Ordinary Hazards - Anna Bruno

Emma's life has spiralled down to the point she finds herself in The Final Final, her local bar where the locals all know her - and that's the problem. Whilst she wallows into her glass she reminisces about her lost love and grieves over life lost, but her friends won't stop interfering and her acquaintances continue to surround her with drama she cannot ignore. Emma wants to find her own solitude but being in the tiny run-down bar is exactly where she needs to be.

A big, big thank you to Kaleidoscopic Tours, Simon and Schuster and Anna Bruno for arranging this blog tour and for letting me be a part of it! Below you can see all the other wonderful bloggers taking part!

Initially I had some reservations about the plot of this book, I couldn't see it going anywhere especially specific but I was completely wrong to have doubts. This book defines the saying "it isn't about the destination, it's the journey that counts" because it is so raw and emotional from start to end that you couldn't possibly ignore Bruno's graceful storytelling. Emma is a difficult main character, she has her flaws like the rest of us but they are laid bare for the reader to make their own assumptions and connections with. Her narrative is a little bias and there were times when I did think she could have handled a situation better, especially her treatment of Yag, but the point of the story is that she isn't perfect and this is her turning point.

Having the book time-frame span over only a few hours of the evening was an exceptionally clever plot device because it gave Bruno the freedom to create some tension and camaraderie between the characters which is then backed up by Emma's flashbacks. The flashbacks also popped up at the most opportune times and mirrored Emma's reflective state perfectly, as a reader this kept me wanting more and more from both present Emma with her sullen and misdirected ways, and past Emma who was full of potential and saw her dreams manifesting themselves before her eyes.

Bruno manages to capture the emotions of Emma carefully and respectfully despite the surrounding story. Grief can manifest differently in everyone but Bruno is able to connect Emma to everyone who has lost someone and that makes this an outstandingly powerful novel. It not only deals with grief but the pressure to be a working mother and wife, the pressure from parental figures and the pressure from society for us to be the perfect everything without ever cracking under that strain.

This novel came to me at a perfect time, stressful days and abundant pressure was coming at all angles for me and this novel made it perfectly acceptable for me to fall, I just need to know when to stand back up again. Thank you Anna.

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