Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons on June 23rd 2015
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In the summer of 1966, Christina Hardcastle—“Tiny” to her illustrious family—stands on the brink of a breathtaking future. Of the three Schuyler sisters, she’s the one raised to marry a man destined for leadership, and with her elegance and impeccable style, she presents a perfect camera-ready image in the dawning age of television politics. Together she and her husband, Frank, make the ultimate power couple: intelligent, rich, and impossibly attractive. It seems nothing can stop Frank from rising to national office, and he’s got his sights set on a senate seat in November. But as the season gets underway at the family estate on Cape Cod, three unwelcome visitors appear in Tiny’s perfect life: her volatile sister Pepper, an envelope containing incriminating photograph, and the intimidating figure of Frank’s cousin Vietnam-war hero Caspian, who knows more about Tiny’s rich inner life than anyone else. As she struggles to maintain the glossy façade on which the Hardcastle family’s ambitions are built, Tiny begins to suspect that Frank is hiding a reckless entanglement of his own…one that may unravel both her own ordered life and her husband’s promising career.
¬¬Reviewed by Monique¬¬
TINY LITTLE THING is a superb story of a young political wife of the 1960s.
Spending the summer in Cape Code was what everyone who was anyone did in 1966, and of course, that’s where Christina “Tiny” Hardcastle was, while her husband Frank remained in Washington. Tiny is the perfect, pretty, young political wife to the perfect young up-and-coming politician, as she was the dutiful daughter. The day before Caspian “Cap” Harrington, Frank’s cousin, is to accept the Medal of Honor from the President himself, Tiny receives a disturbing envelope with photographs and an anonymous note. Tiny is being blackmailed; it’s the summer before her husband’s first congressional election, and decidedly not the best time. Caspian is coming back to the Cape with Frank, but no one knows that Tiny and Cap have met before.
Ms. Williams does such a wonderful job at recreating the mid-1960s; she sends the reader back in time, but that era is often positively chilling, especially when it comes to the political elite’s double standards and warped ways of doing things. TINY LITTLE THING is told mostly from Tiny’s point of view, and I love the tone: I felt like Tiny was talking to me; it’s in turns snarky or insightful, amusing or very serious. The book alternates between 1966 and 1964, as the mystery surrounding the blackmailing slowly comes to light. The characters are extremely complex and the family dynamics are, to say the least, very interesting. Tiny has always done what was expected of her, and in a way has always been a bit shallow but very ambitious and determined to be the wife of a successful man, but how far is she willing to go?
The author writes in a fluid and smooth style, and scrupulously respects the vocabulary and the everyday details of the era; the dialogues are splendid and entirely reflect the nature of the characters; I could hear Tiny’s posh and slightly snobbish mid-Atlantic accent. TINY LITTLE THING seems, at first glance, rather innocuous, but brace yourselves for shockers!
I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book.