All the Little Moments by G Benson is an absolute gem. It deftly and delicately explores the challenges of navigating a new life while grieving, including when joy starts to pop up again, but also provides a satisfying romance.
Anna Foster has rushed back from a beach holiday in Indonesia because her brother and sister-in-law were killed by a drunk driver. Within a month, her life is entirely different; not only has she lost her best friends, but she’s raising their two small children alone in Melbourne, away from her happily childfree-by-choice former life with her now ex-girlfriend in Brisbane.
One day Anna runs her shopping cart into a beautiful woman who’s flirty and funny. Lucky for her, this woman is a nurse at the hospital where she just started as an anaesthetist, and is happy to move at any speed Anna is comfortable with.
Anna’s movement from grief and constant guilt in the early days of not wanting insta-parenthood to happiness and occasional guilt is so honest and frequently heartbreaking. Her desperation during the major crisis is palpable and showed how much a person can change when they make their way from one side of grief to the other.
Lane is such a dreamy romantic partner and is, frankly, a joy to read. She’s positive, thoughtful, and endlessly supportive. She’s not perfect though, with a past that she’s not proud of, and I liked that because it gave her depth.
Kym is a great sidekick and interesting foil to Anna as she works through her own grief after losing her husband. She’s a fully fleshed character who helps show that grief takes different shapes for everyone, and that it’s possible to be a good friend even while dealing with your own issues.
The Writing Style
This is a fairly long book, but I couldn’t imagine it any shorter because every scene and interaction is necessary for either story or character progression.
Plenty of lesroms explore grief in the context of widowhood, but this is the first I’ve seen with a story like this. Benson nonjudgmentally explores how it’s possible to grieve for many things at once (people, a former life, the future you thought you were going to have), acknowledging that sometimes it means working through thoughts and feelings we’re not proud of. Anna’s guilt at realizing she’s starting to be happy is beautiful and sincere, something that anyone who has ever grieved will identify with.
Everything? I mean, I basically just wrote a love letter to this book. It’s sad and sweet and sexy and funny and lovely, all balanced just right.
I wanted to punch Cathy in the face. Wait, having strong feelings about a bad person is not a con. Okay, no cons for me.
Read this book right away. When you’re done read the follow up story, All Wrapped Up. This will definitely be on my list of all time favourites.
Excerpt from All the Little Moments by G Benson
She spun at the sound of her name.
Lane pulled up in front of her, out of breath and concerned, eyes searching Anna’s face. “Why did you leave?”
Anna wrapped her arms around herself. “Uh, I don’t know.”She really didn’t. In hindsight, it was a little dramatic. “Your face, you looked—”
“Surprised? Shocked?” Lane stepped forward, hands coming up to rest on Anna’s shoulders as if to hold her in place. “I was. That—that is just, horrible. For you. And for those kids. To lose your brother, and their dad. Their mum.”Lane shook her head. “God—how have you been coping? All your lives have been turned completely upside down.”
Anna swallowed over a lump in her throat and gave a tiny shrug.
“Why did you leave?”
Anna didn’t trust herself to speak.
Lane was watching her with wide, concerned eyes, and the feelings in Anna’s throat were going to choke her. More forcefully than intended, she kissed Lane. With her eyes still closed, she pulled back, afraid to open them and give herself away.
“Anna, open your eyes.”
After a moment she did, and a tear slipped onto her cheek. Lane reached up to brush it away, her thumb gentle on Anna’s skin.
“Why? Because you ran away, or for the tears? You’re not allowed to apologise for tears.”
“Um, for both.”Lane’s hands were resting against Anna’s neck, while her own hands clenched Lane’s jacket. “I, uh, I thought it might be too much. The kids, all this baggage. My brother.”Her voice hitched slightly over the last word, and she took in a deep breath and let it out slowly.
Lane’s voice was soft. “You’re an idiot.”
The laugh trapped inside Anna’s body came out almost like a sob. “Can you blame me?” She looked down. “Did I mention my girlfriend left because of the kids?”
Lane ducked her head to catch Anna’s eye. Her voice was soft. “Well, she’s an idiot. Can’t say I’m sad though. That means you’re definitely single.”
“I don’t kiss girls in bathrooms unless I’m single.”
“Good to know.”
Get All The Little Moments on Amazon
Bits and Bobs
ISBN number: 9783955333416
Publisher: Ylva publishing
G Benson Online
Note: I received a free review copy of this book for review. No money was exchanged for this review. I will always endeavor to review books as honestly as possible and on occasion I refuse to review books.