Saturday, August 23, 2014
Book Review: "Tiny Ladies" by Adam Klein
Carrie is a caseworker in Iowa doing her best to help her clients overcome their struggles and make a fresh start of their lives. She's trying to do the same thingher previous tenure in the same role while living in San Francisco ended disastrously, with her having an affair with Victor, a dangerous client, and resuming a drug addiction that has had her in its grips since her teenage years. She's desperate to keep her life together, but she can't keep herself from caring too much about her clients.
"Caring about people is wounding. That's why so many people are reluctant to care. It hurts."
When Carrie meets Hannah, a troubled young woman with more than her own share of problems, Carrie feels like helping Hannah might be what she needs to finally move her life forward. But as she realizes Hannah is a more complicated person than she first thought, Carrie finds herself having to confront someone from her past, someone she hoped would never find her, and it sets her on a dangerous path.
Tiny Ladies is a brutal, beautifully written novel about the toll addiction takes on a person's life and those around them, and how hard it is to break the cycle of addiction when it's in your blood. It's a story about struggling to do what is right while your life is spiraling out of control, and you wonder if the effort it takes every day is truly worth it. The book shifts in time throughout Carrie's life, from her childhood growing up poor near the Florida Everglades, the daughter of two drug addicts, to the start of her own addictions, and her relationship with Victor, which has disastrous consequences for more than just her career.
I had never heard of Adam Klein before but the description of this book intrigued me tremendously. Klein is tremendously talented, and he so perfectly captured Carrie's voice and her soul, which isn't always a strong suit of male authors. This isn't a happy book by any means, and at times the storyline seems a little disjointed, but it is so powerful, and you find yourself urging Carrie not to make the same mistakes again, to try and pull her life together. This was an excellent read I'm glad I stumbled upon.