I really enjoyed The Nature of Fragile Things by Susan Meissner! I have enjoyed everything I’ve read by Meissner and this was no exception. Sophie is a young Irish immigrant desperate to get out of terrible conditions in New York City who answers an ad placed by San Fransisco man Martin Hocking who is looking for a wife and mother to his young daughter. They are married the moment she arrives in San Fransisco and she proceeds to set up house with Martin and his daughter, Kat. A year into their marriage, a massive earthquake hits the city (it’s 1906) which causes a massive fire that destroys a lot of San Fransisco. Martin is out of town at the time, but Sophie had just been visited by a strange woman who was looking for Martin. The two of them, along with Kat, flee the house and set out to escape the destruction of the city. As Sophie discovers Martin’s connection to this woman it leads to more discoveries about Martin and Kat’s mother that may be just as destructive to the life she thought she had built as the earthquake and fire was to San Fransisco.
I was intrigued by the facts about the earthquake, but the main story is a heartwarming one about a woman’s compassion, strength and resilience.