In the book blogging world, bloggers may be invited by publishers or blog tour organisers to read and review books to help raise awareness of them. Last October I received an email inviting me to be part of the blog tour to mark the publication of The Smallest Man that was due to be published in January 2021. As soon as I read the description of this book, I really wanted to be part of the blog tour – The Smallest Man definitely sounded like my type of book 🙂 . I quickly emailed back saying yes please, I’d love to be involved. However it wasn’t to be as all the blog tour slots had been snapped up at record speed. Like me, many of my fellow book bloggers loved the sound of The Smallest Man.
And then a few weeks later on social media, everyone in the book world seemed to be raving about how brilliant The Smallest Man was – book critics, authors, publishers, bloggers, you name it, everyone! There was a real buzz about this novel. I’ve got to be honest with you, I had a massive case of FOMO! And I mean MASSIVE!!!!
I needed to get my hands on a copy of The Smallest Man! I’m happy to say I finally did because as soon as it was published, I bought a very beautiful exclusive independent bookseller edition from the wonderful Fox Lane Books (you can imagine my joy when it came with the signature of the novel’s author Frances Quinn enclosed 🙂 ). And then it sat on my bookshelves for months because like most book bloggers, my To Be Read (TBR) pile is massive.
But now I have finally read The Smallest Man, and believe me, I have completely fallen in love with this captivating story. This is a novel I savoured, reading it very slowly simply because I didn’t want it to end. I loved every page.
The Smallest Man is Nat Davy’s own story – a story truly celebrating being different. It is stunning historical fiction set in the 17th century as Nat tells his poignant tale of how he was desperate to be just like the other boys, and as much as he tried, his body just wouldn’t grow. At the age of ten Nat is devastated to discover the reason why he is picked on and openly stared at – he is a dwarf. Also at the age of ten Nat’s father decides to sell his small son in exchange for a shilling. Nat is to be a ‘gift’ to Queen Henrietta, the new queen of England and young wife to Charles I.
Painfully missing his mother and siblings, Nat joins the royal court as an outsider, a misfit. Yet he soon realises he is not the only misfit and Nat begins to form unforgettable and enduring friendships with other outsiders. One of these friendships is with Queen Henrietta, who is also viewed as an outsider.
Inspired by the true story of the queen’s real life dwarf, Jeffrey Hudson, Frances Quinn created Nat’s challenging, sometimes dangerous and often uplifting story as he lives in a country ripped apart by civil war. Nat narrates this novel himself and I swear, he is so real, full of life, fun and laughter. He is also brave, proud and at times headstrong which can lead him into trouble. He’s also not very good at reading women if you know what I mean, which made me laugh, made me (in a nice way) frustrated towards him and also completely captured my heart. I absolutely love Nat. He is such a unique, standout character in fiction and his story is a true and brilliant page turner.
The Smallest Man is definitely one of my favourite books of 2021. Yes, it is historic fiction, but in so many ways it distinctly relates to society today. It is full of empathy, emotional intelligence and warmth. It is a novel that completely drew me in straight away and stole my heart. In my view it is sheer brilliance. It would also make a fantastic drama for the screen.
If you have not read this beautiful novel already, I urge you to do so. Just be warned, Nat’s story is sure to make you laugh, cry and steal your heart.
Thank you Frances Quinn for creating Nat and writing his unique, powerful and heart warming story for us all to enjoy. It’s a novel I’m going to be raving about for a long, long time.