Title: Ordinary Hazards
Author: Anna Bruno
Publication Date: 20th August 2020
Emma has settled into her hometown bar for the evening. It was in this very room that she met Lucas a few years back, on a blind date. Nine months ago, in unimaginable circumstances, they divorced.
As Emma listens to the locals’ banter, key facts about her life story begin to emerge and the past comes bearing down on her like a freight train.
A powerhouse in the business world, why has she ended up here, now a regular in the last bar on the edge of a small town? What is she running away from? And what is she willing to give up in order to recapture the love she has lost?
As Emma teeters on the edge of oblivion, becoming more booze-soaked by the hour, her night begins to spin out of control with shocking results.
This book wasn’t really on my radar until I was invited on the blog tour and really liked the sound of the blurb but I’m so, so grateful that it was brought to my attention! I honestly cannot tell you how thrilled I am that I got the chance to read Ordinary Hazards, it completely blew me away. The story unfolds over one evening in a small-town bar where a woman named Emma is drinking. The action jumps back periodically to show the reader the evolution and breakdown of her relationship with Lucas, her ex-husband.
There is so much I just loved about this book but first and foremost I have to say how smart and sharp the writing is. Bruno cuts right to the core of the relationship between Emma and Lucas and then shows how they are torn apart because of circumstance and choice. It takes quite a lot for me to become so fully invested in a romantic relationship in a book, but almost from the beginning I was completely hooked and could not put the book down until I knew everything. When reading, occasionally I take note of any quotes I want to remember and throughout Ordinary Hazards, I wrote down at least 10 different passages that just felt so incisive and honest that I had to add them to my collection.
Emma as a character is not overtly likeable but she really got under my skin. She doesn’t pull any punches with herself and her directness made me feel so much empathy for her. Her and Lucas’ story felt so real which made some parts of Ordinary Hazards achingly sad and others bittersweet. I love when a book can make me feel so intensely about the lives of it’s characters and this story is one I know is going to be stuck in my head for a very long time. I think everything about it is pretty much perfect from the structure, to the tone, to the cuttingly intelligent prose. I cannot recommend it highly enough and Anna Bruno will definitely be going on my list of auto-buy authors.
Thank you so much to Anne Cater of Random Things Blog Tours for inviting me on this tour and organising it. I kindly received a copy of the book from the publisher. My review is my own honest opinion.