Readers' Favorite

June 30, 2024

New Novel from Kristan Higgins is the Perfect Vacation Read

by Susan Roberts

A funny, romantic, and deeply moving novel about the unexpected rewards that come from life’s detours.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

book cover of women's fiction novel Look on the Bright Side by Kristan Higgins
May 2024; Berkley; 978-0593547649
audio, ebook, print (432 pages); women's fiction 

Look on the Bright Side
is family fiction at its best.  This family is just like many families in real life - they love each other but when they get together there is a lot of teasing and bickering ...just like it was at the house that I grew up in.  There are three strong women whose stories are the basis of the book.

Lark is a doctor.  Her goal is to work as an oncology doctor but her boss decided that she cried too much and in the latest death she was involved in - the family had to comfort her.  She gets moved to the emergency department and finds it to be full of challenges but her dream is to go back to oncology.  She lost someone very close to her to cancer several years before and wants to help people and families and help to find a cure.  As she is going through her sadness about moving, she is approached by a surgeon who has an offer for her. He is unliked by the people at the hospital due to his arrogance and has a nickname of Dr Satan.  He needs a date for the summer and for his sister's wedding.  She is pretty much against it until he offers her a chance to get back into oncology and then she decides to give it a try.

Lark's mom Ellie is an artist and owns a gallery in town.  She and her husband are still in love after all these years and everyone feels that they are the perfect couple...until she finds out a secret about him and moves out.  She has to decide what direction her future will go.  She moves in with Joy, who is also Lark's landlady.

Joy has spent her entire life being unhappy with herself.  The only person she ever really loved - despite several marriages - was her brother who just died.  She needs to work on her self-image and learn to love herself.

The three women characters are all at a crossroads in their lives and need to figure out what direction they need to go to find happiness and fulfillment.  Lark's story is the most prominent but we also get chapters from Ellie and Joy.  I must admit that Joy was my favorite character.  She was a wonderful woman who wanted everyone around her to be happy but she never spent any time on her own happiness.

This is a book about family and love, grief and recovery, and learning to love yourself and trust your decisions on your quest to find personal happiness.

Susan Roberts grew up in Michigan but loves the laid-back life at her home in the Piedmont area of North Carolina where she is two hours from the beach to the east and the mountains in the west.  She reads almost anything but her favorite genres are Southern Fiction and Historical Fiction.   

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