praise for a Million Things
‘An original and impressively assured debut. A gem of a novel.’
bestselling author of the Rosie trilogy
‘Poignant, uplifting and beautifully written.’
‘A Million Things swept me into its thrall so immediately that I didn’t realise I’d been holding my breath until I reached the end. With tender ferocity, Emily Spurr unravels the fragile knot between a bold ten-year-old girl, her absent mother, and a neighbourhood recluse on the brink of ruin or redemption. Fresh and slim, this novel pierces like a bullet and soothes like a psalm.’
–Amy Jo Burns, author of Shiner
‘Direct, assured writing, hard-hitting emotion and a wonderful sense of optimism. A Million Things is a debut to treasure, with characters whose dignity shines through their struggles.’
‘Beautifully written, equally heart-warming and heart-wrenching novel about family, friendship, love and resilience…An absorbing, wonderful read that showcases the importance of having even one special person to turn to and unconditional love. Keep the tissues close by.’
‘An enthralling, devastating debut… A Million Things is a shattering novel that perfectly captures the fractured moments between loss and letting go; between childhood and growing up, in which anything could change once the pieces fall.’
‘Really good. There are moments in the book where your heart stops.’
‘It is not hard to see why A Million Things was shortlisted for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award Unpublished Manuscript Prize last year. Spurr is a subtle writer, and though she writes genuinely dramatic incidents, the story is not overblown, and actions and reactions are written with a light touch…Spurr does a deft job of showing that people can surprise in good ways as well as bad.’
–The Weekend Australian
‘For book clubs who know honest friendship is the light in darkness.’
‘A powerful and challenging read from a new writer to watch.’
–The Big Issue
‘A remarkable book: beautifully written, tender, loving, humorous, heart-breaking, but all those other things as well, which is what we all love to read in the best of fiction.’
–The Book Show, ABC Radio National
‘Spurr expertly transforms an unlikely cast of loners into a set of profoundly connected individuals...there are moments in which the reader will laugh out loud. However, anyone who has experienced grief is likely to cry at least once before the covers close on this story. ’
‘Author Emily Spurr tells a tale of grief and resilience with refreshing simplicity.’
"Emily Spurr’s first novel is written with depth and heart and a plangent simplicity; her characters have a warmth and feisty resilience that she makes utterly believable, and the inevitable tricky ending is handled with confidence and flair."
–The Advertiser, Adelaide.
–The Australian Women's Weekly.
"Spurr deftly slides into Rae’s 10-year-old consciousness, expertly balancing the innocence and maturity of a child grown up too soon."
"Spurr delivers a haunting account of a young girl grappling with abandonment in this excellent debut...Through Rae’s devastating yet hopeful interior dialogue, Spurr delicately illustrates the complexity of loss and isolation."
"In this excellent debut…Spurr delicately illustrates the complexity of loss and isolation. Fans of Liane Moriarty should take a look.’."
"Spurr's gut-punch of a debut details 55 days in the life of 10-year-old Rae, who must look after herself and her beloved dog after her mother disappears. Warning: Stock up on Kleenex and prepare to feel all the feelings in this heartfelt story of resilience."