The co-op bookstore for avid readers
Book Cover for: Small Wonder, Eileen Kelly

Small Wonder

Eileen Kelly

Tina, a 30-year-old preschool teacher, sees her life slipping by. She is the mother of ten-year-old Matty, the product of an unexpected adventure on a European train. But he's a great kid, and she's a wonderful mother, if more than a bit economically challenged. This is especially true for a resident of Park Slope, Brooklyn, a granola-fancy neighborhood of multi-million-dollar brownstones and Prada-toting, vaccine-hesitant moms. Every day she takes her run with her dog, goes to work, looks after her friend/neighbor/landlady's girl, has a few glasses of wine, and, well, that's about it.

Enter Patrick, new to town from Boulder, Colorado. He is the father of Jonah, a new boy in Tina's preschool class, as well as Darla, who coincidentally is in the same class as Tina's son. Patrick and the kids moved hoping to get a fresh start after Patrick's wife's tragic death in a fall from a cliff during a family camping trip.

But starting over is not so easy, and the aftershocks of that catastrophe have followed the children to their new home. The kids begin to act out, and Tina finds herself defending their increasingly bad behavior. After all, as far as Tina can tell, poor Patrick seems to be doing his best.

Meanwhile, both Tina's housing situation and her job are hanging by a thread, and change may be coming whether she's ready for it or not. The Park Slope moms want Tina to go to law school, since teaching preschool looks to them like a dead-end job. Tina doesn't know what she wants.

The kids become (sort-of) friends, and that means Tina spending time with Patrick. She finds him to be an attractive man who endears himself to nearly everyone he meets, and soon it becomes clear that he is both available and interested. Maybe something will work out there for Tina-a big, happy blended family, perhaps?

That is, if she ignores the sea of waving red flags...

Small Wonder is a portrait of a woman finding humor and joy in an age of anxiety. Underneath the day-to-day, a question is always stirring: in this troubled and imperiled world, how do you raise a child as a single parent, keep a roof over your heads, and have your own life? Should she take a chance-for both her and her son-on a man she doesn't really know?

Book Details

  • Publisher: Flexible Press
  • Publish Date: Aug 6th, 2024
  • Pages: 234
  • Language: English
  • Dimensions: 8.00in - 5.00in - 0.53in - 0.57lb
  • EAN: 9798988721369
  • Categories: LiteraryWomen

Praise for this book

"...Pitch-perfect, realistic capture of urban domestic life in our time, it adds a dose of gaslighting drama that would put Les Diaboliques to shame."-Madison Smartt Bell, author of All Souls' Rising, finalist for the National Book Award

"Kelly's sweet-and-sour style had me hooked from the first page, and the novel's twisty plot does not disappoint."-Diane Josefowicz, author of Ready, Set, Oh

Kelly's rich detail exquisitely captures the joys and horrors of being children and raising children in a modern world..."-Karen Lee Boren, author of Secret Waltz

"...Clever and dark, humorous and harrowing...hard to put down."-Clifford Thompson, author of What It Is