Marg recently enjoyed The Nature of Fragile Things by Susan Meissner, a "electrifying, atmospheric" historical novel set in early 20th Century San Francisco. Here is her review:

I have been a fan of Susan Meissner’s since I read The Fall of Marigolds several years ago and I have been anticipating reading her latest offering The Nature of Fragile Things for some time now, needless to say I was not disappointed.  

Set during the devastating 1906 San Francisco earthquakes which resulted in a blazing inferno engulfing the city, this work of fiction is terrifyingly and convincingly realistic.

Irish emigrant Sophie Whelan is leading a miserable life in a New York City tenement when she answers a "Mail Order Bride” advertisement placed by a widowed San Franciscan father named Martin. Although she has never met her handsome, mysterious husband-to-be she believes she can learn to love him and have a better life. She is desperate to become a mother and is soon enchanted by Martin’s extremely timid five year old daughter Kat.

Sophie soon starts to question Martin’s secretive life which often takes him away from home, her instincts tell her things just aren’t quite right. On the eve of the Great Earthquake a young, pregnant woman named Belinda shows up at Sophie’s door and Martin’s web of lies and deceptions soon start to unravel. The women collaborate to uncover Martin’s secrets and soon discover something even more devastatingly life-changing for all involved. As Sophie and Belinda attempt to make sense out of all they have learned the catastrophic earthquake strikes and the course of their lives is forever changed.

This electrifyingly, atmospheric story of survival and friendship has it all; great storylines, mystery, intrigue, and wonderful character development.

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Check out Marg's other picks here.