Little Lovely Things

Little Lovely Things

A mother’s chance decision leads to a twist of fate that is every parent’s worst nightmare.Claire Rawlings, mother of two and medical resident, will not let the troubling signs of an allergic reaction prevent her from making it in for rounds. But when Claire's symptoms overpower her while she's driving into work, her two children in tow, she must pull over. Moments later s...

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Title:Little Lovely Things
Author:Maureen Joyce Connolly
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Little Lovely Things Reviews

  • Suzanne Leopold (Suzy Approved Book Reviews)

    Claire Rawlings is feeling feverish and worried she might pass out while driving to her medical residency. She is forced to pull over at a gas station while her two young daughters sleep in the car. In her weakened state, she runs to the bathroom while leaving her girls in the car. After passing out, she awakens to find her car and children are missing.

    Claire along with her husband, Glenn, struggle with the hope of seeing their daughters again. Their future together dissolves into coping with t

    Claire Rawlings is feeling feverish and worried she might pass out while driving to her medical residency. She is forced to pull over at a gas station while her two young daughters sleep in the car. In her weakened state, she runs to the bathroom while leaving her girls in the car. After passing out, she awakens to find her car and children are missing.

    Claire along with her husband, Glenn, struggle with the hope of seeing their daughters again. Their future together dissolves into coping with the heavy guilt which strains their marriage. They live with the difficulty of not knowing what happened to their children and do their best to move forward.

    This debut novel by Maureen Joyce Connolly was hard to put down as it moves through the emotions of a mother’s worst nightmare. ”Lovely Little Things” is a well-crafted novel which draws on many points of view to build the story. I look forward to more books by this author.

  • Peter

    is a remarkable debut novel from

    that is enthralling, enigmatic, heart-breaking and full of dark suspense. We anxiously encounter the nightmare every parent dreads. SOMEONE STOLE MY CHILDREN! The story fully engages our emotions and pulls us erratically between hope and despair.

    Claire was suffering a dreadful reaction after taking a double vaccine dose, and while driving with her 2 children pulls into a garage where she is violently sick in

    is a remarkable debut novel from

    that is enthralling, enigmatic, heart-breaking and full of dark suspense. We anxiously encounter the nightmare every parent dreads. SOMEONE STOLE MY CHILDREN! The story fully engages our emotions and pulls us erratically between hope and despair.

    Claire was suffering a dreadful reaction after taking a double vaccine dose, and while driving with her 2 children pulls into a garage where she is violently sick in the toilet and passes out. When she awakens, her car with her 2 daughters, Lily and Andrea, are gone. The anguish and turmoil experienced by Claire and how she manages alongside her husband is heartfelt and beautifully crafted. The undercurrents of guilt and blame are subtly drawn and Maureen explores how their relationship is put under strain with such clever, emotional and concealed forces. In her mind, she wonders why he won't blame her for losing the children, because that's what she's doing. The development of this emotional torment is superbly written and addressed really well.

    Jay is a Native American who has an extrasensory insight about certain events and has been attracted to particular circumstances. Somehow he found himself intuitively driving along a deserted track and he finds clues of the children that drags him into the story and a connection with Claire that is ultimately a lifeline for all involved.

    The background and relationship between Moira and Eamon, who kidnapped the children, is also very unique and again the multiple character layers are so wonderfully crafted. Both are Irish travellers with a unique outlook and approach to life and it's their disreputable lifestyle that underpins the destructive motivation in this story. Moira, in particular, is a multi-faceted character and her irrational connection to the girls shapes many of the decisions she makes.

    Maureen develops fascinating complex characters and their interactions are wonderfully portrayed and not always obvious. This brings about a tense, intriguing and captivating power to the novel where we can experience the different dynamics between the two couples and sympathise, at times, with the criminal elements, and become frustrated with the victims.

    Maureen uses a very descriptive writing style and initially, it is wonderful to appreciate the imaginative ways of describing the settings or reactions between characters, however, after a while, I felt it started to intrude into the flow of telling the story. This is a personal point-of-view as it’s a fine line between over-describing and maintain the focus of a thriller.

    The pace of the story is steady for the majority of the book, and that enables the sense of a bubbling precarious theme that eventually ramps up towards a climactic end. While the main story concept is not new, it does, however, introduce unique perspectives, plot elements and characters that I thoroughly enjoyed. The psychological elements seem very well researched and were very interesting.

    I highly recommend this book and I wish to thank Maureen Joyce Connolly and NetGalley for an ARC version of the book in return for an honest review.

  • Theresa Alan

    Claire gets incredibly ill while driving to work with her four-year-old daughter and baby daughter in the back seat. Dizzy, she pulls into a gas station, and staggers in a blurry haze to the bathroom. When she comes back out, her car and daughters are gone.

    I’ve read a couple stories of children going missing. This one was different. Odd, actually, because of some of the perspectives the story is told from. I tend to not like extreme coincidences in books, but somehow, in the end, it all worked.

    Claire gets incredibly ill while driving to work with her four-year-old daughter and baby daughter in the back seat. Dizzy, she pulls into a gas station, and staggers in a blurry haze to the bathroom. When she comes back out, her car and daughters are gone.

    I’ve read a couple stories of children going missing. This one was different. Odd, actually, because of some of the perspectives the story is told from. I tend to not like extreme coincidences in books, but somehow, in the end, it all worked.

    Thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks for the opportunity to review this novel, which RELEASES APRIL 2, 2019.

    For more reviews, please visit

  • Mackenzie - PhDiva Books

    In Maureen Joyce Connolly’s debut novel,

    , every parent’s worst nightmare plays out as two parent’s search for information about their young daughters who’ve gone missing. With a rawness that makes the story authentic and emotional, Connolly still manages to add lightness and hope to a difficult subject matter.

    A mother’s chance decision leads to a twist of fate that is every parent’s worst nightmare.

    Claire Rawlings, mother of two and medical resident, will not l

    In Maureen Joyce Connolly’s debut novel,

    , every parent’s worst nightmare plays out as two parent’s search for information about their young daughters who’ve gone missing. With a rawness that makes the story authentic and emotional, Connolly still manages to add lightness and hope to a difficult subject matter.

    A mother’s chance decision leads to a twist of fate that is every parent’s worst nightmare.

    Claire Rawlings, mother of two and medical resident, will not let the troubling signs of an allergic reaction prevent her from making it in for rounds. But when Claire's symptoms overpower her while she's driving into work, her two children in tow, she must pull over. Moments later she wakes up on the floor of a gas station bathroom-her car, and her precious girls have vanished.

    The police have no leads and the weight of guilt presses down on Claire as each hour passes with no trace of her girls. All she has to hold on to are her strained marriage, a potentially unreliable witness who emerges days later, and the desperate but unquenchable belief that her daughters are out there somewhere.

    Little Lovely Things is the story of a family shattered by an unthinkable tragedy. Played out in multiple narrative voices, the novel explores how the lives of those affected fatefully intersect, and highlights the potential catastrophe of the small decisions we make every day.

    The opening sequence to this novel is so compelling and well-written. With the way Connolly writes descriptively, I could almost feel the symptoms Claire is experiencing during her allergic reaction—an important scene, because it is the catalyst to her girls being taken. It was such a vivid and terrifying scene to read, and it really set the novel off with a bang.

    In fact, the novel moves surprisingly quickly! Often domestic dramas feel somewhat slow, because they tend to be character-driven rather than action-driven. This novel somehow manages to have extremely well-developed characters, as well as a fast-paced, unputdownable plot. Truly a unique mix for the genre, and one that I immensely enjoyed! It felt like I flew through this book!

    There were moments in this book that caused me to tear up. I’m not a parent myself, but the thought of wondering if your children are safe, and not knowing what happened—that resonated with me. At the same time, the book manages to have hope weaving throughout. Even in the lowest moments for Claire, I was able to see the potential for happiness.

    I was so saddened but touched by the way this event impacts not only Claire and Glen as parents, but also as partners in life. It is such a sad statistic that the loss of a child often causes a rift between the parents, as they each grieve in different ways. There’s no resentment in the book, but there is the sense that these two people who know one another so well, don’t know how to hold the burden of the other’s grief when they haven’t figured out how to cope with their own.

    With a beautiful, emotional story and outstanding characters, this one should be on your 2019 list!

    Many thanks to Suzy at Suzy’s Approved Book Tours for my copy to review, and including me in the tour.

  • Maureen

    *4.5 STARS *

    “But nothing makes a room feel emptier than wanting someone in it.”

    ― Calla Quinn, All the Time

    If ever a book was meant to touch the very depths of your soul, then this is it right here!

    Claire Rawlings is taken ill whilst driving - so ill, that she fears she’ll pass out, and has no choice but to pull into the nearest gas station. Her daughters, 15 month old Lily, and 4 year old Andrea are asleep in the back of the car, but Claire has to leave them where they are, such is her desperat

    *4.5 STARS *

    “But nothing makes a room feel emptier than wanting someone in it.”

    ― Calla Quinn, All the Time

    If ever a book was meant to touch the very depths of your soul, then this is it right here!

    Claire Rawlings is taken ill whilst driving - so ill, that she fears she’ll pass out, and has no choice but to pull into the nearest gas station. Her daughters, 15 month old Lily, and 4 year old Andrea are asleep in the back of the car, but Claire has to leave them where they are, such is her desperation to reach the bathroom. Medical resident Claire is unaware that she’s picked up a really nasty bug, and, (just as she feared) she passes out. When she comes to, the car has gone and her children too!

    Eventually a Native American drifter by the name of Jay White provides the police with some crucial evidence - this is a man gifted with extra sensory perception, but I won’t give anything away other than that. To disclose more of the plot would be a great disservice to the taut storyline.

    Needless to say, this places an impossible strain on Claire’s marriage to Glen. Claire knows he must blame her for leaving their daughters in the car, he doesn’t come right out and say it - but it’s there all the same, festering away.

    This may be Maureen Connelly’s debut novel, but it slots her nicely into the psychological thriller must reads. Like a seamstress she weaves a picture of an ordinary family stressing over the mundane things that affect families the world over, until in one heart stopping moment, that family becomes just 2 broken people - and the sparse clarity of it, just breaks your heart. It’s a gripping read, which I could have probably finished sooner, however, pause was needed to draw breath and process the sudden reveals, some of which hit like a sledgehammer.

    I thought the inclusion of Jay’s Native American folklore, added interest and mystery and took it to another level. I believe many established authors would have been proud to have written this one!

    *My thanks to Netgalley and Sourcebook Landmark for my ARC. I have given an honest unbiased review in exchange *

  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    Claire Rawlings is a busy mom of two. She’s also a medical resident and finds herself in the throes of an allergic reaction as she’s driving her daughters to work with her. She wakes up in a gas station bathroom, and her girls are gone.

    The tension mounts as the police have no suspects or any direction to go in, while the hours pass by without Claire’s daughters being found. Claire’s marriage is an unhappy one, so she has little social support to help her in this ordeal. A witness comes to light

    Claire Rawlings is a busy mom of two. She’s also a medical resident and finds herself in the throes of an allergic reaction as she’s driving her daughters to work with her. She wakes up in a gas station bathroom, and her girls are gone.

    The tension mounts as the police have no suspects or any direction to go in, while the hours pass by without Claire’s daughters being found. Claire’s marriage is an unhappy one, so she has little social support to help her in this ordeal. A witness comes to light days later but may not be telling the truth.

    Small decisions can have huge impacts on us, and this book definitely gets that point across well. We hear from multiple narrators, which adds so much insight into this dilemma and to what life was like for Claire. The characters are richly developed and enjoyable, and this book is definitely a fresh take on the missing child plot.

    Overall, Little Lovely Things is an original, well-paced, well-plotted story, which kept me on the edge of my seat with tension and wonder.

    I received a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.

    My reviews can also be found on my blog:

  • Meredith B.  (readingwithmere)

    Claire is a mother of two girls - Lily and Andrea - and one day she has an allergic reaction. However, she decides to ignore this and starts to drive the girls so she can go off to work. She feels so ill that she eventually has to pull over and stop at a rest stop. She gets out of the car, leaves it running and thinks the girls are perfectly safe. However, once she comes back they are gone.

    . Is this a bad dream??

    Claire and her hus

    Claire is a mother of two girls - Lily and Andrea - and one day she has an allergic reaction. However, she decides to ignore this and starts to drive the girls so she can go off to work. She feels so ill that she eventually has to pull over and stop at a rest stop. She gets out of the car, leaves it running and thinks the girls are perfectly safe. However, once she comes back they are gone.

    . Is this a bad dream??

    Claire and her husband start to investigate with local authorities until one day a man name Jay discovers something horrific. Unfortunately this doesn't help with any potential leads they have. Claire cannot sleep, eat, etc. and her marriage is definitely put to the test. I think this raises the question of

    . It's raw, real and emotional.

    This was my first book by Maureen Joyce Connolly and I believe this is her debut! I loved the emotions that this book brought out in me. I am always a little worried with family dramas that the emotions may be a bit sugar coated but I feel the author did a great job of being super honest and real when it came to what the parents, children and other characters in this story were going through respectively.

    This book comes out on April 2, 2019 and if you enjoy some family drama and also suspense I would suggest this one! Thank you to SuzyApprovedBookTours, Sourcebooks and

    for my copy of this book!

  • Berit☀️✨

    Maureen Joyce Connelly has crafted a compulsive story. Perfectly paced, vividly told, and emotionally charged, this is one remarkable debut! A book that will make you think about every Little thing you do, and how it could possibly alter the course of your life.

    Claire is the mother of two and a medical intern. One day Claire is suffering from what she believes is an allergic reaction, on her way to work with

    Maureen Joyce Connelly has crafted a compulsive story. Perfectly paced, vividly told, and emotionally charged, this is one remarkable debut! A book that will make you think about every Little thing you do, and how it could possibly alter the course of your life.

    Claire is the mother of two and a medical intern. One day Claire is suffering from what she believes is an allergic reaction, on her way to work with the kids in the car she feels as though she’s going to pass out so she pulls over to a gas station. Frantic to get to The bathroom she leaves the girls in the car where she believe they are safe. However, when she comes back she finds the car and the girls missing. One little innocent decision and Claire is living every parents worst nightmare. How will Claire’s already rocky marriage survive? Who took the girls? And why? And will Claire ever see them again?

    A gut wrenching story taut with tension. A book about how Claire and husband Glenn dealt with the aftermath of this tragedy. How they tried to puzzle the pieces of their lives back together again. The story is told from multiple perspectives giving you a vivid and insightful look at the events as they unfold. All the characters were extremely well drawn. You could really feel Claire and Glenn’s pain seeping through the pages, and you could not help but completely sympathize with them. There are several other very colorful quirky characters in this story that I think added that little extra something something to this book. There are many missing children stories out there, but this one was a little unique and very cleverly crafted. Absolutely recommend!

    *** A big thank you to Source Books for my copy of this book ***

  • Susanne  Strong

    Claire Rawlings has her two young daughters, Andrea and Lily in the car with her when she is overcome by illness. An allergic reaction. She stops at a gas station, delirious. She runs to the bathroom and unawares, she passes out. When she comes to, her car and her children are gone. Claire and Glen never recover.

    Claire Rawlings has her two young daughters, Andrea and Lily in the car with her when she is overcome by illness. An allergic reaction. She stops at a gas station, delirious. She runs to the bathroom and unawares, she passes out. When she comes to, her car and her children are gone. Claire and Glen never recover.

    Jay White is a Native American who has the gift of sight. He feels and sees things that happened to the Rawlings girls that day - though the police do not believe him. Claire, however, always has. He is a big-hearted, kind, lovable guy who always has everyone’s best interests at heart.

    It is a story involving Native Indian Folklore (which I loved) and Irish Travelling Gypsies - who had a (secret) language all their own, which I had a hard time understanding and which, unfortunately took away from my enjoyment of the story. While I really liked this novel, I also felt that the ending was a little abrupt and would have liked a little more, even though the ending was expected. That being said, I highly recommend this for those who like domestic dramas and mystery / suspense novels.

    Thank you to NetGalley, Source Landmark and Maureen Joyce Connelly for an arc of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

    Published on NetGalley and Goodreads on 3.3.19.

    *Will be published on Twitter on

  • Kaceey

    Claire Rawlings makes a last minute decision... one that just might cost her everything! On her way into work with her two daughters safely in the backseat, a rush of nausea overtakes her and she feels as though she may vomit. An allergic reaction? Whatever the case, she must stop the car NOW!

    Taking the next exit, Claire makes a mad dash into a bathroom behind a local gas station. Rushing into the restroom, she passes out. When she comes to her car is gone. Along with her two beautiful daugh

    Claire Rawlings makes a last minute decision... one that just might cost her everything! On her way into work with her two daughters safely in the backseat, a rush of nausea overtakes her and she feels as though she may vomit. An allergic reaction? Whatever the case, she must stop the car NOW!

    Taking the next exit, Claire makes a mad dash into a bathroom behind a local gas station. Rushing into the restroom, she passes out. When she comes to her car is gone. Along with her two beautiful daughters!

    How do you carry on? How do you possibly move forward? The grief, the unanswered questions, and most of all...the overwhelming guilt.

    There’s a taste of Native American folklore interspersed throughout from Jay, the one possible witness to the abduction. In fact, that was my favorite part of the book and hoped for even more from his character.

    Maureen Joyce Connolly writes a gripping debut thriller. The characters were all well developed, and the story-line flowed easily. I will definitely be searching out her next release.

    A buddy read with Susanne!🌸

    Thank you to NetGalley, Sourcebooks Landmark and Maureen Joyce Connolly for an ARC to read and review.

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