Church loom large, & this is a morality tale that is a reckoning with its practices. I was somewhat let down by its abruptly mawkish ending.

Cathythoughts Great review 👏🏻♥️ 1mo
batsy I might have had different expectations if I had known going in that it was more of an extended story that is a moral tale or fable—sort an updated, Irish-specific version of A Christmas Carol. 1mo
batsy @Cathythoughts Thanks, Cathy! I hope you're having a lovely holiday 💕 1mo
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Suet624 Now that you say it, I can see how the ending can be seen that way. Maybe I was in a mood to believe in a quiet hero. 😍 1mo
batsy @Suet624 I hear you! With the world being what it is, it's a comfort to find a story about basic human empathy and decency. 1mo
Suet624 No kidding. 1mo
squirrelbrain Great review! 1mo
erzascarletbookgasm Nicely said. 👏 I see what you mean about the ending too, but I was okay with it 😊 1mo
Ruthiella I think it was someone on YouTube who suggested that the ending might just be a figment of Bill‘s imagination…like that is what he wishes he‘d done. 1mo
batsy @erzascarletbookgasm Thank you! I think it's just that I had somewhat different expectations based on some reviews. 1mo
batsy @squirrelbrain Thank you! 1mo
batsy @Ruthiella Oh, that's really interesting to think about actually! 1mo
Ann_Reads You summed up the story well. 🙂 I read this around the holidays in 2021 and was pleasantly surprised. It might be worthy of a reread. 1mo
batsy @Ann_Reads Thanks! I think reading it during the Christmas holidays would have heightened the mood. Perfect seasonal reading. 1mo
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emmaturi
Small Things Like These | Claire Keegan
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Pickpick

A very short book, that tsckles a difficult subject, while I thought it was good, not sure I would put it on the Booker Prize shortlist.

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andrew61
Small Things Like These | Claire Keegan
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Pickpick

A short novel + remarkable in the profound message at the centre of wonderful prose. Set in 1985 Furlong, coal merchant + father of 5 daughters is just coping financially. His childhood story haunts him as he encounters in the local convent the inhumanity of the magdelene laundries. On Christmas eve he has to choose what path he takes. I was on tenterhooks as I turned each page and put it down feeling overwhelmed. A brilliant piece of writing .⬇️

andrew61 The reference in the book to furlong receiving Christmas Carol as a child from the protestant woman who takes in his single mother when facing ignominy and furlong asking his wife for David Copperfield as his Xmas gift is a perfect reflection of the message at the heart thus book. I also loved the image of the crows as we visit the convent and the portrayal of the elements I can't wait to read more by Claire keegan. 1mo
jlhammar Wonderful review! I loved this so much when I read it back in December. I read Walk the Blue Fields several years ago and really liked it. And then I read Foster this year and wow, so good. She is an amazing writer. Can't wait to read her debut collection, Antarctica. 1mo
batsy I'm not done yet but I'm marvelling at how rich and complex this feels, and all with an economy of words. 1mo
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JamieArc
Small Things Like These | Claire Keegan
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Pickpick

My how the Irish charm me. I really loved this reflective book. I knew about the Magdalene laundries from the film The Magdalene Sisters. Furlong was a refreshing character for me. I wanted to walk in the early morning hours through the snow with the good hearted Furlong. A sort of foil to Scrooge, this makes for a great Christmas story, and being so short, I may revisit it for Jolabokaflod. #Booker2022

Tove_Reads Sounds good! 2mo
jlhammar Wonderful review! So glad this was a pick for you. I think Claire Keegan is amazing (I only have Antarctica left to enjoy) and I adored this one. Really hope it makes the shortlist. 2mo
JamieArc @Tove_Reads Indeed it is! 2mo
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JamieArc @jlhammar This is my first Keegan book, and will be sure to read others. I adored it as well, and plan to send it to several people as a gift. 2mo
Christine Love your review! Wondering if I will be able to wait until Dec. for this one… 2mo
Suet624 I wanted to walk with Furlong as well. 1mo
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StellaB
Small Things Like These | Claire Keegan
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Pickpick

A middle aged man is confronted with what his life could have been had he not received kindness at an early age. The book is very short, and I found it fascinating to see how the author builds the story. She takes time focusing on small details that together paint a rich picture of how a person gradually comes to make a life-changing decision. It makes me want to read more from this author.

jlhammar I loved this one. Keegan is so good! Foster is wonderful (one of my favorites this year). I also really enjoyed Walk the Blue Fields. I look forward to reading her debut collection 2mo
StellaB @jlhammar Thank you! I must get Foster then and also look for her short stories. 1mo
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MinnieTimperley
Small Things Like These | Claire Keegan
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Pickpick

The second book I have read from the Booker 2022 longlist and the second novella. I am unsure whether this or Treacle Walker will make it to the shortlist due to their page.

Great characteristation of the main protagonist Furlough and writing and plot that creeps up on you to an effective finish. I believe I will keep thinking about this book.

CarolynM Just finished this yesterday. Loved it. 2mo
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Suet624
Small Things Like These | Claire Keegan
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Pickpick

I did it! I read a whole book! Sure, it was only 114 pages but just what I needed. A beautiful portrait of a family man during Christmas in Ireland. He has begun to question his life and its rhythms and purpose. His focus changes when he begins to understand the ways of the convent and the suspected tragedies taking place there. Thanks to Litsy and the #bookerprize2022 for bringing this lyrical, yet to the point, novel to my attention.

batsy Yay! And this one seems to only have good reviews, so you picked a good one it looks like. 2mo
BarbaraBB Great choice. Happy you enjoyed it! 2mo
Suet624 @batsy @BarbaraBB I needed a win. 🤪😊 2mo
charl08 Love this one. Want my own copy. 2mo
Suet624 @charl08 I know. The more I think about it - it‘s simplicity and it‘s message - the more I like it. 2mo
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CarolynM
Small Things Like These | Claire Keegan
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Pickpick

Wow! There is such a lot in this little book. Beautiful, atmospheric writing that felt so real in its portrayal of small town Irish people at Christmas time, an element of nostalgia for simpler times (even if it‘s hard for me to think of1985 like that), a glimpse of the heartlessness of strict religious regimes & a simple moral question. “… was there any point in being alive without helping one another?” Thank you, Cathy, for the gift of this book

batsy Love your review! 💜 2mo
Freespirit This sounds lovely 😊 2mo
Cathythoughts Lovely review! I‘m so glad you enjoyed it. ❤️ 2mo
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IndoorDame
Small Things Like These | Claire Keegan
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Pickpick

I definitely see why this made the Booker longlist. Apparently it‘s the shortest work ever to make it onto the list. This little contemplative gem is going to stick with me.

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Twocougs
Small Things Like These | Claire Keegan
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Wow. What a sensational book and my heart has broken in a thousand pieces. It‘s 1985, in Ireland,a Magdalen laundry is in town, and a good hearted person is worrying about what happens at the laundry. Deserves to be on the Booker long list for sure.

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NovelNancyM
Small Things Like These | Claire Keegan
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Pickpick

On the one hand, this novel has a simple premise. On the other hand it is quite existential. Definitely one I will continue thinking about for a long time after reading it in a day.

DrexEdit I loved this book. ❤️ 1mo
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emmaturi
Small Things Like These | Claire Keegan
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These are two that I have for the longlist of the Booker Prize. My library has Nightcrawling too. I hope they get a few more from the list.

BarbaraBB They are both so good! 2mo
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Tonton
Small Things Like These | Claire Keegan
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Pickpick

This is a brilliant short novel that says so much in the things left unsaid. The power of the the Catholic Church in Ireland destroyed young women and devastated their families. It‘s a very recent discovery of unmarked graves on convent/Magdalen Laundries property; Joni Mitchell link: https://youtu.be/ATaFyIbd5hY A quiet man who is most comfortable in solitude, runs a coal/fuel company. It‘s close to Christmas and and he makes sure to take care…

Tonton …of his employees and his customers. On his rounds, he makes a shocking discovery in the coal cellar at the convent. He‘s a good man. Until now he‘s gone along to get along, taking care of business; his wife has taken charge of running the house and the family. Though the nuns paid him for his silence in the form of a holiday bonus, he‘s not comfortable with it. Facing duplicity, complicity, power of the Church, he will do what is right… (edited) 2mo
Tonton A quiet good man becomes a better man, a glimmer of hope and light against the might of organized religion. I kept feeling impending doom if he goes ahead. I felt it in the spare, evocative writing. Set in the 1980‘s when the first fissures of dissent against the Church began. Truly amazing! (edited) 2mo
batsy Brilliant review 2mo
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Cathythoughts Thankyou for the Joni Mitchell link 💔 beautiful 💔 2mo
Tonton @Cathythoughts Happy you liked it❣️ 2mo
Suet624 Wonderful review. 2mo
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BarbaraBB
Small Things Like These | Claire Keegan
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Pickpick

“… the worst that could have happened was already behind him; the thing not done, which could have been…”

I had neve heard of the so called Magdalen Laundries, institutes usually run by Catholic orders, housing “fallen women” who were forced to labor there. The last one was shut down in 1996!

This little novella is set during Christmas and while also being quite atmospheric, packs a punch.

Copying @squirrelbrain tags for the #BookerPrize2022

Cathythoughts The Magdalen laundries were a terrible crime committed in this country. 2mo
BarbaraBB @Cathythoughts I researched a bit after finishing the book and am shocked by its scope and how long it went on! 2mo
Cathythoughts It‘s awful, the pain will go on for a long time. 2mo
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batsy I think the first time I heard of such an institution was in a James Joyce short story. The book sounds harrowing but very good; I've seen nothing but praise. Lovely review and picture! 2mo
TrishB I definitely wanted this to be longer! 2mo
BarbaraBB @TrishB Yes I could have read much more about the convent and the family too. 2mo
Cinfhen Agreed, for such a slim book it packs a powerful punch. Also GORGEOUS sea & sky💙💙💙 2mo
JamieArc Lovely photo. There is a film about it (fiction) called The Magdalene Sisters. It came out in 2002. That‘s where I learned about it. 2mo
Tamra I loved this one too! 2mo
BarbaraBB @JamieArc Thanks! I‘ll look for that one! 2mo
squirrelbrain Great review Barbara! Tagging @Hazel2019 too, who is also reading the #booker longlist. 2mo
jlhammar That water! Gorgeous. I'm glad it was a pick for you. I am just in awe of her writing. What she can manage with so few words. I read this one back in March and it will be among my favorite reads of the year. 2mo
charl08 A wonderful book. I'm trying to catch up with her other writing, so many lovely stories. 2mo
BarbaraBB @jlhammar I want to read Foster too now! 2mo
BarbaraBB @squirrelbrain @Hazel2019 Thanks! I‘ll remember that, planning to read many more nominated books! (edited) 2mo
Hazel2019 It is so heartbreaking how these women and children were treated and the thousands that perished 💔 2mo
Ruthiella Next to The Trees, this is the only other Booker 2022 longlister I have already read. It is a harrowing read, especially knowing that it is based in fact. 2mo
sarahbarnes Great review and pic! I have this one from the library and am looking forward to it. 2mo
BarbaraBB @Hazel2019 It really is heartbreaking. How could I not have known about this? 2mo
BarbaraBB @Ruthiella I read The Trees too, of course (ToB) and loved it. I also read Oh William, which I loved too. Are you planning on reading the longlist? 2mo
Ruthiella @BarbaraBB I don‘t think I will tackle the longlist but maybe the short list? It‘s a good list though. I might just see what‘s available at the library? 2mo
BarbaraBB @Ruthiella It‘s such a good list it reminds me of the #ToB 😉 2mo
69 likes3 stack adds23 comments
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Hazel2019
Small Things Like These | Claire Keegan
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ I watched a documentary about the Irish mother baby homes a while ago and it‘s incomprehensible that this was ever allowed to happen. On one hand, this short novella is filled with snow and family and Christmas spirit. On the other, hypocrisy & cruelty permeates the story. It‘s the internal struggle of the main character that brought this to life for me. Wish this were longer but perhaps it‘s just right to make you reflect. #Booker2022

ChaoticMissAdventures I just heard about this book and grabbed it from the library, excited to see your positive review! 2mo
RobES This is in my TBR pile 🥰 2mo
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shortsarahrose
Small Things Like These | Claire Keegan
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Mehso-so

I‘m probably just a grumpy person or just in a book hangover after Nevermoor, but I just couldn‘t connect to this one. It was too sentimental for my taste. I also just wanted more development of character or setting or conflict than this novella was trying to do. Again, probably just me because it seems like a lot of people were really moved by this book. It is set around Christmas and would make a good holiday read.

Ruthiella I liked it maybe a tad more than you, but yes-I don‘t get the hype. Also, she used the dreaded “let out a breath he didn‘t know he was holding “. I hate that usage and thought it was only in YA. 3mo
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Nicos
Small Things Like These | Claire Keegan
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Pickpick

Nicely written

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BookwormM
Small Things Like These | Claire Keegan
Mehso-so

Personally I feel this story was too short for the important subject matter I also felt the narrator was wrong for this story.

Full review here https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4835815165

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Kazzie
Small Things Like These | Claire Keegan
Pickpick

Very good. Compact story of duty to family and self. Explores turning a blind eye vs following moral obligation. The protagonist is very likeable and believable.

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erzascarletbookgasm
Small Things Like These | Claire Keegan
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Pickpick

So much is said in so few pages in this poignant and quiet story of courage. Set in 1980s Ireland where the Catholic Church plays an important and powerful role, the story tells of a hardworking coal merchant and his family in a small town just days before Christmas. His encounter with something disturbing in a local convent led him to dig into his conscience..asks himself some moral questions as he reflects on his present and past. From the ⬇️

erzascarletbookgasm …descriptions of snow to preparations for Christmas, the author‘s writing is evocative and concise. Lovely book, recommended.
5mo
erzascarletbookgasm This story is based on the Magdalene Laundries run by the Roman Catholic Church, supported by the Irish government. This got me sucked into reading more about the Magdalene Laundries. 5mo
EvieBee It‘s such a sad history, isn‘t it? I haven‘t been brave enough to read this one. 5mo
TrishB Great review 👍🏻 5mo
kspenmoll I want to read this; great review! 5mo
58 likes2 stack adds5 comments
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Ruthiella
Small Things Like These | Claire Keegan
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A little late getting started for this #20in4 May Day readathon. I so wish the US had a national holiday o May 1, like so much of the rest of the world. 😢

I finished the Claire Keegan novella today. It‘s only 70 pages long-lovely but sad. I‘m only a quarter of the way through the other two books. Doubt I‘ll finish ‘em by Monday but hopefully will read 50-100 pages in each by Sunday.

Andrew65 Surprised this isn‘t a holiday in the US. 5mo
ItsAnotherJen My MIL used to make my kids May Day baskets when they were little. She said it used to be a tradition back in her day. 5mo
Ruthiella @Andrew65 We have Labor Day in September instead. May 1 has too many “communist” associations. Silly. 5mo
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Ruthiella @ItsAnotherJen In elementary school we had a May pole a couple of years, which was fun. 5mo
batsy I like that vintage cover of The Rich Are Different! Did you enjoy it? 5mo
batsy Or are you enjoying it, rather 🙂 5mo
Ruthiella @batsy I am enjoying it! 😀 It‘s a ‘70s family saga, not my usual fare but I loved Howatch‘s Starbridge series so much, I wanted to try her earlier work too. 5mo
Andrew65 @Ruthiella That explains it. 5mo
kspenmoll Say Nothing was fabulous! 5mo
Ruthiella @kspenmoll Agree! I‘m pretty close to finishing it now. 5mo
47 likes1 stack add10 comments
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Penny_LiteraryHoarders
Small Things Like These | Claire Keegan
Pickpick

Wonderful lovely story. Has impact in those short few pages!

jlhammar Claire Keegan is just amazing. Foster and Walk the Blue Fields are also pretty perfect. I still have Antarctica to look forward to. 5mo
Penny_LiteraryHoarders @jlhammar Looks like I have an amazing catalogue to dive into!! 5mo
25 likes2 comments
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Penny_LiteraryHoarders
Small Things Like These | Claire Keegan
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Cleaned off the patio! First read on the patio of the season!

review
thevagabondlawyer
Small Things Like These | Claire Keegan
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𝚃𝚑𝚒𝚜 𝚗𝚘𝚟𝚎𝚕𝚕𝚊 𝚒𝚜 𝚊 𝚐𝚎𝚖! 𝙰 𝚠𝚘𝚗𝚍𝚎𝚛𝚏𝚞𝚕 𝚠𝚊𝚢 𝚝𝚘 𝚛𝚎𝚖𝚎𝚖𝚋𝚎𝚛 𝚝𝚑𝚊𝚝 𝚜𝚖𝚊𝚕𝚕 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚍𝚊𝚒𝚕𝚢 𝚔𝚒𝚗𝚍𝚗𝚎𝚜𝚜𝚎𝚜, 𝚠𝚑𝚎𝚗 𝚊𝚍𝚍𝚎𝚍 𝚞𝚙, 𝚌𝚊𝚗 𝚐𝚘 𝚊 𝚕𝚘𝚗𝚐 𝚕𝚘𝚗𝚐 𝚠𝚊𝚢. 𝚂𝚎𝚝 𝚒𝚗 𝙸𝚛𝚎𝚕𝚊𝚗𝚍, SMALL THINGS LIKE THESE 𝚋𝚢 CLAIRE KEEGAN 𝚝𝚎𝚕𝚕𝚜 𝚊 𝚑𝚘𝚛𝚛𝚢𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚙𝚊𝚛𝚝 𝚘𝚏 𝙸𝚛𝚒𝚜𝚑 𝚑𝚒𝚜𝚝𝚘𝚛𝚢 𝚝𝚑𝚛𝚘𝚞𝚐𝚑 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚕𝚎𝚗𝚜 𝚘𝚏 𝚊 𝚖𝚊𝚗 𝚠𝚑𝚘 𝚍𝚒𝚜𝚌𝚘𝚟𝚎𝚛𝚜 𝚝𝚑𝚊𝚝 👇

thevagabondlawyer 𝚕𝚒𝚏𝚎 𝚒𝚜 𝚠𝚒𝚝𝚑𝚘𝚞𝚝 𝚖𝚎𝚊𝚗𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚠𝚑𝚎𝚗 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚝𝚞𝚛𝚗 𝚢𝚘𝚞𝚛 𝚋𝚊𝚌𝚔 𝚝𝚘 𝚝𝚑𝚘𝚜𝚎 𝚒𝚗 𝚗𝚎𝚎𝚍. 𝙱𝚞𝚝 𝚝𝚑𝚒𝚜 is 𝚗𝚘𝚝 𝚊 𝚍𝚊𝚛𝚔 𝚋𝚘𝚘𝚔. 𝙸𝚝 𝚒𝚜 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚘𝚙𝚙𝚘𝚜𝚒𝚝𝚎. 𝚃𝚑𝚒𝚜 𝚒𝚜 𝚘𝚗𝚎 𝚘𝚏 𝚝𝚑𝚘𝚜𝚎 𝚞𝚙𝚕𝚒𝚏𝚝𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚜𝚝𝚘𝚛𝚒𝚎𝚜 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚠𝚊𝚗𝚝 𝚝𝚘 𝚛𝚎𝚊𝚍 𝚠𝚑𝚎𝚗 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚊𝚛𝚎 𝚗𝚘𝚝 𝚜𝚞𝚛𝚎 𝚊𝚋𝚘𝚞𝚝 𝚠𝚑𝚊𝚝'𝚜 𝚐𝚘𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚘𝚗 𝚒𝚗 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚠𝚘𝚛𝚕𝚍 𝚘𝚛 👇 6mo
thevagabondlawyer 𝚒𝚗 𝚢𝚘𝚞𝚛 𝚕𝚒𝚏𝚎. 𝙸 𝚠𝚒𝚜𝚑 𝙸 𝚛𝚎𝚊𝚍 𝚝𝚑𝚒𝚜 𝚘𝚗 𝙲𝚑𝚛𝚒𝚜𝚝𝚖𝚊𝚜 𝚝𝚒𝚖𝚎. 𝚂𝚘 𝚜𝚑𝚘𝚛𝚝, 𝚊𝚛𝚘𝚞𝚗𝚍 110 𝚙𝚊𝚐𝚎𝚜, 𝚋𝚞𝚝 𝙸'𝚕𝚕 𝚐𝚒𝚟𝚎 𝚝𝚑𝚒𝚜 𝚊 𝚛𝚎𝚜𝚘𝚞𝚗𝚍𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚏𝚒𝚟𝚎 𝚜𝚝𝚊𝚛𝚜. 🙂 6mo
36 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Nute
Small Things Like These | Claire Keegan
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#MarvelousMarch Readathon
I couldn‘t pass up this readathon when I saw the field of daffodils in the invite post! The timing is good. We decided to celebrate St. Patrick‘s Day this weekend so there‘ll be lots of crockpot cooking which leaves loads of time for reading. Who knows what shenanigans I‘ll be up to later on, my brother is insisting that I try Irish Whiskey.☘️🥃😳

The book might seem like it was selected because of the green cover,👇🏽

Nute but it is actually set in a small town in Ireland. It‘s supposedly a story of empathy. That is all that I needed to know.

I‘m starting this March Readathon off in the right way.💚
7mo
Andrew65 Great to have you with us, and glad the daffodils captured your attention. 7mo
118 likes1 stack add2 comments
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rachaich
Small Things Like These | Claire Keegan
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Pickpick

Very quick read today...
The overall message of doing good to all, to using your own agency to support others, really penetrates this little book.
Even more poignant given the current Ukraine situation 😢

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rachaich
Small Things Like These | Claire Keegan
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Just dropped into my library app after a 6 week as it.
I hadn't realised what a short novella it is.

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merelybookish
Small Things Like These | Claire Keegan
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Apparently snow storms are good for my reading stats! I finished 16 books in February! (Tagged novella didn't make the photo.) I think that might be a record! Highlights were:
Women of Brewster Place
Katalin Street
Joan is Okay
The Kiss

vivastory What a wonderful reading month! You might have seen this already, but just a heads up I noticed there's a review in New Yorker of 7mo
LeahBergen Great month! 👍 7mo
wanderinglynn 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 fantastic month! 7mo
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merelybookish @vivastory Thanks for the heads up! I will check it out. Its such a strange book to describe/review. 7mo
merelybookish @LeahBergen @wanderinglynn Thanks! It's been so cold & snowy I have been reading more than usual! 7mo
DivineDiana 👏🏻📚😲 7mo
51 likes6 comments
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CarolynM
Small Things Like These | Claire Keegan
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Thank you, Cathy. This looks looks terrific - and such a beautiful cover! I so appreciate your thoughtfulness, my friend😘

@Cathythoughts

squirrelbrain Such an impactful read, for a little book… I think you‘ll love it Carolyn! 8mo
LeahBergen This sounds so good! 8mo
Cathythoughts Oh good ! I hope you enjoy 😘 8mo
58 likes3 comments
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Pinta
Small Things Like These | Claire Keegan
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Pickpick

Classic Christmas story of courage & giving freely, complete with cheer & snow & hearths & fruitcake but w/ a layer of crows & black cats & dread. Economic duress. 1985, small Irish town, coal seller Bill Furlong learns that girls at the convent are living in dire conditions. Depiction of Magdalene laundries, girls & women imprisoned & forced to work without pay. Narrative ends high—consequences? Orphanhood, complicity, charity, conviction. 2021

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Kimbono
Small Things Like These | Claire Keegan
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Pickpick

There‘s a lot to love in this tiny, beautiful book. Full of heart and great writing.