Tuesday, February 6, 2018

As Bright As Heaven by Susan Meissner

This is a novel about a young family who is moving to Philadelphia to learn a new trade and try to leave behind the pain of their baby son's death.  All is going well.  Uncle Fred takes them in and he intends to leave the business to their father upon his death.  They make friends at school and at home.  There is a war going on but they aren't affected by it yet.  Then the Spanish Flu comes to town and their father gets called to war ...

Berkley shared an ARC of this book with me for review (thank you).  It is being published today.

The flu spreads from family to family and no one is safe.  Uncle Fred is an undertaker and he soon has no place to store the bodies coming in.  They try to take to food to those who are ill (some do survive) and when the older daughter finds a baby in a house of death, she takes him home.  She thinks they can adopt them and then they won't miss Henry so much.  It's a good idea but it creates a circle that brings pain at the end.

The author writes the story well and you feel the emotions of the characters.  It's a sad tale with death on every corner.  But people are resilient and those who survive come back to life and love after the sorrowful event.  

I especially liked watching the girls grow up.  They each became their own person and are strong in their own way.  I certainly hope they all get to live happily ever after.  They deserve it after the tragedy in their earlier lives.

You feel like you've lived through this moment in history when you read this book.  I won't forget it soon.

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