• Small Things Like These

  • By: Claire Keegan
  • Narrated by: Aidan Kelly
  • Length: 1 hr and 57 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (184 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The landmark new novel from award-winning author Claire Keegan

It is 1985 in a small Irish town. During the weeks leading up to Christmas, Bill Furlong, a coal merchant and family man, faces into his busiest season. Early one morning, while delivering an order to the local convent, Bill makes a discovery that forces him to confront both his past and the complicit silences of a town controlled by the church. 

Already an international best seller, Small Things Like These is a deeply affecting story of hope, quiet heroism, and empathy from one of our most critically lauded and iconic writers.

©2021 Claire Keegan (P)2021 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

What listeners say about Small Things Like These

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  • Overall
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A Shining Example of the Power of the Short Story

An intimate and nuanced story, there was clarity and punch here beyond the capacity of a full-length novel; so few words to describe and elicit such depth of thought about so much: about socioeconomics and class, gender roles and the place of religion and propriety within them. And the performance, with it’s careful distinctions of dialect and diction, was spot on. I didn’t set out to do so, but I listened to the whole thing in one day.

3 people found this helpful

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exquisite

Not a single unnecessary word. Like a poem of sadness and resurrection, telling a story of a man making the choice that was made for him. Finally finding joy and saving a life.

3 people found this helpful

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Phenomenal

The story is priceless. Slow moving at first but then a constant torrent of emotions swelling throughout it’s telling. Perhaps it is because I am adopted, but I felt my tears burning and a desire to sob in relief by the last chapter. Well written! Well told!

2 people found this helpful

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A lot to think about and be grateful for.

It’s sad that a group could hold so much sway over a town, that their abusiveness goes unchallenged.
One decent person asks what good are we if we do not reach out to each other and care.
Very good and highly recommended book!

2 people found this helpful

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Small Things can Change Lives

What a gem of a story with a reminder we all can use about what matters. Narrator is spot on.

2 people found this helpful

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Way too short

The story was great but I felt like it was cut short. Did the author mean to leave the reader hanging? Where is the rest of the story?

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Interesting “short story”

The author of this “novel”
Wrote a short story. It was just a superficial treatment of a deeply troubling and complex issue. The book ended abruptly before exploring the consequences of the protagonist’s choice, and before providing any insight into whether his sacrifice made any difference. This could have been the first two chapters of a very interesting novel.

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Worthy of the Longlist

Although this is almost a short story, and Keegan is a short story writer rather than a novelist, this is a good read. For readers interested in the Magdalene horrors, it’s a slightly slant on the usual dramatization. Worth reading perhaps for the back-story and the moral questions it raised.

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Packs an emotional punch

Short and powerful. A good man makes a brave effort to help someone in desperate circumstances.

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You will manage.

Loved listening to Claire Keegan’s “Small Things Like These”. Giving back for all that you have been given. The Irish setting and phases such as if you drop a spoon, you can expect visitors was a lovely foreshadowing. Loved it. Read it. Hope it wins the Booker Prize. 5 stars.