Book Review: One Big Beautiful Thing by Marie Flanigan

One Big Beautiful Thing
Marie Flanigan
File Size: 499 KB
Print Length: 359 pages
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1484972600
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English

The central character in this story is an artist, Kate Abernethy, who is trying to adjust to a new kind of life following the sudden death of her boyfriend. She moves in with her mother and that seems like a good way to sort out her finances and re-evaluate her life, but her mother does not allow Kate to be the adult she truly is. Kate must find her own way through the minefield of grief and figure out how to make a living and provide for herself. She has worked in graphic design, but her heart and soul are in her painting. Can she hope to be successful at it? 

There is a chance for Kate to have a new love in her life, too, if she can accept the fact that it would be okay. She does her deceased boyfriend no dishonor if she chooses to love again, but she has to believe that to accept someone new.

I really enjoyed this book on a lot of levels. The author really did a first-rate job in showing the ups and downs of the grieving process without getting maudlin or too sentimental. It was one of the best handling of grief that I have read in a long time. At one point in the story, Kate is angry with Robert, the man she loved who died a year ago. She has a pattern of going running whenever the emotional turmoil gets overwhelming, so this day she is running and trips and falls. She slides down an embankment and gets cut and gouged by branches and roots, and this is how the scene ends:

 “Kate blew out a frustrated breath and tried not to cry. What a crap, crap day. Robert had done this to her. He’d marked her and made her angry, and now he wasn’t even here to help her. Kneeling there in the woods, she just wanted to scream at him, to pummel him with her fists and scream at him and hold him and touch him just one more time. There was nothing to do, but walk home.”

This is Marie Flanigan’s first novel, and I hope it is not her last. She will be my Wednesday’s Guest this week to share a bit about the writing of this story, plus a few fun things about her. Please try to come by and say “hello.”

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