Book Review: Ordinary Hazards by Anna Bruno

Beautifully written, unique and an emotional look at how grief and guilt can consume our lives.

I was kindly gifted this book by Kaleidoscopic Tours and Simon & Schuster in order to take part in their blog tour!

Ordinary Hazards by Anna Bruno
272 Pages
Out Now

Emma has settled into her hometown bar for the evening. It was in this very room that she met Lucas a few years back, on a blind date. Nine months ago, in unimaginable circumstances, they divorced.

As Emma listens to the locals’ banter, key facts about her life story begin to emerge and the past comes bearing down on her like a freight train.

A powerhouse in the business world, why has she ended up here, now a regular in the last bar on the edge of a small town? What is she running away from? And what is she willing to give up in order to recapture the love she has lost?

As Emma teeters on the edge of oblivion, becoming more booze-soaked by the hour, her night begins to spin out of control with shocking results.

4 / 5

This was such a unique book and I really didn’t know what to expect, even after reading the synopsis I still wasn’t sure exactly what was going to happen. However I think that’s how you should approach this book, just go on the journey and see where it takes you, you won’t be disappointed.

The book is centered around Emma as she spends her evening in the local bar, The Final Final, and each chapter is titled with the next hour of the night. I was sceptical at first as to how interesting it would be by just having it set in the one location but it just worked. The life and story surrounding Emma is the main focus of the book so it didn’t need any new locations, or major twists, all it was is a story about one woman’s grief and guilt.

As each hour passes we learn more about Emma through flashbacks, which break up the bar scenes perfectly. As the hours count down her backstory begins to emerge and it is truly heartbreaking.

I love how the flashbacks slowly released snippets of information from her past, not quite revealing the exact moment her marriage broke down. It kept me guessing throughout as you knew something terrible had happened and I had a knot in my stomach thinking of the possible scenarios.

Throughout the evening you are also introduced to a number of characters from the bar who Emma knows and I loved these parts. Learning about the other characters and the interactions between them were brilliant. These characters are important to Emma’s journey and take a look at how you don’t always know what is going on with others and how they may also be suffering with overwhelming guilt. It also makes for some pretty shocking moments and where the most action does take place.

My only slight issue was some parts discussing Wall Street and the finance / business side of things. A lot of it went over my head and did find it a little boring to read. They were only minor parts though.

Overall it’s beautifully written and a story that will break your heart but will ultimately make you realise that life is unexpected, grief and guilt can consume your life and no matter how hard you try you can’t avoid ‘Ordinary Hazards’.


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