TINY LITTLE THING by BEATRIZ WILLIAMS
“In the summer of 1966, Christina Hardcastle–“Tiny” to her illustrious family–stands on the brink of a breathtaking future. Of the three Schuyler sisters, she’s the one raised to marry a man destined for leadership, and with her elegance and impeccable style, she presents a perfect camera-ready image in the dawning age of television politics. Together she and her husband, Frank, make the ultimate power couple: intelligent, rich, and impossibly attractive. It seems nothing can stop Frank from rising to national office, and he’s got his sights set on a senate seat in November.
But as the season gets underway at the family estate on Cape Cod, three unwelcome visitors appear in Tiny’s perfect life: her volatile sister Pepper, an envelope containing incriminating photograph, and the intimidating figure of Frank’s cousin Vietnam-war hero Caspian, who knows more about Tiny’s rich inner life than anyone else. As she struggles to maintain the glossy facade on which the Hardcastle family’s ambitions are built, Tiny begins to suspect that Frank is hiding a reckless entanglement of his own…one that may unravel both her own ordered life and her husband’s promising career. “(Publisher Synopsis)
Meet Christina “Tiny” Hardcastle: the picture-perfect young wife of a charismatic politician. Groomed within an inch of her life to represent the perfect companion to an up-and-coming politician. This is who she is:
“…a young and pretty wife like you. The cameras love a pretty wife. So do the reporters. You’re made for television.”
“…his wife, meeting exciting people, doing exciting things.”
Tiny is a female character that you grow to love through the course of the book. At first, i didn’t particularly care for her. I found her weak and too cookie-cutter for me. But as the book progresses, i started liking her, understanding her life choices and ultimately, respecting her. She became “…no longer tiny but colossal. No longer delicate but strong”.
POLITICS AND ROMANCE
In TINY LITTLE THING, we also have:
- her “golden boy” politician husband. Tiny says of him: “Girls like me, we wear our pearls and we write our thank-you notes the very next morning and we fall in love with only the best sort of young man, the kind of man who’s going places and will take us with him. And when he asks us to marry him we say yes.”
- a decorated Vietnam hero cousin
- a Kennedy style political family
- “Steel Magnolias” type females with a core of steel. I especially loved all the female characters in this book.
- a vintage Mercedes Benz
- a vicious blackmailer
- a wonderful setting: the summer of 1966 in Cape Cod
The story started a little bit slow but after the first 1/4, the pace started building and when I finished the last page, I closed the book and said to myself: “This was such a good book!” It strikes just the right balance between a light, fun novel and a book with a political and social commentary. There is a romantic story-line but it is not the main story. It is a commentary on society’s obsession on making women smaller and smaller, tinier and perfect. It will also appeal hugely to fans of the Kennedy family. But, ultimately, it is a novel about human relationships and about discovering and fighting for what you want in your life.
MY FAVORITE PARAGRAPH
“Some people are friendly. Some people are gruff. Some want security. Others want independence. Some want the government to run things. Some want to run things on their own. Some people need a helping hand. Some people need a kick in the pants. Some want to live and to die in the same small town. Some want to ramble the wide world. Some are content with little. Some cannot stop striving. Some want to life beside a true love, to worship a single god. Some crave a universe of loves, a universe of gods. I could go on and on. The differences between them, between me and you, between you and the woman sitting next to you at the hairdresser, wearing that dress you’d never wear in a million years, reading that book you wouldn’t touch. The genius of politics, of people like Frank, is to link them all, understand them all, to represent them all. Not just the ones you agree with, the ones that think and act like you do.”
A FINAL NOTE
You know when you read a book by an author and you love it so much you that you want to read her other works too?After reading ONE HUNDRED SUMMERS and TINY LITTLE THING, Beatriz Williams has become one of those authors for me. I love the settings, the historical elements, her writing style and the book covers are so gorgeous! Next stop? This one!