Gilly Soloman is a woman who has been pushed to the edge of sanity. Her life revolves around her husband and children. Gilly is really, really exhausted. She always ends up putting herself last and that behavior has really started to take a toll on her mental and physical health. It seems that her days and nights are filled with incessant whining, and a multitude of menial tasks. Until the night she is carjacked with her small children in the back seat.
Gilly must make desperate choices to save her children but as tired as she is from the continual grind of motherhood and caring for everyone but herself, Gilly is just hoping to get some rest. Now she must deal with Todd, the carjacker, who takes her to an isolated cabin in the midst of a blizzard. Here Gilly will have to face what the future holds, and ultimately she will have to make a decision on whether to save herself or not. She’ll have to decide how far she is willing to go to protect her children and herself.
Precious and Fragile Things is an emotional ride where every page delivers a new facet of the story. At the heart of the story, Ms. Hart, examines the concept of a mother's love. How that love can be consuming, sometimes twisted, and sometimes the strength that a person needs to overcome seemingly unsurmountable obstacles. The characterizations are so well developed that by the second chapter the reader starts to feel that they know the characters intimately. The details of each characters background and present are so honest and deep that it draws the reader in and keeps you turning the pages. As humans, we are so often ready to judge others without knowing both sides of the story, in Hart’s tale we have an opportunity to become intimate with both characters.
What I found predominately interesting was how similar Todd and Gilly’s backgrounds were on some levels and how Ms. Hart wove the tale so that many facets of the present had similarities to the past. This further underscored the differences in how each character, many times secondary characters, handled the same type of situation in the past. In addition, I really liked how Gilly kept her moral boundaries in mind, even when faced with desperate decisions, and stayed true to character. I found myself riveted, unable to put the book down and at the end of the book found myself wondering, if I was Gilly, could I have taken the same actions. The book was very enjoyable and thought provoking.
Gilly Soloman has been reduced to a mothering machine, taking care of everyone and everything except herself. But the machine has broken down. Burnt out by the endless days of crying children and menial tasks, and exhausted from always putting herself last, Gilly doesn’t immediately consider the consequences when she’s carjacked. With a knife to her throat, her first thought is that she’ll finally get some rest. Someone can save her for a change.
But salvation isn’t so forthcoming. Stranded in a remote, snowbound cabin with this stranger, hours turn to days, days into weeks. As time forges a fragile bond between them, she learns her captor is not the lunatic she first believed, but a human being whose wasted life has been shaped by secrets and tragedy. Yet even as their connection begins to foster trust, Gilly knows she must never forget he’s still a man teetering on the edge. One who just might take her with him.