The Weight of Small Things

Image of The Weight of Small Things
Release Date: 
March 26, 2013
Reviewed by: 

The choice of whether to live in the present or the past is a difficult one for many people, but not Corrie, the protagonist of Sherri Wood Emmons’ newest book, The Weight of Small Things.

She doesn’t factor the past into her decision making. Despite surviving a difficult childhood, she’s chosen to forge ahead and create a successful life for herself. She’s married a wonderful man, Mark, and has a job she enjoys.

The one thing she can’t overcome is her fertility or lack of it. Dejection over her perceived failure in that realm combines with temptation in the form of an old boyfriend, and suddenly the past is not just knocking at her door—it’s slamming.

Her best friend, Bryn, has the opposite problem: she’s pregnant by a careless, carefree college professor and living with an old friend who would like to be more.

Both women feel the weight of the small things and large that make up their lives and both will suffer before coming into the light.

In The Weight of Small Things, Ms. Emmons tries to create a slice of life novel, relatable by all. Many readers will be able to identify with one problem or another in the lives of her characters—it would be difficult not to. These characters are awash in drama. They make bad decisions, love the wrong people, have both infertility and “oops” pregnancies, and swim in miscommunication and its aftermath.

Perhaps that is the major flaw with this book. It’s Lifetime movie of the week material from beginning to end. Issues fly at the reader from left to right: pregnancy, alcoholism, infidelity, drug abuse, nostalgia, regret—and all are hashed over in excruciating detail to ensure that “wrong” choices are punished and “right” choices are rewarded.

A reader who thrives on the intimate details of lives in crisis, loves to be assured that a price is paid for bad decisions, yet who still wants a sentimental conclusion will probably adore this book. Ms. Emmons can definitely write well—her prose is clear, if sometimes somewhat fraught.

The reader who craves realism might want to skip The Weight of Small Things.