#aww2019 · 2019 Reviews · Australian · contemporary fiction · new release

New Release Book Review: Small Blessings by Emily Brewin

Title: Small Blessingssmall blessings small

Author: Emily Brewin

Published: February 1st 2019

Publisher: Allen & Unwin

Pages: 248

Genres: Fiction, Contemporary

RRP: $29.99

Rating: 4 stars

Through the unlikeliest of friendships comes a second chance.

Rosie Larson doesn’t trust people – and with good reason. Her violent ex-boyfriend, Joel, is out of jail and she’s determined he won’t find her or their eleven-year-old son.

For Isobel Hutchins, the cost of success is beginning to prove too high. Her impressive career and comfortable lifestyle can’t protect her from the news her mother is dying or the need to face her past.

When tragedy strikes, Rosie and Isobel are thrown together despite their differences. In this difficult space, they draw strength from each other and form an unlikely friendship that may just see them through.

Small Blessings is a poignant and uplifting tale of secrets, motherhood, innocence and heartache, and ultimately what we’re willing to do for love.


Small Blessings is the second novel by author Emily Brewin. It is a book with a title that contained a great but subtle life lesson. In our busy modern lives, where we are trying to balance love, life, family and careers, it is often difficult to focus on the smaller details. Often we feel overwhelmed by the big picture. Small Blessings reminds us to pluck out those finer details, the minute happenings and celebrate the joy they provide us. A fragile and poignant novel about relationships, friendships, trust and emotion, this is a wonderful second novel from an author I admire, Emily Brewin.

Told through the eyes of two separate protagonists in alternating chapters, Small Blessings introduces the reader to Rosie Larson and Isobel Hutchins. These two women are chalk and cheese, in every aspect of their lives. Rosie is a true survivor. She left an abusive relationship and will do anything to protect her son from her ex, who has recently been released from jail. Rosie is trying hard to be a good mother, despite the challenges being a single parent with a child with special needs brings. On the flip side, Isobel is a career woman, she has devoted her life to her job. She is successful, powerful and affluent. But this achievement has come at a cost, Isobel has a faltering marriage and the recent news of her mother’s imminent death forces her to examine her difficult past. An unexpected set of circumstances arises, resulting in a fateful encounter between Isobel and Rosie. It is an experience that will change both women forever. A story of love and sacrifice, Small Blessings is a book that will both break and warm your heart.

Emily Brewin’s much anticipated second book, really is a blessing in disguise. This compact book manages to condense a number of emotive themes all within the one novel. Reflective, contemplative, relatable and life affirming, Small Blessings is a book that I consumed in less than twenty four hours.

Emily Brewin has taken two characters who are polar opposites. For much of the novel, I questioned how Rosie and Isobel would find a connection. But I needed to trust Brewin as she placed her characters in situations where we watch on as they both thrive and falter, as well as confront their difficult pasts. I found the leads, Isobel and Rosie, both hard to like, however, this does not mean that I am unable to understand their problems and issues. Part of the appeal of Small Blessings is simply how raw, honest, connective and relatable it is to life.

Small Blessings is a debatable read, I think there is plenty by the way of themes to raise.  From parenting, infertility, infidelity, relationships, friendships, abuse, fear, reconciling the past with the present, trust, communication, protection, success, lifestyles and innocence. There is a real moral, social and emotional minefield that goes with Small Blessings, which is why I feel it would be the perfect book to discuss with others.

Small Blessings is a book that offers a compressed introspection into set characters that are flawed, but at the end of the day they are human. Life enriching and life affirming, add Small Blessings to your pile if you want to read a book that makes you feel more alive and grateful for the small gifts or blessings of everyday life.

Small Blessings by Emily Brewin was published on February 1st 2019 by Allen & Unwin. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.

To learn more about the author of Small Blessings, Emily Brewin, visit here.

*I wish to thank Allen & Unwin for providing me with a free copy of this book for review purposes.

Small Blessings is book #38 of the 2019 Australian Women Writers Challenge 





3 thoughts on “New Release Book Review: Small Blessings by Emily Brewin

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