Cover Image: Tiny Pieces of Us

Tiny Pieces of Us

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Member Reviews

I absolutely loved this book and have already recommended it to a handful of people. Having read quite a few of Pellegrino's books in the past, I knew I would enjoy her writing but was prepared for this one to be quite different to her other books as there was no mention of Italy in the description. However I was delightfully surprised that there was an Italian trip, which honestly made the book for me! I immediately went and put some more Pellegrino books on order at my library and can't wait to dive back into her more of her signature Italian stories. 

One of my favourite things is when an author brings characters from unrelated books into their other books - I don't know why I love it so much it just makes me happy and I loved to see Raffaella from Villa Rosa make an appearance in this book. 

Vivi Palmer is a daughter, sister and aunt, a reporter at the Daily Post and a heart transplant recipient. 7 years ago Vivi was blessed with the miracle of a new heart, meaning a second chance at life. When her work brings her into contact with the mother of the teenage boy her heart belonged to she is set for an emotional journey. Grace requests that Vivi locate all of the other recipients of her son's organs and Vivi cannot say no - after all, this is the woman who ultimately saved her life and she is indebted to her forever. 

This book ended in the most lovely way, it made my heart happy. I loved Vivi's sister Imogen and would actually love to read a book on her next!
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4.5⭐️ As someone who has had a loved one receive the gift of life from an organ donor I really connected with this beautiful story by Nicky Pellegrino! I thought Nicky did a wonderful job of providing insight into what the process of organ donation actually involves and also how it affects the families on both sides - donor and recipient. Although quite heartbreaking at moments this is a beautiful celebration of hope, life and connection. This was my first novel by Nicky but I can’t wait to read more of her work! 💕
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A big thank you to Netgalley and Hachette Australia for this digital copy to read and review!
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This was such a lovely novel. Truly heartfelt and deeply affecting. I’ve never read such a multifaceted account of organ donation before and I appreciated the many views and perspectives, giving me so much to think on that I never would have thought on before.

“She is so lost in grief that I think this search is almost like a form of therapy,” I explained. “And meeting all of the recipients may help her accept that Jamie is gone. It’s what I’m hoping for anyway, that it might be healing, because I think things have been desperate…really desperate. I’m worried about her.”

There was a well of sadness within this novel, particularly relating to Grace, the mother who donated the organs of her teenager after he died tragically in a bicycle traffic accident. Grace’s grief was deep and I could relate as a mother to the pain she would have been in. However, on the other side, I found Grace’s fixation on the donor recipients unhealthy and uncomfortable. There were times where she definitely seemed to see them less as people and more as vessels containing a piece of her son. It was very tricky terrain and I feel that the author navigated this issue and the many thorny areas surrounding it with empathy and honesty. It was all very well done.

‘None of us could say no to Grace and I was beginning to see the potential for a problem. She was such an unknown quantity. Who was to say meeting us all would be enough? What if it didn’t help her at all; what might she want next?’

While the story is primarily told from the perspective of Vivi, the recipient of Jamie’s heart, the story also dips in and out of other key perspectives at pivotal times within the plot. We might only hear from a character once or twice, but the insight was useful in driving the plot forward and also in offering a differing voice, not that Vivi was annoying or anything, but even so, a new voice here and there is always refreshing.

‘My sister didn’t get it and that was fine. This was no time to remind her that borrowed hearts don’t last forever; I might not be around to see Farah and Darya grow up; we weren’t going to get old together, she and I. That knowledge was always there, and even though I tried to keep it small and safe at the back of my mind, how could it not affect the way I lived the shorter life I was bound to have?’

I did really enjoy the sister bond between Vivi and Imogen and the sidebar issue of Imogen’s fracturing and the long term effects on her that stemmed from growing up as the older sister of someone who was constantly facing death. The relationship between the sisters was heartfelt and relatable, and I enjoyed the very real affection they had for each other and the way in which this played out through their dialogue and text messaging.

‘When you have another person’s heart inside your chest it is natural to worry about every flutter, each moment when your heart seems to skip a beat or hammer out too many, any sense of tightness or sharp pain. You don’t shrug off those things, assuming there is nothing to be concerned about like other people might.’

Above all though, this novel offers a great deal of insight into the entire process of organ donation stretching beyond the transplant. There were many things I had no idea about and was surprised to discover. I honestly didn’t know the extent to which the battle for life continued for the recipient, and nor did I realise that their life was still shortened, that the transplant doesn’t ‘save’ them, it just gives them extra years and an improved, but not wholly well, quality of life. This was the first novel by Nicky Pellegrino that I’ve read and it was a brilliant introduction to her work. I can highly recommend this one and look forward to reading more of her books.

Thanks is extended to Hachette Australia for providing me with a copy of Tiny Pieces of Us for review.
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Tiny pieces of us is a heartwarming and poignant story of how Vivi comes face-to-face with her donor's mother, Grace, who wants something in return for Vivi's second-hand heart: her help to find all the other people who have tiny pieces of her son. This book should come with a box of Kleenex, I cried tears of sadness, I could feel their pain, but there was also moments of joy and hope and a connection between the characters that was extremely powerful. Nicky Pellegrino has outdone herself,this wasn't a fluffy romance featuring the odd recipe, rather it was a character driven novel that really made me see the what ifs.
Excellent book 4 stars
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‘My heart Is less than one per cent of my body; it is only a tiny piece of me. All I can do is trust it will keep beating, that it’s valves will open and close, pumping blood round my body. All I can do is hope and live, like everyone...like other ordinary people.’⁣
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🥳 Happy pub day to Tiny Pieces of Us!🥳⁣
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Grace is uncertain about the fateful decision she made years ago to have her 16 year old son’s life support switched off. Yet, his death allowed 5 others to live. He lost out on his dreams, so they could live theirs, and she’s beginning to wonder whether they’re making the most of it...
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Vivi feels like she’s living on borrowed time. With a genetic condition which required a heart transplant at age 19, this second chance at life still feels unreal. Seven years later, she’s still on high alert, wondering if/when her body will reject the foreign organ. Knowing this, she keeps everything in her life transient, just in case. At the same time, Her family cocoon her in cotton wool. ⁣
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When her boss/ sometimes boyfriend Dan asks her to pursue a story featuring her donor’s mum, Vivi isn’t sure it’s a great idea. Soon though, she comes face to face with Grace, who wants something in exchange for the piece of Jamie she has... ⁣
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I really enjoyed this one! The idea that a loved one can live on through the lives of others is so bittersweet. Discovering this shared history with others and building a new ‘family’ of sorts is so heartwarming too. 😭😭😭 The family, career and relationship dynamics in the book provided depths to the story that I really loved.⁣
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Of course, being a Nicky Pellegrino book, we’re soon whisked off to Southern Italy, and long time readers will already anticipate the destination long before it’s mentioned...The Villa Rosa. (With a special cameo!). Nicky’s books never fail to transport me to another time and place and this one is no different.
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Thanks very much to @hachetteaus for sending this my way!
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I was unable to review this book as the publisher has removed it. I own every book Nicky Pellegrino has published and she is an absolute favourite of mine. I will be buying this book when it is released later in the month.
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I loved this  book so much!!!!  I totally related to these characters, and at one point felt like niki was based on me!!!  It was a beautiful story. Showing that you never really know what people are going through. I didn’t realize that this book was based in Australia, and was pleased this wasn’t mentioned until further in as I don’t usually like books based in Australia. But this book brilliant!!
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