The Minuscule Mansion of Myra Malone

Books on Tape. Jan. 2023. 9:58 hrs. ISBN 9780593626443. $76. F
It would be easy for Burges’s debut about a mysterious doll-less doll house and its real-world counterpart to be all quirk and no feeling, but instead it’s a moving novel of generational trauma and love. Myra Malone is an introverted recluse whose only outlet is creating stories about the tiny mansion her step-grandmother left her. Her best (and only) friend has created an online following from Myra’s work, which leads to Alex, a man who lives thousands of miles away, discovering that Myra’s doll house is his actual home—down to the furniture she’s made. This connection, along with flashbacks, leads listeners to discover how these two strangers are connected and what the minuscule mansion truly is. Narrator Christine Lakin’s Myra is believably anxious and wounded but infectiously determined as well. Listeners will root for Myra’s plans and will ache when her insecurities undermine her. Alex’s pain is narrated more quietly and internally but is no less sharp for that.
VERDICT Listening to these gentle souls orbit each other as they solve the mysteries around their homes is a salve to the heart.
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