Wow! Susan Meissner, the author of “The Nature of Fragile Things” has written an exhilarating, intriguing, captivating and memorable novel. The genre for this novel is Historical Fiction. The timeline for this story is set during the destructive Earthquake in San Francisco in 1906. The story goes both to the past and future when it pertains to the characters and events. Susan Meissner vividly describes the events, characters, landscape and plots of the story. I appreciate the historical research that the author has done regarding this time in history. Susan Meissner describes are dramatic characters as flawed, secretive, complex, and complicated. One of my favorite themes in this story is how there is a ‘sisterhood” of women who are trusting and courageous. Just like the devastating earthquake that demolishes much of San Francisco, there are deadly secrets, dangerous betrayals. and mysterious deaths.
Sophie Whalen, the protagonist in this story is an Irish immigrant that jumps at the opportunity to marry a widowed man with a young daughter from an advertisement that he placed in the newspaper. Sophie has no illusions about love with this man, but is drawn to his young mute daughter. Her husband is not obviously who he says that he is, and Sophie gets the opportunity to meet two of his other current wives. The background of these meetings happen during the earthquake.
I found myself so immersed in this story that I couldn’t put this book down. It is such a memorable and thought-provoking novel that I highly recommend it for other readers! Kudos to Susan Meissner for writing such an exemplary novel about a historical tragedy.