Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Review: A Small Indiscretion by Jan Ellison (audio)

Title: A Small Indiscretion    
Author: Jan Ellison    
Narrator: Kathe Mazur   
Published: January 2015, Random House Audio / Random House  
Length: 10 hours 15 minutes / 336 pages  
Source: Personal copy via Audible / Netgalley 

Fans of Everything I Never Told You and The Girl on the Train will devour this page-turning literary debut about a harrowing coming-of-age and a marriage under siege from O. Henry Prize winner Jan Ellison.

At nineteen, Annie Black abandons California for a London winter of drinking to oblivion and looking for love in the wrong places. Twenty years later, she is a happily married mother of three living in San Francisco. Then one morning, a photograph arrives in her mailbox, and an old obsession is awakened.

After a return trip to London, Annie’s marriage falters, her store floods, and her son, Robbie, takes a night-time ride that nearly costs him his life. Now Annie must fight to save her family by untangling the mysteries of that reckless winter in Europe that drew an invisible map of her future.

With the brilliant pacing and emotional precision that won Jan Ellison an O. Henry Prize for her first published story, A Small Indiscretion announces a major new voice in suspense fiction as it unfolds a story of denial, obsession, love, forgiveness—and one woman’s reckoning with her own fateful mistakes.

My thoughts: As soon as I read the blurb of this book, I knew I had to read it. It just called to me and I really ended up enjoying it. I think my favorite part is that the author slowly reveals to us everything rather than giving us all the information we need in one fell swoop. This truly is a character study and is character driven rather than plot driven. It is one to be savored and not necessarily rushed through.

I loved the character of Annie. I found her to be both likeable and dislikeable at times and I love characters like that. Most of the time she was likeable, but there were moments when I wanted to scream at her for the decisions she made. We learn about her past and present and see how her past comes colliding into her present with disastrous consequences. I loved the honesty, though, that comes out as Annie tells her story - it really only makes her that much more endearing.

The story moves back and forth in time and as such, we are slowly given pieces of the overall puzzle until we finally have the complete picture of what is going on. At times, I thought I had put some things together, only to be totally off track, but that's what I love about reading - taking what I am given and thinking about it and drawing my own conclusions and then seeing if I am right or wrong. 

This was Jan Ellison's debut novel and I am definitely going to be keeping on eye out for what comes next from her. I was completely swept up in this novel and can only hope that her next book is of the same caliber as this one.

Audio Thoughts: Kathe Mazur is one of my favorite narrators and I was thrilled to see she was narrating this book. She did a great job with the voices, especially Annie's, and I found myself completely absorbed in this book.



  1. The title would have made me pass it by (not a fan of cheating in books) but I will put it on my library list. I might like it :)

  2. This sounds like a terrific debut novel, Kristin. I'm glad you enjoyed it as an audiobook. I'll keep it in mind.

  3. I'll add it to my audible list. Nice review!

  4. I have this book and believe I will move it up on the stacks.

  5. Thanks for sharing...I enjoyed this one too!


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