Dragonfly Books is hosting an evening with bestselling author Heather Gudenkauf and her new book, “Little Mercies,” Friday, July 18, at 7 p.m. at Dragonfly Books. 

Gudenkauf, the New York Times bestselling author of “These Things Hidden” and “The Weight of Silence”, returns with a new, ripped-from-the-headlines novel with “Little Mercies.”

Never one to shy away from hard topics, Gudenkauf has written  a powerful, emotionally charged story about motherhood and justice, where a good woman searches for redemption after a small mistake threatens to change her life forever.

Veteran social worker Ellen Moore has seen the worst side of humanity – the vilest acts one person can commit against another. She is a fiercely dedicated children’s advocate and a devoted mother and wife. But one blistering summer day, a simple moment of distraction will have repercussions that Ellen could never have imagined.

Meanwhile, 10 year-old Jenny Briard is forced to leave her father behind and finds herself on her own in a strange city with nothing but the contents of her backpack. When Ellen’s and Jenny’s lives collide, little do they know just how much they can help one another. Little Mercies is a thought-provoking novel that illuminates the harrowing world of social workers as they tackle complex family and relationship issues. Heather Gudenkauf is at her best, deftly crafting a searing portrait of the tenuous grasp we have on the things we love the most and of the ties that unexpectedly bring us together.

“Little Mercies” (Harlequin Mira 2014) is Gudenkauf’s fourth novel. 

Born in Wagner, S.D. the youngest of six children, Gudenkauf  moved with her family to Iowa when she was three. 

Having been born with a profound unilateral hearing impairment (there were many evenings when Heather and her father made a trip to the bus barn to look around the school bus for her hearing aids that she often conveniently would forget on the seat beside her), she  tended to use books as a retreat. 

She would climb into the toy box with a pillow, blanket, and flashlight, close the lid, and escape the world around her. She became a voracious reader and the seed of becoming a writer was planted.

Gudenkauf graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in elementary education, and has spent her career working with students of all ages and continues to work in education as a title / reading coordinator. She lives in Iowa with her husband, three children, and a spoiled German Shorthaired Pointer named Maxine.

This event is sponsored by Dragonfly Books at 112 W. Water Street, Decorah and is free and open to the public. 

To learn more about this and other events at Dragonfly Books, please visitdragonflybooks.com, or call 563-382-4275.