We’re starting a new series, Pivotal Pages, whereby we isolate snippets from our titles, short spans in which someone or something alters dramatically. Today we inaugurate the series with a spectacular scene from Jenn Scott’s All the Tiny Beauties, a novel that follows five characters in northern California as their lives intertwine.
This section plunges us in to the pov of Webb, a deeply conflicted and complicated character. As reviewer Mary Lannon notes in Necessary Fiction:
Webb’s father abuse[d] both wife and son, keeping everyone in their stereotypical gender roles . . . with oppressive rules. Scott conveys the lengths that folks will go to enforce those rules—the cruelties they inflict and the damage that they do, stirring powerful responses of shame, fear, and anger.
In these featured pages, however, our self-torturing protagonist finds surprising surcease—experiencing unfettered acceptance for the first time in his adult life. That well of acceptance is named Hila Firestone, a character the author, in an interview, says is “a character I desperately want to ask to dinner. It is Hila who urges Webb to explore who he is and to honor, rather than fear, the truths inside of him. She is, as Webb says, ‘a doer, and a maker.’ It is Hila who bridges Webb’s past with his present, and it is Hila who helps usher Webb—and in a sense, all the characters—into the future.”
Enjoy these pivotal pages from ALL THE TINY BEAUTIES!