A Small Indiscretion by Jan Ellison ~ Audiobook Review

Cover of A Small Indiscretion

A Small Indiscretion by Jan Ellison

Published by: Random House

Published on: January 20, 2015

Page Count: 338

Genre: Fiction

My Reading Format: Audiobook download provided by the publisher for consideration.

Audiobook Published by: Random House Audio

Narrator: Kathe Mazur

Audiobook Length: 10 hours 15 minutes

Available Formats: Hardcover, eBook, and Audiobook

Summary from the Publisher:

At nineteen, Annie Black abandons California for a London winter of drinking to oblivion and looking for love in the wrong places. Twenty years later, she is a happily married mother of three living in San Francisco. Then one morning, a photograph arrives in her mailbox, and an old obsession is awakened.

After a return trip to London, Annie’s marriage falters, her store floods, and her son, Robbie, takes a night-time ride that nearly costs him his life. Now Annie must fight to save her family by untangling the mysteries of that reckless winter in Europe that drew an invisible map of her future.

With the brilliant pacing and emotional precision that won Jan Ellison an O. Henry Prize for her first published story, A Small Indiscretion announces a major new voice in suspense fiction as it unfolds a story of denial, obsession, love, forgiveness—and one woman’s reckoning with her own fateful mistakes.

My Review

Who would think that something that happened twenty years ago, at a time when you were young and full of mistakes, would come back to ruin a nearly perfect life you’ve built for yourself since? Certainly not Annie Black. When she opens a letter containing a picture taken during her time in London when she was nineteen, it was as if her life in San Francisco with a devoted husband and three healthy children no longer mattered. She became obsessed with the unfinished business she left behind. It didn’t take long before living for her past had a disastrous  impact on her family, most especially with her son Robbie. As she tells her seriously injured son the story of how her family came to this place, the reader begins to understand the connections.

Taking this journey with Annie was an interesting experience. As someone who is the same age as the character, I know there are many things I would have changed at twenty if I had more life experience at the time. You have to be able to forgive and move past your early failings. You learn to appreciate how much you’ve learned and changed over the years. As Annie was drawn into some unanswered questions from her past, it made me think back to those raw spots that never fully healed over. If I had the opportunity to talk to the people involved, would I? Would those answers be worth returning there to find out? Shouldn’t it be enough to appreciate the gifts life has given you? I am by no means as adventurous a person as Annie and I understood how formative and critical her time in Europe was, but I couldn’t help get frustrated with her choices.

Kathe Mazur narrated the audiobook version of A Small Indiscretion and it made for a great experience. Through her I could see Annie sitting next to her son’s bed confessing the mistakes of her past and her present. Her performance was warm and I had no difficulty following the shifts in time as I listened. The voices she used worked well for me and added a spark to the story. I enjoyed every minute of this audiobook.

While the ending wasn’t as satisfying as I had hoped it would be, I enjoyed reading this book. A Small Indiscretion raised a lot of questions for me along the way and it would make an interesting book club selection, especially if the book club had a broad age range. I would be interested in hearing how younger readers would react to Annie and her life. Regardless, this book would spark a good conversation. Keep this book in mind when making book club selections. It would also make for a good choice when you’re feeling contemplative. When the time comes, I recommend picking up the audiobook and taking the journey with Kathe Mazur.


  • At 2015.03.10 10:02, Kay said:

    Good to hear that this one works well on audio. I had heard about it and wondered. Thanks for the recommendation. And would I want to change things – well, I’ve thought about that and my answer is no, I don’t think so. I think I’d be afraid of what I wouldn’t have now that I love.

    • […] A Small Indiscretion, by Jan Ellison, narrated by Kathe Mazur, review by Literate Housewife […]

      • At 2015.03.15 10:29, Sheila (Book Journey) said:

        I like the look and sound of this one!

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