About A Hundred Small Lessons
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Atria Books (November 28, 2017)
From the author of the highly acclaimed The Railwayman’s Wife, called a “literary and literate gem” by Psychology Today, comes an emotionally resonant and profound new novel of two families, interconnected through the house that bears witness to their lives.
When Elsie Gormley leaves the Brisbane house in which she has lived for more than sixty years, Lucy Kiss and her family move in, eager to establish their new life. As they settle in, Lucy and her husband Ben struggle to navigate their transformation from adventurous lovers to new parents, taking comfort in memories of their vibrant past as they begin to unearth who their future selves might be. But the house has secrets of its own, and the rooms seem to share recollections of Elsie’s life with Lucy.
In her nearby nursing home, Elsie traces the span of her life—the moments she can’t bear to let go and the places to which she dreams of returning. Her beloved former house is at the heart of her memories of marriage, motherhood, love, and death, and the boundary between present and past becomes increasingly porous for both her and Lucy.
Over the course of one hot Brisbane summer, two families’ stories intersect in sudden and unexpected ways. Through the richly intertwined narratives of two ordinary, extraordinary women, Ashley Hay uses her “lyrical prose, poetic dialogue, and stunning imagery” (RT magazine) to weave an intricate, bighearted story of what it is to be human.
Praise for A Hundred Small Lessons:
“If you haven’t read anything by Ashley Hay, you are in for a treat: her language is lyrical, the lives she creates are authentic, her words are a delight to read. This is another delightful book from a very talented writer.” (WAMC Radio)
“If home is where the heart is, when does a house become a home—or, conversely, stop being one? Two women struggle to find the answer…Elsie’s aging memories give the book a timeless sense of marriage and motherhood and perhaps a flicker of what Lucy may find in her future. The home that Elsie must give up with regret, Lucy must learn to love. This is typical of Hay who slowly weaves a tale of past and present lives, exploring the sense that the gap between the two women is not impervious to sensitive souls. Both Elsie and Lucy are finely and sympathetically drawn, and their lives highlight issues that affect many women. A cerebral tale, slow-moving but profound.” (Kirkus)
“A book that overflows with gratitude for the hard, beautiful things of this world, and for the saving worlds of our imagination.” (Helen Garner, award-winning author of Everywhere I Look)
Ashley Hay is the internationally acclaimed author of the novels The Body in the Clouds and The Railwayman’s Wife, which was honored with the Colin Roderick Award by the Foundation for Australian Literary Studies and longlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award, the most prestigious literary prize in Australia, among numerous other accolades. She has also written four nonfiction books. She lives in Brisbane, Australia.
Connect with Ashley
Ashley Hay’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:
Tuesday, November 28th: Jathan & Heather
Wednesday, November 29th: 5 Minutes for Books
Thursday, November 30th: BookNAround
Monday, December 4th: West Metro Mommy Reads
Wednesday, December 6th: Patricia’s Wisdom
Wednesday, December 13th: Bookchickdi
Thursday, December 14th: Girl Who Reads
Monday, December 18th: Suzy Approved
Tuesday, December 19th: Write Read Life
Thursday, December 21st: Fiction Aficionado