The Smallest Thing
Publication date: July 18th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
The very last thing 17-year-old Emmott Syddall wants is to turn out like her dad. She’s descended from ten generations who never left their dull English village, and there’s no way she’s going to waste a perfectly good life that way. She’s moving to London and she swears she is never coming back.
But when the unexplained deaths of her neighbors force the government to quarantine the village, Em learns what it truly means to be trapped. Now, she must choose. Will she pursue her desire for freedom, at all costs, or do what’s best for the people she loves: her dad, her best friend Deb, and, to her surprise, the mysterious man in the HAZMAT suit?
Inspired by the historical story of the plague village of Eyam, this contemporary tale of friendship, community, and impossible love weaves the horrors of recent news headlines with the intimate details of how it feels to become an adult—and fall in love—in the midst of tragedy.
Lisa Manterfield is the award-winning author of I’m Taking My Eggs and Going Home: How One Woman Dared to Say No to Motherhood. Her work has appeared in The Saturday Evening Post, Los Angeles Times, and Psychology Today. Originally from northern England, she now lives in Southern California with her husband and over-indulged cat. A Strange Companion is her first novel. Learn more at LisaManterfield.com.
The Smallest Thing is one amazing book to cozy up with and read during those rainy days. I love the development of the story, the events that took place and the growth of the characters. It was such a heartwarming story of how the community connects with each other especially in times of distress. I was so so proud and a little bit annoyed at Emmott’s dad (same way Em felt about him, yeah I know) for he can’t let go that sense of responsibility towards his neighbours even though they’re instructed to lessen human contact so as to lessen the possibility of catching the virus but he still helped his neighborhood and wow I am so proud of the man.
I love Emmott’s character development and that wonderful and heartfelt decision she made at the end. I was constantly nervous while I was reading the book, the thought of Emmott and her dad catching the virus made me oh so anxious. I felt bad for Emmott on what she found out about her Mom but I was so glad on how her relationship with her Dad grew better.
Reading this book is kind of refreshing for it seemed like the romance of Emmott became a secondary focus unlike other YA novels these days for the primary seemed to me as the repairing of relationship with Emmott and her Dad so as the sense of community and helping a neighbour out. I love reading this book and when I read the author’s note regarding the inspiration of the story and it literally raised the hair on my arms. Totally recommended for everyone to read.