All The Little Pieces by Jilliane Hoffman

imageWhen Faith gets into a fight with her sister, who she’s visiting, she decides not to spend the night as planned but grabs her five year old daughter Maggie and heads home.  It’s a long drive, over two hours, and she has maybe had one too many drinks and before she knows it she is lost in the Florida glades (I think it was the glades) with a storm approaching.  Deciding to sit the storm out, she pulls over in a small town and falls asleep.

She is woken by a knock on the window – a young woman is begging to be let in.  She looks scared.  But she also looks dishevelled and the man who comes up behind her looks rougher still.  With Maggie asleep in the back seat, Faith decides not to open the door and watches as the girl is led away before driving back into the night.

The next day, back at home, she decides that the girl was probably fine.  The guy was her boyfriend and the other man who she saw walking out of the woods as she drove away nothing to do with anything, including her.  Until missing posters appear and she realises that nothing was fine at all and, because of her, the young woman is now probably dead.

At this point, anyone else would probably pick up the phone and call the police.  Not Faith.  She doesn’t tell anyone, not even her husband.  In fact, she gets her car fixed because while she was out in the glades she hit something.  And that is where it might have ended if Maggie hadn’t spoken up.  It turns out she wasn’t asleep after all.

So far, so good from my point of view.  As a reader (or rather listener as I had this on audio), I was hooked.  The build up had me feeling tense and I had a vision of what might be coming next in my mind.  Unfortunately, it all went a bit wrong from there.  And it all went on a little too long.  Faith’s inability to tell the truth to the police became annoying.  I understood why she didn’t at first but once the secret was out, I didn’t see why she couldn’t just tell them what happened.  It made me really dislike her.

Then there were the bad guys themselves.  They were stereotypes of deliverance.  They spoke strangely and wore baseball caps and checked shirts.  I didn’t believe in them as baddies.  And the fact that they tracked Faith and her family down and approached them in public and the police did nothing.  It felt like there should be something scary here but there just wasn’t.  I didn’t feel any type of jeopardy for Faith or Maggie.

As the story progresses, the police investigation takes over and then the court case before getting back to Faith and her being in danger.  It was all too much and there were too many characters to keep track of – and, if I’m honest – not care about.    And I wanted too – but even Maggie drove me mad by the end.  Maybe I’d have felt better if I’d have read rather than listened to the book but as it is I have to say I didn’t enjoy it – not one for me I’m afraid.  Sorry!

Emma

8 comments
  1. Pity, because the premise does sound great. Oh, well – we can’t love them all, I guess…

    1. It is but I have been having a good run so not complaining!

  2. I’ll pass on this one! I like the basic idea of it but stereotypical bad guys and the police apparently useless don’t appeal to me. Plus when characters do things that just don’t make sense (like Faith not telling the police about seeing the girl) and then don’t do anything to fix it I get irritated. Great review

    – I think it’s the Florida Everglades. If that’s where they are I can understand Faith not letting the girl in the car. It’s a creepy place and there’s nothing for miles and miles except alligators.

    1. It drives me potty too. Sometimes I can suspend belief but the angst I kept being told Faith felt and the number of times she didn’t tell the truth is too much. I would still visit the Everglades though 😀

  3. The premise is intriguing, too bad it was disappointing!

  4. Sorry to hear you didn’t love this one so much! I read the book and did enjoy it… but a narrator can make or break even the best of books.

    1. I wonder if I would have done if I’d have read it. It just went on too, too, long.

  5. […] All The Little Pieces by Jilliane Hoffman, which was my most frustrating read of the year as I spent the whole of it wanting to yell and shake the central character as she basically made one bad choice after the other.  As if that wasn’t bad enough, the book was just too, too, long. […]

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