*May Contain Spoilers*
Marie Flanigan follows one woman's struggle to survive in her novel, One Big Beautiful Thing. Kate is in her mid-twenties who has experienced an overwhelming amount of grief. She's lived through an unplanned teenage pregnancy, a failed engagement, the judgment of being a tattooed artist, and the death of a man she loved.
Kate's role as main character brings focus to this novel of chaos and strife. She's a blooming painter who dreams of moving on after the death of Robert, her first serious boyfriend after college. She's bright, inventive, creative, and full of life. Though, she has trouble facing her future. Kate often runs from confrontation, using avoidance as a key tactic in her survival. Readers will connect with her through understanding. Facing one's own future is difficult enough without the haunting of a rough past. Kate is an interesting character with definite flaws that make her more real for the reader. Through the arc of her evolution into a stronger woman, readers will be touched by her change in perspective.
The plot of the novel is simply following Kate's progression after Robert's death. Yet, the book holds so much more than that. Readers don't only see a change in Kate, but also in her mother and the main love interest. The supporting cast aren't static characters, adding more depth to this novel and making it one of ample caliber. One Big Beautiful Thing is a book that lifts not only spirits, but hopes within the readers as well.
Rating: 3.5/5 Cups