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Tiny Pieces of Us by Nicky Pellegrino

Updated: Aug 7


As reviewed on The Cafe, TV3!

Nicky Pellegrino almost doesn’t need an introduction. She is one of New Zealand’s most beloved writers, and she has written many novels set in Italy, including Under Italian Skies, A Dream of Italy and A Year at Hotel Gondola.


Her latest novel, Tiny Pieces of Us opens in London and follows the story of journalist Vivi. She was born with a heart defect and was given a second chance at life after a transplant. But she’s never quite dared to make the most of her new life. She works for a tabloid newspaper, where she would much rather be writing more important stories. She has a casual relationship with her unsuitable boss as she doesn’t want to take the risk on marriage and having a family with someone decent.


But then something happens that forces her to make a change. Vivi does a story that brings her face-to-face with the mother of her donor. Grace has never recovered from the death of her teenage son James, but meeting Vivi gives her a new interest in life. And she wants Vivi’s help and her journalism skills in finding the other people who have tiny pieces of her son. At first Vivi is reluctantly drawn into tracking down this small group of strangers, but as she tracks them down one by one, she forges relationships with a new kind of family and she dares to dream of a more fulfilling life.


Just when you think this novel won't be set in Italy, Vivi goes on holiday with her sister and her nieces in Italy, and they invite some of the people who have been donated organs. So Nicky Pellegrino manages to cleverly weave in some Italian sunshine, food, wine and culture.


I think Tiny Pieces of Us is Nicky’s best book yet! I loved it. It made me cry, it was that emotionally engaging. It’s a sensational read, beautifully written, and sensitively done given the subject matter.


Reviewer: Karen McMillan

Published by Hachette

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