Review: A Small Indiscretion by Jan Ellison


At nineteen, Annie Black trades a bleak future in a washed-out California town for a London winter of drinking and abandon. Twenty years later, she is a San Francisco lighting designer and happily married mother of three who has put her reckless youth behind her. Then a photo from that distant winter in Europe arrives inexplicably in her mailbox, and an old obsession is awakened.

Past and present collide, Annie’s marriage falters, and her son takes a car ride that ends with his life hanging in the balance. Now Annie must confront her own transgressions and fight for her family by untangling the mysteries of the turbulent winter that drew an invisible map of her future. Gripping, insightful, and lyrical, A Small Indiscretion announces the arrival of a major new voice in literary suspense as it unfolds a story of denial, passion, forgiveness—and the redemptive power of love.



My Review: 

First off, I would like to acknowledge the cover on both the paperback and the hardback. I love them both. I absolutely love good covers. Both covers visually depict the edge of suspense quite nicely.

This book is like a story within in a story. Day to day life goes on as the story is being told but the true story about Annie Black’s past is told via a letter to her son with details about her past that has now collided with the present. I found this unexpected and bold that the author chose this writing style to tell the story. However, I believe that it made the story even more suspenseful. It’s quite unique and I like that! At first, I wasn’t sure that I was going to like it but as the story progressed there was really no better way to tell it. Annie needed to tell her story and who else knows it better than her. She wanted to thoroughly explain to her son what happened decades ago and how a small indiscretion later changed life as he knew it in a major way. I didn’t care for the sex scenes written in this letter because who really gives their child those explicit details?!

I thoroughly enjoyed how the story jumps back and forth, between the past and the present. I found the transitions between the time periods smooth and those transitions also provided another suspenseful element that kept me wanting more. I devoured the details and enjoyed deciphering between which were important and which weren’t.

Jan Ellison



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