An Old House Teaches ‘A Hundred Small Lessons’ [REVIEW]

Elsie and Lucy

A house connects two women at very different points in their lives in Ashley Hay’s A Hundred Small Lessons. (Photo by donireewalker, Flickr)

We’ve frequently heard the saying, “if walls could talk, think of the stories they could tell.” In Ashley Hay’s new novel, A Hundred Small Lessons, we learn about two families who inhabited the same house at very different points in their lives, and it demonstrates how one home connects generations in a very unique way.

Ashley Hay's A HUNDRED SMALL LESSONS - Credit Atria Books

Atria Books

Elsie Gormley lived in the same house in Brisbane, Australia for 60 years, until the day she fell and couldn’t get up. That’s when Lucy Kiss and her young family move in, eager to start their life together in a new home. But all isn’t well in paradise, and Lucy and her husband, Ben, have to come to terms with their new life and the complications parenthood can bring.

Meanwhile, Elsie misses her home and her freedom. The house holds so many memories for her. It’s where she lived with her spouse and children, where some dreams were born while others died, and where she thought she would live out the rest of her days. But as the languid, blazing summer heat wears on, Lucy and Elsie’s lives become remarkably intertwined in ways that neither ever expected and which will ultimately change both of them forever.

A Hundred Small Lessons is a novel that is full of heart, and which addresses topics like aging, parenthood, and marriage with unflinching honesty. Here, Ashley Hay proves once again that she knows how to write a darn good story, one that navigates matters of the heart like an intrepid explorer, deftly identifying the threads that weave all of our lives together in a beautiful tapestry. This is a stunning novel that celebrates our humanity, and reminds each of us of the myriads of ways our lives are interconnected as mankind. This is one for the keeper shelf!


Ashley Hay is the internationally acclaimed author of the novels The Body in the Clouds and The Railwayman’s Wife, which was honored with the Colin Roderick Award by the Foundation for Australian Literary Studies and longlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award, the most prestigious literary prize in Australia, among numerous other accolades.

Hay completed a Doctorate of Creative Arts through the University of Technology, Sydney, and has held an adjunct Senior Research Fellow position in the School of English, Media Studies and Art History at the University of Queensland.

She lives in Brisbane, Australia. Vist Ashley at her home on the Web at and like her on Facebook.

By Ashley Hay
304 pgs. Atria Books. $26.

TLC Book Tours Tour HostPurchase A Hundred Small Lessons at one of these fine online retailers: Amazon, Books-A-Million, and Barnes & Noble.

A Hundred Small Lessons is brought to you in association with TLC Book Tours.

A Hundred Small Lessons Giveaway

Want to win a copy of A Hundred Small Lessons for your personal library? Simply complete the form below and click submit to enter. Giveaway is limited to U.S. and Canadian residents only. Contest ends December 13, 2017.

About Jathan Fink
Jathan is a journalist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. He is also a travel junkie, foodie and jazz aficionado. A California native, he resides in Texas.

3 Responses to An Old House Teaches ‘A Hundred Small Lessons’ [REVIEW]

  1. Pingback: Ashley Hay, author of A HUNDRED SMALL LESSONS, on tour November/December 2017 | TLC Book Tours

  2. Thanks for being a part of the tour!

  3. Jathan Fink says:

    Reblogged this on Jadeworks Entertainment and commented:

    Two women, one at the end of her life and the other just beginning, find their lives irrevokably intertwined by an old house in Ashley Hay’s stunning new novel, A Hundred Small Lessons.

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