A Hundred Small Lessons by Ashley Hay

A Hundred Small Lessons

When Elsie Gormley leaves the Brisbane house in which she has lived for more than sixty years, Lucy Kiss and her family move in, eager to establish their new life. As they settle in, Lucy and her husband Ben struggle to navigate their transformation from adventurous lovers to new parents, taking comfort in memories of their vibrant past as they begin to unearth who their future selves might be. But the house has secrets of its own, and the rooms ...

Details A Hundred Small Lessons

TitleA Hundred Small Lessons
Release DateNov 28th, 2017
PublisherAtria Books
GenreFiction, Cultural, Australia, Family

Reviews A Hundred Small Lessons

  • Angela M
    3.5 stars rounded up.A lot of people live their lives quietly, some marry and have children, some don't, and some may live in the same house for most of their lives . But even quiet lives are not without the daily struggles - coping with change , with loss, experiencing changing relationships, questioning the things they do - all of the things that reflect the human condition. So many novels seem to focus on the chaos of dysfunctional families ; ...
  • Cheri
    4.5 Stars ”If these old walls,If these old walls could speakOf things that they remember well,Stories and faces dearly held,A couple in loveLivin' week to week,Rooms full of laughter,If these walls could speak.” “If These Walls Could Speak” – lyrics by Jimmy Webb / song by Amy GrantIt was on the shortest day of 2010, early on that winter morning when Elsie fell. She lay on the carpet watching the sun as it began to peek through the doo...
  • Sharon Metcalf
    A Hundred Small Lessons by Ashley Hay was a beautiful story of home, of family - of husbands and wives, mothers and their children. Each of the characters was so fully developed I felt I knew them. Not only them but also the town they called home. Brisbane was brought to life, complete with it's history of floods, familiar suburbs, street names and buildings, the flora and fauna, and descriptions of the weather. The two main characters, Elsie and...
  • Brenda
    When Elsie Gormley fell one morning in her home, the home she’d lived in with Clem for sixty two years, her age and frailty meant her son Don and daughter Elaine had to make the decision to put her in a nursing home. Clem had died decades before and Elsie still missed him acutely. And now with her mind wandering, drifting back to the years when her twins had been small and Clem was by her side, Elsie was reminded of the happiness they had known...
  • Dale Harcombe
    Elsie Gormley has had to leave the Brisbane home where she has lived for sixty two years, the last thirty seven without her beloved husband, Clem. She is moved by her twin son and daughter, themselves almost seventy, into a nursing home. Elsie has always felt closer to her son Don whereas the relationship with her daughter Elaine has always been difficult. Lucy Kiss and her husband Ben buy Elsie’s house and move in with their small son Tom. Luc...
  • Karen
    A HUNDRED SMALL LESSONS WRITTEN BY ASHLEY HAYThis beautiful story about two different women who inhabit the same house that comes alive as a character in itself. It's lovely prose is written poetically throughout the novel. I fell in love with the characters and the echos of the house. Elsie and Lucy both live in the same house. Elsie fell down in her house and goes to live in a nursing home. Lucy moves into Elsie's house with her husband.. The s...
  • Theresa Smith Writes
    A Hundred Small Lessons is such a well thought out novel. The way people’s lives criss-cross, the near misses until you one day meet; this novel gives a fresh take on the whole notion of ‘six degrees of separation’. The story within is so real, a lovely ebb and flow of all the moments that link together to create the tapestry of your entire life. It’s a true comfort read and one that I will definitely return to as time goes by.At the hear...
  • Donna
    It would be easy to simply describe this book as "charming" and be done with it. It definitely is a charming story, but it deserves much more than that as a review. A Hundred Small Lessons is the story of a home and the women who shared it. They didn't live there together; but they definitely shared it in their lives and in different ways. Elsie Gormley and her husband built their life in the Brisbane home and raised their daughter and son there....
  • Sharon
    Not my usual sort of book, but I thoroughly enjoyed this tale of two families intertwined (thanks to Allen and Unwin for the ARC). The novel centres around couples Elsie and Clem, and Lucy and Ben, who move into their house once Elsie moves into a retirement home. From there, the lives of both families unspool, and Hay deals with universal family themes spanning from the suffocating nature of parental expectations through to the animalistic fear ...
  • Caroline Poole
    This is a novel of characters, it reads like you are reading their minds. It's not action packed, it doesn't have huge events, it's a lovely exploration of two families, their thoughts, their lives and lots of what ifs.....it's a story of love and life
  • Cass Moriarty
    There’s something very affirming about reading a book set in the place you live, or the place where you were raised. The setting feels familiar in so many ways: the weather, the seasons, the topography, the landmarks, the history, the people. And so it is with Ashley Hay’s new novel A Hundred Small Lessons (Allen & Unwin Books 2017). Gracing the front cover is a beautiful purple cloud – the jacarandas in bloom – and a woman with her back ...
  • Steve
    I found this difficult to pick up, and easy to put down, sadly. The story didn't really grab me, and there wasn't really an overarching story, just two time periods that were jumped between with gay abandon, and then coincidences that were neither expanded nor explained. Also, a phrase was used over and over ad infinitum which made me groan when it was used again.
  • Nancy
    This book called to me with its story of a new mother starting over in a new house while the woman who had lived there for sixty years is learning to let go of the life she had. Having moved so often, settling into a new place and home, I connected to the story right away.This is a book that delves underneath the surface of a life, past the mundane externals to hopes and dreams and fears, to memories and how they are skewed over time, and to the ...
  • Emmaleah
    Rating 4.8/5Exclamation: I would just like to state that I received this book from Allen and Unwin in return for an honest review. Therefore, everything I say here is the honest truth and is simply my personal opinions on the book. A Hundred Small Lessons by Ashley Hay is a read that will open your eyes to the history of your past, the past of your home, those who lived there and will make one want to learn more about who they are. It is a novel ...
  • Deb
    This book was a Good Reads giveaway.The story of two families that have lived in a house a two different times. Very gentle, sometimes sad story of Elsie towards the end of her life as she leaves her home of 62 years and Lucy Kiss, who has just purchased the home for her family. The stories weave in and out, back and forth. A tenderly told tale of love, motherhood, family, beginnings and endings.
  • Danielle Mootz
    I read this book over the course of a,weekend in a dream vacation in the mountains. It was the perfect read for such an occasion as I lounged in a rental getaway by the pool. about marriage, friendship, children and growing older and navigating the phases of our lives.
  • Carolyn Mck
    This is probably not really quite a four star novel but I loved it, it hit the spot for me at this time. Review to follow if I find the energy.
  • Susan
    I won this book via the giveaway program on goodreads. This is not the type of book I would personally purchase in a bookstore, for the main reason that I do not often go outside of the book genres I like. In saying that I really enjoyed this book, it was a lovely, well-thought and warm. The intertwined of the families and it is very character focused. You feel that you can read and sense the moods of the characters. I think this is a book perfec...
  • Barbara Senteney
    Let me start with saying how amazing this book is, I love it when I am mildly interested in a book and it surprises me with it depth of characters, and inflicts great emotion.I wrote this review on the first 20 pages of the story. Usually in 20 pages I don't have any idea if I love or hate it, so on with my thoughts.Elsie Gromily falls at her home in Brisbane, where she lived for 60 years, brought up her children, and became a widow. Worried neig...
  • Deborah
    The story of an elderly woman leaving her home of 60 years and the family moving in after her departure is not my usual reading fare but I found it enchanting and surprisingly addictive. This book is beautifully written by Ashley Hay. I’ve not read her previous work – including the much-praised The Railwayman’s Wife – and now am tempted. Her writing is quite exquisite and – whilst reading – I had to stop myself noting phrases to poten...
  • Carolyn
    A Hundred Small Lessons is a lovely story capturing the essence of life in Brisbane, Queensland and the lives of two women from different generations and what it means to be part of a family.It's a light, captivating and easy to read novel but often very deep and moving in parts.You'll enjoy hearing about kookaburras, the river, the magic of Cloudland and other landmarks unique to Brisbane as a story of love and life unfold.It's also about floods...
  • Lynn
    A beautiful story, told beautifully, by the author of The Railway Man's Wife and The Body in the Clouds. An old woman looking back on her life after a fall has taken her from her home to a residential care facility; a young woman, with a husband and a small son, looking forward to the adventures of her life. They are bound together by a house, a former residence, when it was Elsie's house, and now when it is Lucy's house. "Can you sense the trace...
  • Stephanie Crowe
    Ashley Hay has a gift for revealing the intimate everyday experiences of her characters. In The Railwayman’s Wife, the grief and loss of the wife was palpable and I identified with her emotional trauma which made for a intensely genuine read. In this title, she captures the loss and anxiety of Elise who is in her 80’s and has to leave her home of 60 years for an assisted living facility, as well as the uncertainty faced by Lucy who has bought...
  • Sterlingcindysu
    2.5 rounded up. There were so many ways Hays could have taken the story after the initial setup (where a young family buys a house when the older woman has a fall and is taken to a retirement home). Was it a science fiction story with all the future lives jumping around? No. Was it a "gaslighting" type of story where Elsie is haunting Lucy and at the end it turns out she died in the house? No. Were the noises on the roof poltergeists? No, just po...
  • Helen
    A Hundred Small Lessons is the story of two women, Lucy and Elsie, that live in the same house at different times. The chapters alternate between the two women and we see the struggles and daily life of them. This book was not for me. I felt that it was very slow and nothing happened. There were big parts that were too descriptive and vague for me. I will say that the ending was better then any part of the book and a lot of the confusing parts ca...
  • Betty
    Review coming soon.
  • Jeanette Grant-Thomson
    Possibly four and a half stars.
  • Janine
    This was a well written story but quite slow.
  • BellaB2
    Rather unfortunately, the primary message I took from “A Hundred Small Lessons” was that no matter how hard you try to be a good parent, you’re sure to be screwing something up. I’m not at all sure that’s what Hay intended, but that’s how it read to me.The novel relies heavily on a number of coincidences, most of which are fairly overtly spelt out, so that even the final pages don’t contain any real surprises for the reader. Whether...
  • Jill Marley
    A touching, emotive book based in Brisbane during a time when an old woman, Elsie Gormley, needed to make the transfer into a nursing home after a fall at home. Her mind takes us to memories shared with her happy household during the 65 years of living there, intertwined with the story of Lucy and her husband and son moving in when the house sold.Evocative moments, the ups and downs of life and how we all touch each other's stories to build a sto...