I don’t normally gravitate toward books in which the story revolves around babies and/or children, not because I don’t like kids but because I have three of them; so while I can commiserate—been there, smelled that—there isn’t that sense of the unknown I look to escape into when I read. But what’s a girl to do when one of her favorite writing duos decides to go there? I jump onboard and enjoy the ride.
Rue Murray is maybe one of the unlikelier candidates for fatherhood, at least in the traditional man/woman/sex way, but when there’s enough alcohol and curiosity involved, anything’s possible; and nine months later, this man’s full but solitary existence is suddenly overcome by a tiny bundle of a human being who’s utterly dependent upon Rue for everything. Being a parent holds its own challenges, to be sure, but being a single parent presents an altogether different set of demands. Rue has dreams and goals that he’s been working toward; he has a lifestyle to which he’s become accustomed. But there’s one certainty in life that can be counted on: change happens and you better learn to flow with it or it’ll surely overwhelm you.
Erik Van Nuys is a writer who has recently moved into Rue’s building. He’s isolated and insecure and suffers from any number of mannerisms that have left him socially withdrawn, and though his affliction isn’t specifically named, if I had to guess, I’d say he suffers from a disorder on the autism spectrum. Erik doesn’t cope well with change, doesn’t do well with strangers, stutters when he’s nervous, finds comfort in routine and repetition, and does not like to be touched. Erik’s life is all about order and structure and when that foundation is rocked, he suffers from severe anxiety attacks. But there’s one small thing named Alice who comes along and touches Erik and draws him out of his isolation and into a world where disorder and sometimes a little chaos is a guarantee.
A single father’s desperation and a struggling author’s need to supplement his income is what ultimately brings Rue and Erik together, as Rue struggles to find acceptable daycare for his daughter and Erik struggles to accept that if he’s going to survive, he’s going to have to find a source of supporting himself when his book sales flag. It’s a synergetic meeting of two diametrically opposed planets that come together to orbit around a small but bright sun, and what grows there is an imperfect but beautiful new world filled with possibilities.
One Small Thing is a heaping helping of awwww, with a generous side of sigh and a soupçon of angst to top it all off. A man whose life has changed drastically begins to wonder if the dreams he had before he became part of a small but wonderful family, which includes his best friend Dusty, still have a place in his life.
A man whose life has never included anything that resembled a connection like love and a sense of hope and belonging begins to wonder if he can be a part of that small but wonderful family when all his doubts and insecurities come back to haunt him.
One Small Thing is a touching and heartwarming opposites attract story about finding that single unlikely bond that can bring two people together in spite of the odds. I devoured it in a single sitting because I wanted very much to be sure Rue and Erik would find a way around the obstacles in their relationship. And now I’m anxiously awaiting Dusty’s story, keeping my fingers crossed that he’ll finally find his own happily ever after.
Buy One Small Thing HERE.