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“A Secret History-esque tale...All the ingredients for the perfect summer read.” —The Millions “Captivating, thoughtful, and tense, a great read for those who enjoy psychological thrillers and complex puzzles. Highly recommended.” —New York Journal Review of Books “It’s time to come Home. All five of you. Or else.” Saskia was a damaged, lonely teenager when she arrived at “A Secret History-esque tale...All the ingredients for the perfect summer read.” —The Millions “Captivating, thoughtful, and tense, a great read for those who enjoy psychological thrillers and complex puzzles. Highly recommended.” —New York Journal Review of Books “It’s time to come Home. All five of you. Or else.” Saskia was a damaged, lonely teenager when she arrived at the lakeside commune called Home. She was entranced by the tang of sourdough starter; the midnight call of the loons; the triumph of foraging wild mushrooms from the forest floor. But most of all she was taken with Abraham, Home's charismatic leader, the North Star to Saskia and the four other teens who lived there, her best and only friends. Two decades later, Saskia is shuttered in her Connecticut estate, estranged from the others. Her carefully walled life is torn open by threatening letters. Unless she and her former friends return to the land in rural Maine, the terrible thing they did as teenagers—their last-ditch attempt to save Home—will be revealed. From vastly different lives, the five return to confront their blackmailer and reckon with the horror that split them apart. How far will they go to bury their secret forever? New York Times bestselling author Miranda Beverly-Whittemore’s Fierce Little Thing is a mesmerizing story of friendship and its reckonings.


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“A Secret History-esque tale...All the ingredients for the perfect summer read.” —The Millions “Captivating, thoughtful, and tense, a great read for those who enjoy psychological thrillers and complex puzzles. Highly recommended.” —New York Journal Review of Books “It’s time to come Home. All five of you. Or else.” Saskia was a damaged, lonely teenager when she arrived at “A Secret History-esque tale...All the ingredients for the perfect summer read.” —The Millions “Captivating, thoughtful, and tense, a great read for those who enjoy psychological thrillers and complex puzzles. Highly recommended.” —New York Journal Review of Books “It’s time to come Home. All five of you. Or else.” Saskia was a damaged, lonely teenager when she arrived at the lakeside commune called Home. She was entranced by the tang of sourdough starter; the midnight call of the loons; the triumph of foraging wild mushrooms from the forest floor. But most of all she was taken with Abraham, Home's charismatic leader, the North Star to Saskia and the four other teens who lived there, her best and only friends. Two decades later, Saskia is shuttered in her Connecticut estate, estranged from the others. Her carefully walled life is torn open by threatening letters. Unless she and her former friends return to the land in rural Maine, the terrible thing they did as teenagers—their last-ditch attempt to save Home—will be revealed. From vastly different lives, the five return to confront their blackmailer and reckon with the horror that split them apart. How far will they go to bury their secret forever? New York Times bestselling author Miranda Beverly-Whittemore’s Fierce Little Thing is a mesmerizing story of friendship and its reckonings.

30 review for Fierce Little Thing

  1. 4 out of 5

    Taylor Jenkins Reid

    After a tumultuous childhood, Saskia settles at a commune in Maine. Along with four others, she’s taken in with the live-off-the-land philosophy and mesmerized by its charismatic leader. 20 years later Saskia is living a secluded life in Connecticut when she starts receiving threatening letters. If she and the others don’t return, the secrets they’ve long kept buried will be revealed. This one is a nail-biter.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    I really enjoyed this author’s book, June, and was really excited to pick up her latest. Saskia and her friends live on a commune called “Home” as teens. Decades later, they receive a letter threatening them to return back to Home or suffer the consequences. The short chapters (which I always love) go back and forth between the past and present, and I found they added great tension to this story. Genre-wise, this is a coming-of-age story with building tension. There were lots of secrets and a few I really enjoyed this author’s book, June, and was really excited to pick up her latest. Saskia and her friends live on a commune called “Home” as teens. Decades later, they receive a letter threatening them to return back to Home or suffer the consequences. The short chapters (which I always love) go back and forth between the past and present, and I found they added great tension to this story. Genre-wise, this is a coming-of-age story with building tension. There were lots of secrets and a few surprises along with a creepy, sinister vibe, similar to what I remember of June. The commune feels more cultish and really adds to the atmosphere. Fierce Little Thing is a slower building story, with beautiful prose, and again, that fabulous tension that builds throughout. The second half of the book was my favorite watching it all come together! I received a gifted copy. Many of my reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com and instagram: www.instagram.com/tarheelreader

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly McCreight

    Gorgeously written and brilliantly structured, FIERCE LITTLE THING is a suspenseful, evocative coming of age tale about the unique worth of old friendships and the profound challenge of finding your true place in the world.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Shelby

    I'll be honest, the only reason I finished this book was because it was an ARC. There was almost nothing I liked about this book. The constant switching between first and second person; the short, choppy chapters; the massively unlikable characters - it was just bad. I think my biggest problem with this book is the fact that Beverly-Whittemore has no idea how cults form, operate, and fall apart. It becomes glaringly obvious that she read a few Wikipedia articles and called that good enough. Her I'll be honest, the only reason I finished this book was because it was an ARC. There was almost nothing I liked about this book. The constant switching between first and second person; the short, choppy chapters; the massively unlikable characters - it was just bad. I think my biggest problem with this book is the fact that Beverly-Whittemore has no idea how cults form, operate, and fall apart. It becomes glaringly obvious that she read a few Wikipedia articles and called that good enough. Her understanding and portrayal of cult leaders and psycho/sociopathy are so incredibly misguided and it really (I hope unintentionally) supported some really ableist and anti-mentally ill sentiments that can be really, really dangerous. I think the thing that most threw me off was the down right creepy obsession with breasts and genitalia. I don't know about you, but I've never found breastfeeding to be remotely sexual and I've never known a woman to brag about their breasts unprompted. Also, if your nipples are gaping, please see a doctor. They should not be doing that. I honestly question if Beverly-Whittmore has ever had an actual conversation with a human woman. I really hope they make some major changes before this book is released, because the concept had so much promise, but the finished product was just horrendously disappointing.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Paula Phillips

    I have to admit this was a hard book to read as it didn't have a linear feel to it and constantly jumped back and forth between timelines and the character's story was confusing at times and you were like - ok, what just happened and I felt it was one of those stories where you just have to nod your head and read on and pretend that you understand what the heck is going on. The book starts with a sister and a brother and then tragedy strikes and we learn the brother dies, the father goes to pris I have to admit this was a hard book to read as it didn't have a linear feel to it and constantly jumped back and forth between timelines and the character's story was confusing at times and you were like - ok, what just happened and I felt it was one of those stories where you just have to nod your head and read on and pretend that you understand what the heck is going on. The book starts with a sister and a brother and then tragedy strikes and we learn the brother dies, the father goes to prison and the mother takes off to Mexico. The girl then goes to live with her grandmother but then her grandmother pawns her on to another family. The girl moves in with a new family where she meets her new "brother" Xavier and his dad Phil. Soon Phil takes Xavier and Saskia to a cult-like commune in the middle of the forest where they meet Abraham - the cult leader. They learn a new way of life called Unthinging and soon tragedy strikes again and causes Saskia, Xavier, and their three friends to go their different paths and never speak again. Until now in the present time, each of the five has received letters of blackmail about something they all did in the forest many years ago. Who knows what happened? Is the Cult leader back in their lives? Find out in Fierce Little Thing by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore, perfect for those fans of cult fiction and thrillers.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Dennis

    I’m sure this book is great, but having chapters in the second person point of view immediately is a no for me.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

    OH MY GOD THIS SOUNDS SO GOOD

  8. 4 out of 5

    Emilee (emileereadsbooks)

    Thank you Flatiron Books for the gifted book. I have a lot of feelings about how to rate this book. Overall, I did not enjoy it. The characters are not likeable and at 25% I wrote down two big plot twists predictions that I got correct. The first at least 15% of the book I was so confused and annoyed that it was written intentionally to give you as many details as possible while still being confusing. The timelines jump so quickly back and forth that I was continuously having to reorient myself Thank you Flatiron Books for the gifted book. I have a lot of feelings about how to rate this book. Overall, I did not enjoy it. The characters are not likeable and at 25% I wrote down two big plot twists predictions that I got correct. The first at least 15% of the book I was so confused and annoyed that it was written intentionally to give you as many details as possible while still being confusing. The timelines jump so quickly back and forth that I was continuously having to reorient myself to see where we were in the story. Not one single character was someone I wanted to root for. There were things that happened that felt more like shock instruments than plot instruments and detracted instead of added to the story. Reading it, it was so full of heaviness and darkness that I needed a palate cleanser of a different lighter book in between reading this one. But despite all that, I was intrigued enough to keep turning the pages... I don't recommend this book necessarily, but if you like dark, slow burn, psychological books, this may be for you. And I will say, the prose was beautiful despite the story not being my fav. Content Warning: Cult life, Death (including child death), Murder, Violence, Abandonment, Infidelity, Cursing, Mental Illness (and I'm sure I missed some)

  9. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    Short, choppy chapters that alternate between times make it really hard to get into this book. Then, there are more than six main characters, so it gets to be a bit tedious keeping track of all of them. I'd skip this book. Short, choppy chapters that alternate between times make it really hard to get into this book. Then, there are more than six main characters, so it gets to be a bit tedious keeping track of all of them. I'd skip this book.

  10. 5 out of 5

    T. Greenwood

    What an immersive experience reading this novel was! Lush setting. Twisty, unpredictable plot. The story world is so well-researched, the characters so fully realized, the novel will resonate for a long time.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Bookreporter.com Mystery & Thriller

    From Miranda Beverly-Whittemore, the bestselling author of BITTERSWEET and JUNE, comes FIERCE LITTLE THING, an ambitious, mesmerizing coming-of-age story about five children turned grownups who are forced to deal with the repercussions of a decades-old incident and the lies that brought them there. For Saskia, adult life began the day her younger brother died. Her father went to jail, her mother headed to Mexico, and her wealthy, powerful grandmother sent her to live with the Pierces, family frie From Miranda Beverly-Whittemore, the bestselling author of BITTERSWEET and JUNE, comes FIERCE LITTLE THING, an ambitious, mesmerizing coming-of-age story about five children turned grownups who are forced to deal with the repercussions of a decades-old incident and the lies that brought them there. For Saskia, adult life began the day her younger brother died. Her father went to jail, her mother headed to Mexico, and her wealthy, powerful grandmother sent her to live with the Pierces, family friends with a young teen around her age. But when Saskia leaves her grandmother’s sprawling Maine mansion for the Pierces’ Manhattan loft, she finds a family as full of dysfunction as her own. Philip Pierce has downgraded his family from their swanky Upper East Side apartment for a loft in Chelsea; his wife, Jane, is off in Ghana, Bali and Paris buying exotic fabrics for her upscale boutique; and Xavier, their painfully beautiful son, is living like a young bachelor with his more or less single father. Although Saskia is eager to build a home with Philip and Xavier, she is shocked when Philip announces to the children --- while his wife is off in Japan --- that they will be summering in Maine. But these are not the New England summers to which Saskia is accustomed. After consulting a map from a man named JimBob and completing a treacherous trip through the undergrowth, Saskia and her newfound family arrive at Home, a commune of sorts settled under a cathedral of greens in a valley. While the people do not look strange at first glance --- aside from the mother and daughter decked out in long braids and starched white pinafores --- it is obvious that Philip has taken the children somewhere silently dangerous. And at the center of it all is Abraham, Home’s charismatic, beguiling leader, a man who immediately seems to focus on Saskia in a way that no adult --- no person --- has since the tragic loss of her brother. Saskia blossoms under the gaze of Abraham, even while the commune crackles with tension. She learns to forage, throw hatchets and bake the bread that is the life force of the dining hall. Xavier, too, finds a home in his friendship with Ben. Overcome with the wonder of it all, Philip decides to make a massive --- but highly divisive --- donation to the commune. With the three of them finally gaining acceptance, Saskia soon sheds the worst of her sadness...just as Philip sheds his rose-colored glasses and decides to leave Home. It makes sense that Saskia is heartbroken to leave the place where she found friends and family and learned new skills, but she has a secret, too: the ghost of her little brother has found her at Home, and it is only in the cabins and foliage of the valley that she can sense his nearness. Returning to New York leaves her bereft, amplifying and strengthening her belief in Home, Abraham and the commune’s mantra of “Unthinging oneself.” When Abraham’s righthand woman shows up to bring Saskia back Home, she jumps at the chance, changing her future forever. Years later, an adult Saskia has locked herself in her grandmother’s --- now her --- home and cut off all communication with the other children from Home. So when Xavier, Issy and Cornelia appear on her doorstep asking her to come back Home with them one last time, it takes some serious begging. But they know something that Saskia doesn’t: someone is aware of what they did that last summer at Home, and all three of them have been receiving threatening notes written in the unique cadence of Abraham’s voice. That someone is adamant that they all face what they’ve done, or they will be outed to their families, friends and communities. In alternating storylines, Miranda Beverly-Whittemore highlights key moments in Saskia’s life at Home and her adult journey back to the hallowed grounds where she faced life and death; learned the true hold of power; and reunited with her ghostly brother. If you’re thinking that Home reeks of a cult, you’re exactly right, and Beverly-Whittemore crafts both the cult and its ideologies and enigmatic leader expertly. Cult fiction is not new, and I love a good cult thriller, but what she does here is unique in that she never hides from her readers exactly what Home is. Right from the start, it is easy to see --- almost laughably so --- the sway that Abraham has over his community, the control of food and free time, and, of course, the massive donation that Philip makes, and how quickly Abraham turns it into a moment of empowerment for the group. As a child, Saskia cannot see what Abraham is doing, but we can, and it is downright painful to watch this traumatized, neglected and lonely girl pulled into the group’s center. In the present-day timeline, it is easy to pinpoint the effects of the cult’s trauma on its youngest members. Saskia is locked in a gilded prison; Xavier is unable to commit to a family; and Issy cannot seem to put down roots. But even more poignant is the hold that Home still has over each of them, especially Saskia. Sure, they’re being blackmailed to return there, but Beverly-Whittemore crafts the tension so spectacularly that it is difficult to ignore the pull of Home, and the friendships and families that were built there. This is a character-driven, slow-burn thriller, but it is creatively structured and just eerie enough to keep you glued to its pages. That said, though I was desperate to learn the truth about what the children did that long-ago summer and why Saskia alone felt so drawn to Home, at times the novel felt a bit too long. The first half dragged a bit, and compared to the shocking finale, it appeared that Beverly-Whittemore was overcompensating. She is tremendously skilled at evoking a sense of place and a sensation of horror, but her more drawn-out chapters felt like they were lacking the confidence that came later in the book. Nail-biting, moody and every bit as compelling as the cult leader at its center, FIERCE LITTLE THING is a powerful coming-of-age tale about the ways that we are forever changed by the traumas, lies and betrayals of our youth. Reviewed by Rebecca Munro

  12. 5 out of 5

    Belle City Book Lady

    I received this book as an ARC from Flatiron Books through Goodreads. (Thank you!) I'll preface my thoughts on the book by saying I never read "Bittersweet" so I am not familiar with this author or if this style was her typical style. I went in blind. I'll try to stay as far away from spoilers as I can but it will be hard! Before I get into my own head with this review I'll stay at surface level and just describe the book. Yes it was slow. Not a nice slow burn, but an agonizing one that dragged I received this book as an ARC from Flatiron Books through Goodreads. (Thank you!) I'll preface my thoughts on the book by saying I never read "Bittersweet" so I am not familiar with this author or if this style was her typical style. I went in blind. I'll try to stay as far away from spoilers as I can but it will be hard! Before I get into my own head with this review I'll stay at surface level and just describe the book. Yes it was slow. Not a nice slow burn, but an agonizing one that dragged on too long. BUT, it was still readable and enjoyable. There's plenty left unsaid for the reader to piece together as the story progresses so it is indeed engaging. It is peppered like bird shot with manipulation. Everywhere. But you generally always know who you should be trusting and who you shouldn't. The setting was brought to life in my mind's eye through the author's descriptions. The story came alive in that way. I had a clear vision of everything, of Home, Ben's place, Her grandmother's house, riding in to town... it was told well in this way and I really appreciated having these places created in my mind so well for these characters to exist. I think one of the biggest critiques I have stuck in my head for this book was it could have been so much shorter. You could chop 200 pages off of this and still get what you're trying to say across. There was a section of the story that irritatingly had far too many, "But they'll know we...", "How did someone find out that we...", "Not just you, we all ki....." and the sentence would get cut off by someone essentially telling them to be quiet. Over and over. As the book progressed little bits would get added until you're maybe 3/4 of the way in and a pronoun is used. "If blahblah blah then they'll know you killed him/her" by that time I had wanted the author to have just spit it out 35 chapters ago. The book is set flip flopping back and forth from past to present. Some Chapters may be 3 sentences. Some, many pages. The past gets revealed at the same pace the present story is developing. At first this was something I didn't like. But as I progressed through the book I didn't notice as much. I was used to it. And because of the bulk of this book I think that made it easier to read. It broke it up into small serving sizes allowing me to eat up bigger chunks at once than I probably would have otherwise. It prevented me from hitting the "Ok, this is dragging on forever, I'm bored" point. Sprinkled throughout the novel were terrific little gems of prose. Sentences here or there that I would stop at and think, "Well that was beautiful.", "Oh here's another one!", "Oh, I really like that one." which added to the pleasure of reading. There were some really beautifully written vivid moments where I felt like I should be clapping with a "Bravo!" coming out of my mouth. If the author sticks to that kind of writing in other books (As I said, I'm not familiar with her work at all) I'd devour it all. Those pieces were outstanding. I almost wished I'd highlighted them. I am a sucker for pretty words! For me, the part that saves this book is the bread crumbs you're given. There's so much going on and you can see what's going to happen but, still gotta follow those breadcumbs!.... so you keep going and you turn the page towards the end of the book and a whole loaf gets dropped on you! Totally didn't see that coming! I was following all the other breadcrumbs, and for this wallop there had been no crumbs. The bomb just dropped. And it fit PERFECTLY! (This is hard to describe without spoilers!) The characters had been through a lot together but there didn't seem to be much connection between the main character Saskia and her friends, or her family. Knowing now who Saskia is, this can all make sense now. But then her actions towards the end make me question the "conclusion" of Saskia in the book. At the end, I don't know what I think about Saskia, her past and her present. In the end, the mind of Saskia is never revealed in black and white and I don't know if that really works in this story. I thought there'd be a solid conclusion to who she is. Marta's words and circumstances give a hand in pegging down Saskia. And I lean toward Marta being wrong about Saskia (Again, this is hard with no spoilers!) if that's the case, then I don't think the ending fits for a person like her. Can people like her even experience this kind of redemption? Is it even redemption or is it just her letting go? I don't think the life at the end is the kind of life Saskia could even have. Is it? Then again I could be looking at this entirely wrong. Perhaps defining Saskia is something the author wanted the reader to decide? It's entirely possible.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Alexandra

    An atmospheric book with a lot of puzzles to unravel. I enjoyed Saskia's internal struggle and her conversations with Will. I wish that some of the other Home children had been more fully drawn (Cordelia, Ben) so that they had full personalities. I love a good cult-y book and this one was a solid effort! Great for fans of Plain Bad Heroines, An atmospheric book with a lot of puzzles to unravel. I enjoyed Saskia's internal struggle and her conversations with Will. I wish that some of the other Home children had been more fully drawn (Cordelia, Ben) so that they had full personalities. I love a good cult-y book and this one was a solid effort! Great for fans of Plain Bad Heroines,

  14. 4 out of 5

    Erin Glover

    Think creepy. Branch Davidians and Waco. A cult in rural Maine. But it didn’t resonate. Not much happened. More a portrait of life in a cult told by a protagonist who’s only there to catch a glimpse of her murdered brother. I almost DNF but wanted to know who the kids murdered. It was a let down. The reverence for nature was a plus, but I didn’t really want to know the scientific names for mushrooms and birds.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lynn

    Too gimmicky and heavily-laden with symbolism. I don't think constant mention of "the Mother" furthered the story-telling; it just got on my nerves. Who takes "the Mother" on a road trip? Too gimmicky and heavily-laden with symbolism. I don't think constant mention of "the Mother" furthered the story-telling; it just got on my nerves. Who takes "the Mother" on a road trip?

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kim McGee

    Saskia is left adrift by her parents first to her grandmother's house and then passed to another family who in turn uproots the family to live at a strange commune called "home". After taking all their money and possessions the charismatic leader, Abraham tries to teach them the benefits of unthinging and living off the land. Saskia falls hard for Abraham and begins to appreciate the teachings then but something bad happens. Years later Saskia and the other teens from Home are sent threatening l Saskia is left adrift by her parents first to her grandmother's house and then passed to another family who in turn uproots the family to live at a strange commune called "home". After taking all their money and possessions the charismatic leader, Abraham tries to teach them the benefits of unthinging and living off the land. Saskia falls hard for Abraham and begins to appreciate the teachings then but something bad happens. Years later Saskia and the other teens from Home are sent threatening letters that tell them to come Home or else. Reluctantly they return to confront the blackmailer and the incident that changed their lives. The book jumps back and forth between Saskia's youth and teen years at Home and current day. The sudden jumps and short chapters took me some time to adjust to but add to the suspense. This is a coming of age story with a thriller edginess. Recommended for readers of Emma Cline's THE GIRLS and I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER. My thanks to the publisher for the advance copy.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sharon

    Good story. this was a goodreads giveaway

  18. 4 out of 5

    Phoebe

    to quote a friend's review of an entirely different book, i always just feel bad for bad seeds!!!! based on the back blurb i went into this expecting a very different book than the one i read; it evokes stephen king's it vibes what with a group of five (/seven) adults called back to where they lived in childhood to reckon with the past, and i assumed this would be a character-driven relationships-focused book, forgetting entirely that it is a phenomenon and not everyone loves what i love about i to quote a friend's review of an entirely different book, i always just feel bad for bad seeds!!!! based on the back blurb i went into this expecting a very different book than the one i read; it evokes stephen king's it vibes what with a group of five (/seven) adults called back to where they lived in childhood to reckon with the past, and i assumed this would be a character-driven relationships-focused book, forgetting entirely that it is a phenomenon and not everyone loves what i love about it!! the character work in this is pretty weak, the people of home were actually pretty interesting but the main five were so dull and their relationships with one another weren't interesting. in that vein the book never convinced me Home was all that great, from the very beginning it felt really tinged with very unpleasant vibes (including sexually creepy vibes that turned out to just be how the author writes about bodies). i think an important part of a cult novel is that as destructive as cults are there's a reason people stay, that people love it. i got why saskia wanted to be there, it made her feel special, but i have no idea why anyone else was there. i think fierce little thing really failed on the character front. it gets off to a very slow start but i did read 350 pages of it today so it clearly picks up and is very gripping and readable once it does. it didn't need to be anywhere near as long as it is. i thought the prophecy was a cool element. i liked the idea that the way adults view children influences how they see themselves (i.e. if everyone around you, including the man you most look up to, thinks you are inherently built for murder, you will murder for him) but i think that theme kind of fell apart in the end. this is a gripping thriller that i had higher expectations for lol! if you're a thriller person this is probably a good one

  19. 5 out of 5

    Caroline | howdidthatbookend

    Read the full review on the blog: https://www.howdidthatbookend.com/fie... I really enjoy books about cults, and Fierce Little Thing was no exception. We follow the story of Saskia, who spent some time in a cult called Home as a teenager. The book jumps from the present, 16 years after Saskia left Home, to the past while she lived there. It alternates each chapter, which may not be every reader’s cup of tea, but I believe this method did an excellent job of building suspense. Some chapters are ju Read the full review on the blog: https://www.howdidthatbookend.com/fie... I really enjoy books about cults, and Fierce Little Thing was no exception. We follow the story of Saskia, who spent some time in a cult called Home as a teenager. The book jumps from the present, 16 years after Saskia left Home, to the past while she lived there. It alternates each chapter, which may not be every reader’s cup of tea, but I believe this method did an excellent job of building suspense. Some chapters are just a couple lines long, making the reader want to jump ahead to see what happens. The best part of Fierce Little Thing is its atmosphere. The author does an amazing job of describing the scenery of the lakeside camp and the woods Saskia would explore. She also successfully builds suspense and tension with each interaction between the characters, both in the past and the present timelines. This thriller is not fast-paced, so if you’re a reader that needs constant action the middle may feel a bit drawn out. There is a lot of buildup before we figure out what is happening in both timelines. While some secrets are revealed along the way, there’s no big twist until we get to the ending. Fierce Little Thing is perfect for readers who are interested in books about cults, or those who love tense, atmospheric thrillers. This is definitely one to add to your summer TBR!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Heidi

    3.5 stars

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay Nixon

    DNF. I skipped through the first chapter (titled “first”)... not a good sign. I was half asleep before I got into the second chapter, so before I DNF'd, I came here to see what I was in for… After learning this was a cult book with graphic descriptions of genitals and breasts, I clicked “return” as fast as I could. note : I also LOATHE when adults refer to their fathers as “daddy” (I would feel the same if they said “mommy”) DNF. I skipped through the first chapter (titled “first”)... not a good sign. I was half asleep before I got into the second chapter, so before I DNF'd, I came here to see what I was in for… After learning this was a cult book with graphic descriptions of genitals and breasts, I clicked “return” as fast as I could. note : I also LOATHE when adults refer to their fathers as “daddy” (I would feel the same if they said “mommy”)

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sheri

    I really liked this book. I like how it told the story from the past and the current time line at the same time. I would have like to see more about what happened to the kids after the traumatic incident that they dealt with in their past. How did they each wind up where they were with no parents. Some of the ending was predictable, but a few things did surprise me. This was a good, suspenseful read.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kristin Bloniarczyk

    I just could not get into this book at all. It was so boring and dragged on. It was slightly hard to keep up with all the characters and their storylines .

  24. 5 out of 5

    Theresa

    DNF @ 30% I’d saddens me to have to put this book down. I really tried to persevere but I just could make myself pick it up again. I’ve read this author in the past and thoroughly enjoyed her work. I was just not feeling it this time. The writing was all over the place and made little sense. I have seen comparisons to “A Secret History” which makes little sense to me except I did not enjoy that book either. I still appreciate the chance to read this book early. I do wish the author and publisher DNF @ 30% I’d saddens me to have to put this book down. I really tried to persevere but I just could make myself pick it up again. I’ve read this author in the past and thoroughly enjoyed her work. I was just not feeling it this time. The writing was all over the place and made little sense. I have seen comparisons to “A Secret History” which makes little sense to me except I did not enjoy that book either. I still appreciate the chance to read this book early. I do wish the author and publisher luck in their endeavor. I hope I’m the odd duck out. In compliance with FTC guidelines------I received this book free from a Goodreads Giveaway in exchange for an honest review. The content of this review is not influenced by that fact. The feelings expressed are solely mine. I sincerely appreciate the chance to read and review this book.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mary Ellen Anaka

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This is a fail for me, not the author. I couldn't get into it at all. I really did try, but it just wasn't for me. I couldn't even finish it. This is a fail for me, not the author. I couldn't get into it at all. I really did try, but it just wasn't for me. I couldn't even finish it.

  26. 5 out of 5

    donna

    DNF. Switched around so much I did not know what time line I was on.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Virginia

    I’m confused by references to this as a “cult” book as the Home was just a mismanaged commune with no cult characteristics at all. I was disappointed by being promised a huge twist at the end (there wasn’t) and lots of surprises (there weren’t.) Everything is laid out from the beginning, including hints about Saskia and how she viewed everyone in her life since we see people and events through her (view spoiler)[ rather disassociated and dispassionate (hide spoiler)] eyes. The author was actual I’m confused by references to this as a “cult” book as the Home was just a mismanaged commune with no cult characteristics at all. I was disappointed by being promised a huge twist at the end (there wasn’t) and lots of surprises (there weren’t.) Everything is laid out from the beginning, including hints about Saskia and how she viewed everyone in her life since we see people and events through her (view spoiler)[ rather disassociated and dispassionate (hide spoiler)] eyes. The author was actually pretty fair with clues from the beginning. Part of the puzzle of characterization here is that the teens - who were really around 13 and 14 in the beginning) spoke like middle-aged people rather than kids, especially toward the end of their original stay at the Home, which made it difficult to distinguish between past and present without checking, because their voices sounded the same in both timelines. The main premise of the plot, the mysterious demand that the 5 younger characters return to the Home, didn’t live up to the dramatic promise of the letters, so that plot line fell totally flat for me. We never really get to know any of those younger characters either (even Xavier of the flopping forelock and luscious lips) apart from what Saskia sees. I also grew very tired of hearing incessantly about body odours and sweat and unwashed skin. I was turned off by Saskia's constant ogling of the other women's breasts but have realized that her fixation with mammaries along with that obsequious sourdough "Mother" indicated her obsession with her own inadequate, absent mother. Having said all that, I have enjoyed this author’s other books, and was able to read all of this one without skipping.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Janet

    Once again, I am going to have to sit with this for awhile. I wanted so much to love this. I liked it, but the first half was definitely slow, and hard to get through. The second half at least pulled it all together. However, I’m not sure how I feel about the story as a whole. I applaud the use of communal living as a backdrop in the story, but I feel she could have done so much more. Maybe the pandemic just caused too much havoc. I don’t know. Is it a great read … well…. It wouldn’t be first on Once again, I am going to have to sit with this for awhile. I wanted so much to love this. I liked it, but the first half was definitely slow, and hard to get through. The second half at least pulled it all together. However, I’m not sure how I feel about the story as a whole. I applaud the use of communal living as a backdrop in the story, but I feel she could have done so much more. Maybe the pandemic just caused too much havoc. I don’t know. Is it a great read … well…. It wouldn’t be first on my list anymore. Was it an OK read … yes. So, I’m saying a 3 out of 5 star read for me and if I hadn’t rushed to read it … well …. It could have waited for a while longer to be read. But … there it is. So, if you don’t have anything else to do and you like alternate (then and now) stories about cults/ communes/ murder and brainwashed people … there ya go. But you might have more fun reading true crime? I don’t know. I’ll update after I’ve meditated on it. Until then .. happy reading my friends.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    Cults, mystery, death, threatening letters. What is there not to like?? Well, the writing style. I really enjoyed the actual plot of the story when it was flowing, but the chapters flipped back and forth between different timelines without any indication and I was often quite lost. The "Home" commune sounds like an interesting place and the book led me to have a lot of internal dialogue about how to "un-thing" myself. I have the physical book for this one, but I chose to listen to it and that mi Cults, mystery, death, threatening letters. What is there not to like?? Well, the writing style. I really enjoyed the actual plot of the story when it was flowing, but the chapters flipped back and forth between different timelines without any indication and I was often quite lost. The "Home" commune sounds like an interesting place and the book led me to have a lot of internal dialogue about how to "un-thing" myself. I have the physical book for this one, but I chose to listen to it and that might have been a disservice to myself in the comprehension of the story. Though the timeline shifts wouldn't have been any more clear on paper, but it would have been easier to flip back and forth. If you really love cult stories and want the addition of a little mystery and drama, I encourage you to pick this one up because you might love it!

  30. 5 out of 5

    dmayr

    One of the most compelling books I've read ever. This is a harrowing and suffocating tale of life in a commune where young grieving Saskia comes to stay, where everyone is held in sway by the charismatic Abraham, and where children are abandoned and manipulated. The alternate past and present narrative drew me in, and weaving through it all is Saskia's grief and yearning for her little brother, which influences most of her decisions. The later part has some scenes and revelations which I didn't One of the most compelling books I've read ever. This is a harrowing and suffocating tale of life in a commune where young grieving Saskia comes to stay, where everyone is held in sway by the charismatic Abraham, and where children are abandoned and manipulated. The alternate past and present narrative drew me in, and weaving through it all is Saskia's grief and yearning for her little brother, which influences most of her decisions. The later part has some scenes and revelations which I didn't expect at all and would not forget for a long time.

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