The Nature of Fragile Things by Susan Meissner @SusanMeissner @BerkleyPub #5stars #historicalfiction #review


April 18, 1906: A massive earthquake rocks San Francisco just before daybreak, igniting a devouring inferno. Lives are lost, lives are shattered, but some rise from the ashes forever changed.

Sophie Whalen is a young Irish immigrant so desperate to get out of a New York tenement that she answers a mail-order bride ad and agrees to marry a man she knows nothing about. San Francisco widower Martin Hocking proves to be as aloof as he is mesmerizingly handsome. Sophie quickly develops deep affection for Kat, Martin’s silent five-year-old daughter, but Martin’s odd behavior leaves her with the uneasy feeling that something about her newfound situation isn’t right. 

Then one early-spring evening, a stranger at the door sets in motion a transforming chain of events. Sophie discovers hidden ties to two other women. The first, pretty and pregnant, is standing on her doorstep. The second is hundreds of miles away in the American Southwest, grieving the loss of everything she once loved. 

The fates of these three women intertwine on the eve of the devastating earthquake, thrusting them onto a perilous journey that will test their resiliency and resolve and, ultimately, their belief that love can overcome fear.

From the acclaimed author of The Last Year of the War and As Bright as Heavencomes a gripping novel about the bonds of friendship and mother love, and the power of female solidarity.


Sophie has become a mail order bride. She could not take the tenements in NYC anymore. So, she answers the ad and moves to San Francisco. She meets and marries her new husband, Martin Hocking. He is a handsome man but he is very aloof. However, he has the sweetest little girl named Kat. Sophie begins to be very attached to Kat and when her relationship with this little girl is threatened, Sophie stops at nothing to protect her.

Sophie is a strong woman fallen on hard times. She takes a risk to change her stars. Little does she know that her husband is not who he says he is. She finds this out right before the earthquake changes her and Kat’s life.

Wow! This is a super good read. It is twisted, heartbreaking and intense all at the same time. I adored Sophie. She is a lady of integrity and strength. This is proven time and time again during this read.

This is a story you will not stop once you start. It is captivating and powerful! Grab your copy today!

I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review.

Purchase Here

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About fredreeca

I am an avid reader and paper crafter. I am a mom of 2 children, 5 dogs and 1 cat. I am a huge St. Louis Cardinals Fan
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