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Publisher's Summary

Named a Best Debut Novel of 2020 by Library Journal

"Seen through keen eyes and full of deep feeling, Ordinary Hazards delves into the psyche of a woman grappling with grief, loss, and the burdens of inheritance. Anna Bruno vividly renders the messiness of a single human life in all its joy and heartbreak.” (Claire Lombardo, New York Times best seller) 

For fans of Celeste Ng and Claire Messud comes an impeccably paced and transfixing debut novel about finding hope in the dark.

It’s 5pm on a Wednesday when Emma settles into her hometown bar with a motley crew of locals, all unaware that a series of decisions over the course of a single night is about to change their lives forever. As the evening unfolds, key details about Emma’s history emerge, and the past comes bearing down on her like a freight train. Why has Emma, a powerhouse in the business world, ended up here? What is she running away from? And what is she willing to give up to recapture the love she once cherished? 

An exploration of contemporary love, guilt, and the place we call home, and in the tradition of Ask Again, Yes and Little Fires Everywhere, Ordinary Hazards follows one woman’s epic journey back to a life worth living.

©2020 Anna Bruno. All rights reserved. (P)2020 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Bar talk

Not going to lie, I purchased this book because of the narrator, Amanda Dolan. She is excellent. The book itself, while well written, is really slow and really sad, with an ending that just felt...well, like an attempt to make up for all this misery.

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A movie character study

I was very moved by Anna Bruno's Ordinary Hazards and always engrossed in the well-defined characterization of it's protagonist Emma. Bruno has a strong, insightful and at times funny writing style and the voice of Emma feels very lived in. While the most intensely felt plot points are in the latter half of the book, it made a great re-listen after coming to fully appreciate what lead the protagonist to the point where the book begins.

The voice acting was also great, but for feeling like the speaker really was Emma and also for capturing the range of characters in the story.