Title: Tiny Ladies
Author: Adam Klein
Publisher: Open Road Integrated Media
Date of Publication: 19 August 2014
Number of Pages: 215
Rating: 4 stars
Disclaimer: Copy provided free by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
Summary: “Carrie hasn’t always made the best decisions in her life. But her affair with Victor, one of her clients when she worked as a caseworker in San Francisco, had disastrous results. Years later, handling cases in the midst of the frozen winters of the Mid-West, Carrie is assigned Hannah as a client. Carrie recognises in her a kindred spirit also trying to escape a troubled past.” Both Carrie and Hannah know what it is to be surrounded by violence. They know the mental scars can last longer than any physical mark. As they try to work through their respective traumas, Carrie becomes increasingly aware that her past has, literally, come back to haunt her. Could that shadowy figure she’s seen be Victor, returning to claim her, and drag her back to her old life of addiction and crime? Or has he come back for revenge? (Goodreads)
Review: Tiny Ladies is an uncomfortable and uncompromising read,which follows the life of Carrie and includes the histories of her parents, ex lovers and friends. Klein is unforgiving in his prose and his swift changes in chronology. His style is deliberately disorientating thanks to this constantly changing perspective. Unlike some novels where this is horrifically hard to follow and irritating, in Tiny Ladies it swallows you whole and you keep up with the storytelling because to do otherwise isn’t an option. In this way, Klein introduces readers to the very nature of addiction. As the story progresses you realise that even if you wanted to stop, put the book down and seek out something less threatening, there is little chance of this occurring. You realise the addiction forming for the characters, the words, the need to know more and have more in greater quantities. Klein shows you what your own addictions are, your twitches, your secrets and it is unsettling and exposing.
Tiny Ladies isn’t a light hearted romp, full of pleasure. It is brutal but heartening and rewarding.