Genre: Rom-com, drama, family, romance
Strengths: Inspirational, motivational, feel-good reading
Summary:Not author’s best book and it’s easy, feel-good read, great summer read!
I love this heart melting, tear jerker, emotional, riveting and realistic family story! You can find a part of yourself written in this story. The dynamics between mothers and daughter, daughter with father are so familiar.
So far I think this is one of my favorite Kristan Higging’s books tells about life, happiness, dreams, realities, betrayal, lies, thin red line between life and death, childhood sweethearts, resentments, infertility, lack of communication.
The story is told by POVS of four different members of the family:
Barb: mother, wants a divorce after living with her husband like two strangers in the same house for last 10 years. She has so many resentments about her marriage, about their shared life and the anger, frustration she has bottled up for years are about to come out with explosive burst out! When she is about to tell her decision, she finds out her husband at the hospital, he had a stroke and he is in critical condition. And the last stab wound comes as she also finds by husband’s text messages that he has a mistress for so long! Dammit! Shame, anger, desperation hit her face! She has to keep it to herself. Her daughters cannot find out!
Juliet: She’s mother’s favorite, successful architect with two daughters, adorable husband. She is responsible, perfectionist, dependable but yes now she’s 42 and competing 10 years younger nemesis colleague who takes entire credit from her own hard work, dealing with animosity of her teenage daughter who hit the puberty, suffering from panic attacks. Yes, she was my less likeable character. I found her parts of the story not so interesting but she has an important part for family dynamics that I have to admit.
Sadie: 31, free spirited, joyful artist, living in big apple, dating with gorgeous rich boyfriend but her dreams become a successful painter slowly fades away and she faces with the reality and gets a teaching job at Bronx. She never gets over her ex Noah, childhood sweetheart, two times proposed her before. Now she proposes her new boyfriend, she gets rejection and after hearing that her father’s stroke, she has to go back to her hometown and face her past, including seeing Noah having a baby.
I have to admit I enjoyed Noah and Sadie’s heartbreaking, emotional love story so much and I wished they had their own book. I felt like their story is told too fast like watching a summary of series’ entire season in 5 minutes. I couldn’t absorb their angst, despair, emotional breakdowns. Two people madly love each other but want different things from life but unfortunately they keep finding each other for breaking hearts. Wow! Yes I rooted for these stubborn, passionate characters!
And John, father of the family, seems like the villain of the story. The cheater and the responsible of his wife’s unhappiness: Some of you may think he got what he deserved!
We got some parts of his story and his thoughts about his loved ones in pieces because the author gives us a tour of a man’s brain suffering from stroke, barely gathering his thoughts, feelings. He barely forms words to communicate with people.
That’s true: he is bad husband and he had soft spot on Sadie, teamed up with her against his wife and Juliet. But as you read more parts about family story you start to understand, there are so many unsaid words, misunderstandings drifted them apart. And you also start to get that each of the parties can make mistakes to ruin a long term commitment and without coming clear about your feelings, you never find your own happiness.
Overall: I wish there were three different books because all those POVS deserved to be told separately. There are so many good three unique stories belong to three women here. But I still loved the author’s way of telling things genuinely from her heart and of course I liked my journey to a family’s impeccably depicted and heartwarmingly, poignantly developed story. So it deserved my solid 4 stars.
Special thanks to NetGalley and Berkley for sharing this meaningful ARC COPY with me in exchange my honest review. It is always pleasure to read Kristan Higgins’ amazing stories.