By: Heather Gudenkauf

Published: July 1, 2014

Publisher: Harlequin MIRA


In Gudenkauf’s latest novel, moms everywhere won’t be able to forget this story, ripped right from today’s headlines. Gudenkauf, I’m sure, had no idea how timely her novel would be.

Gudenkauf is an Iowan and sets her books around the people and places that are in the heart of the Midwest. She makes her books easy to identify with characters and the places they live. In LITTLE MERCIES, Ellen is a social worker exposed to horrific scenes of abused wives and children and hungry faces, but goes home to the idyllic life with a husband and her three children. There are days when the enormity of caring for other children can be exhausting and often times she has to care for others children over her own. One day, her career and her personal life combine into a crashing catastrophe.

In another Midwestern community, ten-year-old Jenny is finding out she and her father are moving again. Life hasn’t been stable since her mother left her and she moved in with her alcoholic father.  On the day they are starting out on a new life, Jenny finds herself alone. She is forced to live off of the kindness of others and the few dollars in her pocket. When she meets a waitress, she finds herself wrapped in a kind of love and protection she has never known.

Eventually Jenny and Ellen’s lives collide. In that moment, they will realize the “little mercies, the good that can come from the terrible“.

I don’t want to give away any of the twists and turns of this heart breaking and emotional story. What I do want to say, is it will break your heart, make you cry, remind you to appreciate the big and little moments in life, and to make time for those you love.

Gudenkauf writes with heartfelt emotion, realistic situations, identifiable characters, and at a pace that will keep the reader guessing and constantly turning the pages.  As a former social worker, I can say with confidence that the author did her research and put me right back into that chaotic world.

This will make an excellent choice for book clubs that include women or men, mothers or grandmothers.  I would expect it to be an emotional discussion for most members.

I purchased this on my Kindle and as of right now, it is just $6.00. Prices can change daily, but regardless of the price, it is a book I highly recommend. Click HERE to purchase LITTLE MERCIES.

Gudenkauf has also published a novella to accompany LITTLE MERCIES.  LITTLE LIES is available on Kindle for just $.99. To purchase it, click the photo below:

Novellas are usually short stories to get readers excited for a new novel coming out.  I actually read LITTLE LIES after I read LITTLE MERCIES.  I would agree that reading LITTLE LIES would make you very interested in reading more of Ellen’s story.  But, reading it after is just as good.

LITTLE LIES is comparable to a few chapters in a regular book. So, you have to fit a lot of details in a short amount and Gudenkauf does it well. The story flows well and gives you a glimpse into the horrors Ellen sees in her job as a social worker. The mystery of the murder will surprise you and leave you wanting more from Gudenkauf. 

Heather Gudenkauf – source

Heather Gudenkauf is the New York Times bestselling author of THE WEIGHT OF SILENCE, THESE THINGS HIDDEN, and ONE BREATH AWAY (see my review HERE). She lives in Iowa with her family. For more on Heather Gudenkauf, visit her website, You can also find her active on Social Media by following her on Facebook, HERE, Twitter, HERE, and Instagram, HERE

To purchase a copy of LITTLE MERCIES, click the photo below:

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