Ashley Hay explores the ways in which we inhabit spaces: building homes and filling them with our possessions, dreams, regrets, fears and secrets. I was deeply touched by this graceful novel, with its unflinching approach to reality and its gentle undercurrents of sadness, nostalgia and hope. It is a highly recommended read for fans of literary fiction and Hay's own award-winning The Railwayman's Wife.
A Hundred Small Lessons holds powerful truths, simply told ... There is no definitive moment; instead, ideas are layered, one small action at a time, until the whole is revealed. Only then can we see the intricacy of the story, in which the river's flowing quality is present within each sentence, the moods and tides reflective of the transformative power of parenthood
With a lovely attention to the detail of things and feelings, Hay enlists our concern for her characters and an appreciation for the revealing echoes they call up in our own lives
Hay renders the small details of an undramatic, decent life with tenderness that is touching and compelling... a measured piece of writing that works carefully to create pensive and evocative images of time and place and people.
Hay's engaging third novel explores the lives of two women connected by a house. In Brisbane, Australia, Lucy Kiss; her husband, Ben; and their young son, Tom, have just moved into the home where Elsie Gormley lived for more than 60 years. Hay's perceptive prose illuminates both Elsie's and Lucy's lives, resulting in a rich dual character study that spans generations.
Readers who loved the quiet introspection of Anita Shreve's The Pilot's Wife and Elizabeth Strout's Olive Kitteridge will enjoy the detailed emotional journeys of Hay's characters. Their stories will linger.
I love Ashley Hay's writing ... it's so poised and beautiful. And I know Ashley, and she writes as she is. I always like that in a person: when the writing that they do is very much the person that you get, it has an integrity about it that I enjoy ... She can't write a bad sentence
A moving and lyrical story of marriage, motherhood and age. Highly recommend.