As Little As Nothing by Pamela Mulloy

Mulloy’s newest novel is a character-driven story which features unique and diverse individuals. It opens a year before the Second World War and the novel takes us through to the following year when Germany invades Poland and war begins, much to the chagrin and disbelief of the characters. 

The book opens with the main character – Miriam – telling the reader why she needs to fly. Definitely, a great opening sentence which piques your interest. 

She hears the noise of an airplane in trouble and takes her bicycle to investigate when she sees it crash. We are introduced to the supporting character – Frank – who has a defective foot and we learn he has a liking for other men. They become friends when Frank offers to teach her to fly. 

Frank’s Aunt – Audrey – is a curious character who lives in a caravan and swims daily in the river. She advocates and preaches for women’s reproductive rights and befriends Miriam. 

Miriam has an odd relationship with her shopkeeper/gardening husband – Edmund – and he plays a minor but important role in the novel. 

The story is told from each character’s point of view. There were moments when sections needed to be re-read or read more slowly to understand the connection. All in all, Mulloy has crafted a well-researched novel at an important moment prior to World War II. I wouldn’t necessarily offer this as historical fiction, but rather an emotional ride through the characters as they prepare for the inevitable, hoping the war will never come to them. 

See also  A Taste of Hunger by Barbara Joan Scott

This is not a novel to rush through, but rather a story to be relished one page at a time. 


About the Author

Pamela Mulloy’s debut novel, The Deserters, was published in 2018 and shortlisted for the ReLit Award. She is the editor of The New Quarterly and director of the Wild Writers Literary Festival. She has lived in Poland, England, and the U.S., and currently resides in Kitchener, ON, with her husband and daughter.

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ ECW Press (Oct. 11 2022)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 270 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1770416366
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1770416369

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Anne Smith-Nochasak
Anne Smith-Nochasak
September 19, 2022 07:47

It does sound like a worthwhile read. I like the way you clarify the genre.

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