Welcome to my stop on The Smallest Man blog tour! Huge thanks to Random Things Tours for giving me the opportunity to take part in this! I was provided a copy of the novel in exchange for an honest review.
Set in 1625, The Smallest Man focuses on the life of Nat Davy, perhaps you’ve heard of him? Although Nat Davy may be England’s smallest man, he has a big story to tell and a big heart to match! Growing up poor in Oakham, Nat was disappointed to find he wasn’t, well, growing. After his grand plan to get taller fails, he finds himself in a pie to be presented to Queen Henrietta Maria, King Charles I’s wife. However, life as the Queen’s pet isn’t as easy or as luxurious as it seems, especially when they have to go on the run as civil war breaks out and their lives are in danger.
The entire novel is narrated by Nat and I absolutely loved him as a protagonist! I particularly liked how this was Nat retelling his story rather than us living the story along with him for the first time. By having a retrospective narrative voice Nat is able to provide additional insight to certain scenes or talk about something he regrets or missed at the time. Not only did this give us some extra information but it also showed us more of Nat’s personality and how he has, pardon the pun, grown from this. I really liked all of the characters (well apart from Crofts but no one likes him), I especially loved the friendships that Nat formed over the course of the novel with the Queen, Jeremiah, Henry and Arabella. Every character in the novel served a purpose and I didn’t feel like there was any that were forgotten or not developed.
I thought the pacing of the novel was really well done and, for me, the pages just flew by. As I was so invested in the characters, I was hooked and needed to know what was going to happen! Whilst the novel is based on real life events in terms of the English civil war, I still didn’t know how the novel would end. Would Nat turn on the Queen? Would Nat be reunited with his family? I really loved the tone of the novel, how it can go from the serious side and the difficulties that Nat goes through, to being quite funny and amusing. Whilst this makes the characters more likeable, it also makes the serious moments more painful and poignant as it isn’t usual to the narrative.
Overall, this was a lovely novel with a lot of heart. The Smallest Man is the heartwarming and uplifting novel that is needed at the beginning of 2021 and I recommend that you pick yourself up a copy when it is published on 7th January 2021!
About the Author
Frances Quinn read English at King’s College, Cambridge, and is a journalist and copywriter. She has written for magazines including Prima, Good Housekeeping, She, Woman’s Weekly and Ideal Home. She lives in Brighton with her husband and who Tonkinese cats. The Smallest Man is her first novel. Follow her on Twitter @franquinn.