Book Review: Small Joys of Real Life by Allee Richards

About the Book:

Shortlisted for both The Richell Prize for Emerging Writers and the Victorian Premier’s Award for an Unpublished Manuscript.

The night Eva shared a smile with Pat, something started. Two weeks later, lying together in her bed, Pat said, ‘You can’t live your life saying you’ll get around to doing something you know will make you happy. You just have to do it.’

Eva didn’t know how devastating those words would turn out to be. Pat dies and the aftershock leaves Eva on unsteady ground. She is pregnant. And she has to make a choice.

Suddenly, the world that she at times already questioned, her career, her roommates and friends, and life in the inner-city are all even harder to navigate. Her best friends, Sarah and Annie, are also dealing with the shifts and changes of their late twenties, and each of them will at times let the others down.

Small Joys of Real Life is a poignant and unpredictable novel from an exciting new literary talent about how the life you have can change in an instant. It’s about friendship, desire, loss and growing up to accept that all you can do is be in the moment and look to find the joys in between.

Published by Hachette Australia

Released 28th July 2021

My Thoughts:

What a gorgeous novel this turned out to be. I’m such a huge fan of contemporary life-lit reads, those novels that get inside the lives of the characters, where they aren’t plot driven, but simply about life, in all its pain and glory. Small Joys of Real Life is about friendship and grief. About mourning not only the loss of someone, but the loss of all the potential they had to be within your own life.

The beauty of this story lies in its purity. Eva thought she’d found someone who might have been ‘the one’. Yet he dies, within weeks of them meeting. And she is left pregnant. As she navigates through her pregnancy with the support of her two best friends, she is also mourning the loss of Pat, the Pat she had just begun to get to know, along with the Pat she uncovers by digging through old social media posts made by him and his close friends. She forms a narrative of what their life together might have been like, had he lived.

This novel is devastating, yet beautifully uplifting at the same time. Allee Richards is a true literary talent. Her next novel is out later this year and I can’t wait.

5 thoughts on “Book Review: Small Joys of Real Life by Allee Richards

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