I loved Claire Keegan’s short novel Foster that I read earlier this year. So over my recent vacation, I read her Christmas novelette Small Things Like These. In it a man in Ireland lives his life at Christmas time wondering about his own past as he decides what to do about his future.
Keegan’s prose is immersive. You can feel the cold and damp as well as all the emotions. The protagonist helps those in his community of struggling families. It being Ireland, he also helps the local convent where he unexpectedly comes across a young girl who may not be being treated properly. Whether to do something about it is a serious struggle for him. It could mean hardship for him in a profound way. I’ll leave the resolution for you to discover.
This is wonderful work by Keegan. I am now officially a fan and will be alert to anything new she writes. I have to say that it wasn’t quite as good for me as Foster was. Still, fantastic storytelling about real people that are relatable.
My rating: 4/5