The Nature of Fragile Things by Susan Meissner is the story of Sophie Whelan, a young Irish woman who lives in New York City tenements. She answers an ad for a mail-order bride from a man in San Francisco. His advertisement is firmly grounded in practicality, as he honestly states that he needs someone to raise his five-year-old daughter and a housekeeper. The man is handsome but aloof. He is kind despite this aloofness, so Sophie has no concerns. The man is away on business for several days, so Sophie can raise the girl and keep the house as she sees fit. Sophie grows fond of the little girl and loves the man.
However, you know something is amiss when the book begins with Sophie being interrogated by a Federal Marshall. The man had secrets and Sophie was embroiled in something far more sinister than she could have ever imagined. When the man returns, Sophie is determined to uncover the truth no matter what the cost. With the help of two other women, Sophie uncovers the truth but at a cost that could destroy her fragile happiness. Sophie chooses to accept a situation not of her own. In the end, Sophie must decide whether to accept her fate or fight for her freedom.
I like this book because it is a story of hope and resilience. It is an inspiring story of how a young woman is able to overcome her circumstances and find love and acceptance. It shows that even when faced with difficult situations, it is possible to find strength and courage to fight and find a way out. The characters are complex and the story is compelling, making the book a great read.
A young woman immigrant from Ireland answers an advertisement for a wife/mother to his young daughter in order to escape the tenements of NYC. She travels to San Francisco - 1906. Sophie settles into a safe routine with her new husband and falls in love with his five year old daughter and hopes for feelings to grow between her and her husband. When a very pregnant young woman arrives on her doorstep the world changes. And the following morning, the world changed for all of San Francisco with the epic earthquake and subsequent fires. Hidden secrets from the past and the present send life reeling for so many people. Very good read.