Melanie Davis is a divorced mother raising a typical rebellious teenage daughter, Jessie. Melanie describes herself as a fixer-upper, a loser in love, and resigns herself to an ordinary life. For pleasure, she secretly reads — and shares with others — her boss’ private emails of love and longing with only the “tiniest pang of guilt.” This routine suffices until her best friend Donna is diagnosed with cancer, and reveals she gave up a baby for adoption thirty-five years ago. Suddenly Melanie is on a mission, and enlists Jessie’s help to find Donna’s long lost baby boy.
The only thing predictable about cancer, it seems, is that it leads to all sorts of epiphanies about life, love, and friendship. Nearly every character in this novel finds love and joy in the most unforeseen places. Life may be short, but love is everywhere. The story is quite sentimental, an “Ode to Joy,” but it will also make you laugh, smile, and yes, cringe between the spying and chemotherapy.
In spite of the ethical discomfort, Bracy is an engaging storyteller, who makes you care. Her descriptions are delightful, and all her characters are fleshed out, from the red Mohawk to the outfits strictly Goodwill. Melanie and Donna often use “Postcards, Headlines, River Stories” to share difficult news and add levity to the mix. Overall, the writing is excellent, and the story moves at a nice pace.
THAT CRAZY LITTLE THING is a heart-warming tearjerker that will remind you to stop and love the roses. Not just yours, but other people’s roses too, thorns and all. Have plenty of tissues on hand, and some good friends to hug tight afterwards.
Reviewed by Lucy Wang for IndieReader.