Author: Anna Bruno
Genre: General Fiction
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: August 18, 2020
Book Description: It’s 5pm on a Wednesday when Emma settles into her hometown bar with a motley crew of locals, all unaware that a series of decisions over the course of a single night is about to change their lives forever. As the evening unfolds, key details about Emma’s history emerge, and the past comes bearing down on her like a freight train.
Why has Emma, a powerhouse in the business world, ended up here? What is she running away from? And what is she willing to give up to recapture the love she once cherished? An exploration of contemporary love, guilt, and the place we call home, and in the tradition of Ask Again, Yes and Little Fires Everywhere, Ordinary Hazards follows one woman’s epic journey back to a life worth living.
Rating: 4 Stars
Review: The experience of reading of this felt extremely surreal. Written over one evening, we meet Emma at 5PM at the local bar. During the hours she is there the debut author Anna Bruno paints a very real and painful picture of this woman’s life.
Written entirely from Emma’s point of view, this book goes between past and present seamlessly in each chapter. At times it felt like we were getting a stream of consciousness from her.
It does not take long to realize something happened to Emma, she appears to be an alcoholic at least in the present. While the townies support and accept her, we know she is struggling. That is where she starts thinking of her past, her successful business, a book, her husband, child and dog.
Everything appears to be great, until about two-thirds of the book, where Bruno drops the bombshell. While is not so surprising what has happened to Emma, it still does not hurt nonetheless when it finally comes out.
Anna Bruno took time and care to tell this story. This was not an easy story to write, but she gave it the tenderness it deserves. She wrote a beautiful story with a great ending, that will leave you thinking about this for a long time.
Thank you NetGalley and Atria Books for an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.