When Mae and Hannah’s parents are killed by a tsunami in Malaysia, the two sisters’ lives are turned upside down. Hannah, emotion-driven and artistic, struggles under the weight of opioid addiction as she grieves for her family and the life she’s lost. Meanwhile, Mae, who dreams of working at NASA, grapples with having been orphaned by the loving parents who adopted her and wonders how much more she’ll have to give up to save what’s left of her family. As the aftermath of the wave washes up family secrets and questions about the future, both girls must learn to move forward, holding onto each other and the love their parents left behind.
In Little Universes, Heather Demetrios (I’ll Meet You There) delivers a story that will break readers’ hearts and put them back together again several times over. As the novel alternates perspectives between poetic Hannah and logical Mae, Demetrios creates two equally powerful voices that evolve brilliantly, growing more distinct and yet drawing together as the two sisters navigate their changing relationship through their unique responses to unimaginable trauma.
Demetrios addresses potent material, including death, addiction, abortion, sexual assault and adultery, with incredible nuance and respect, enabling readers who don’t share Hannah’s and Mae’s experiences to connect deeply with what they’ve been through. Little Universes is a challenging, emotional read, but it will leave readers reassured by the power of love and of their place in this universe.