Title: The Smallest Thing
Author: Lisa Manterfield
Publication date: July 18th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Rating: 4 / 5 stars
The very last thing 17-year-old Emmott Syddall wants is to turn out like her dad. She’s descended from ten generations who never left their dull English village, and there’s no way she’s going to waste a perfectly good life that way. She’s moving to London and she swears she is never coming back.
But when the unexplained deaths of her neighbors force the government to quarantine the village, Em learns what it truly means to be trapped. Now, she must choose. Will she pursue her desire for freedom, at all costs, or do what’s best for the people she loves: her dad, her best friend Deb, and, to her surprise, the mysterious man in the HAZMAT suit?
Inspired by the historical story of the plague village of Eyam, this contemporary tale of friendship, community, and impossible love weaves the horrors of recent news headlines with the intimate details of how it feels to become an adult—and fall in love—in the midst of tragedy.
I was a bit weary at first before starting this book. While it has elements that I love in a book, it also has this dystopian-like feel which I rarely read. But as I started reading, I just couldn’t stop, and it hooked me almost immediately.
The Smallest Thing is a slow-paced book, and some people might think it’s a bit dull. But this book is definitely worth your time. The helplessness and the fear felt by Emmott throughout the story makes my heart aches, and makes you want to read faster to know how it’ll end. The characters were also well-developed, making the book much more enjoyable.
I would certainly recommend this coming-of-age book to everyone. It makes my heart aches with what-ifs and the unfairness of it all.
I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.
Lisa Manterfield is the award-winning author of I’m Taking My Eggs and Going Home: How One Woman Dared to Say No to Motherhood. Her work has appeared in The Saturday Evening Post, Los Angeles Times, and Psychology Today. Originally from northern England, she now lives in Southern California with her husband and over-indulged cat. A Strange Companion is her first novel. Learn more at LisaManterfield.com.