As Bright as Heaven by Susan Meissner
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I am always a fan of a good historical fiction book. I love learning more about the past within a fictional story. Susan Meissner is one of my favorite authors that does a good job of this. Her latest book, As Bright as Heaven, is coming out February 6, 2018, and I got the chance to review the book through NetGalley.
About the book: In 1918, Philadelphia was a city teeming with promise. Even as its young men went off to fight in the Great War, there were opportunities for a fresh start on its cobblestone streets. Into this bustling town, came Pauline Bright and her husband, filled with hope that they could now give their three daughters–Evelyn, Maggie, and Willa–a chance at a better life.
But just months after they arrive, the Spanish Flu reaches the shores of America. As the pandemic claims more than twelve thousand victims in their adopted city, they find their lives left with a world that looks nothing like the one they knew. But even as they lose loved ones, they take in a baby orphaned by the disease who becomes their single source of hope. Amidst the tragedy and challenges, they learn what they cannot live without–and what they are willing to do about it.
As Bright as Heaven is the compelling story of a mother and her daughters who find themselves in a harsh world not of their making, which will either crush their resolve to survive or purify it.
I didn’t know too much about the Spanish Flu and this book takes place right in the middle of it as well as the Great War (World War I.) The way the characters are immersed in that world makes you really feel for them. I found myself wondering how I would be acting as a mother if I had to deal with that with my own children.
As with any book that takes place during a war, it is always interesting to me to read about how things were so different back then, but also how some other things are still the same. Saying goodbye to someone going off to war is difficult whether it is to Europe in 1918 or Iraq in 2017.
This was also the first book I have read of Susan Meissner’s that did not have a connection to present time and I admit that I missed that part of her books. I like how she ties that in usually. That being said, this book was still so enjoyable.
There are quite a few points of view as the story is told from the perspective of a mother as well as her three daughters. Susan Meissner does an amazing job of weaving all these stories together and giving each of them their own voice, even though some of them are children.
If you are a fan of historical fiction, if you are looking for a good book to dive into this winter, or you want something to get lost in during your spouse’s next deployment, order your copy of As Bright as Heaven (you can do so on Amazon) or check out any of Susan Meissner’s other books she has written. You won’t be disappointed.