Ordinary Hazards by Anna Bruno is my kind of story!! It’s one I needed to quiet my mind and allow myself to get lost in the head of the character and see things through her. It is the kind that takes hold of me and doesn’t let go till the end and then leaves me thinking about it for a while.
The story is uniquely told over one night, with chapters for each hour starting at 5 pm. Emma is sitting in a bar called The Final, Final. The last bar on the edge of town. The final stop after the final stop and there is no place but to go home after last call. With each hour and drink, we start to see Emma’s night spin out of control as she reflects on her failed marriage, her upbringing, her regrets while reflecting on the regulars of the bar who are friends of her ex-husband. As the story progresses, we learn pieces from the past and present as to why Emma sits and drinks. The tension increases right up to the climax, where everything comes together.
It’s all about the characters here with Emma and the partons at the bar. They are likeable and unlikeable characters and are not your stereotyped bar partons from a small town. Emma is successful in business and finance and has chosen against her father’s expectation to live a quieter life in a small town with her husband, Lucus. However, pain and regret are ordinary hazards of life, but it’s the story that can shape who you are.
“It’s not who you are that makes you a leader, it’s the story about who you are”
Emma is not an easy character to connect to, and she takes some time to warm up to. She can be a character you either like or dislike. For me, my feeling changed about her as she reckons with her past and present. Throughout the night, she reflects on her career choice, success, classism, and privilege. The woman she is and the women she used to be. She questions the roles of men and women and their likability. The story is paced well, with new information we learn about Emma’s the regulars’ lives through Emma’s memories, flashbacks, observations, and actions.
“There are two of me: the woman I am and the woman I used to be.”
I loved the setting in the bar and the tone it set to the story for me. It became a character in itself while creating a friendly yet hostile feel with the tension and drama to the story.
This is one of the better books I have read that explores men’s and women’s roles honestly while exploring their motivations, regrets, pain and happiness. I highly recommend this one for better reading!!
“It’s a man’s prerogative to be liked. Women are sometimes respected, sometimes admired, sometimes adored, but they aren’t liked, not really”
I received a copy from the publisher on NetGalley!
A note about the sleeves in photo
My mom custom made the kindle sleeve holder for me and made the book sleeve. You can find a wonderful selection of book sleeves with fun and interesting fabrics along with book markers made by Norma. My mom will custom make a sleeve for you if you are interested in the kindle size. AND I have a discount code for all friends here to use to get 20% off. Use SISTERS20 at the check out. You can find their Etsy shop here