Book Title: As Bright as Heaven
Author: Susan Meissner
Release Date: 6th February, 2018
Genre: Historical Fiction
My Rating: 5/5
I feel I should start by thanking Berkley Pub (and many other publishers and authors for that matter) for being so patient with someone like me, who despite getting the advance copy several months ahead of publication, could not manage the time to review this early. My university and my line of studies often takes a toll on my passion for writing about books but you guys still make my blogging truly worth it. Thank you, you are awesome.
This is probably the first five star contemporary read I have ever reviewed in my blog and this is also my first five star read this year so that is saying something. I know for a fact that I will be fangirling over this book and the author for a long time to come. I have already told a ton of people at my book clubs and on my social media accounts to read this and while recommending it, they all asked me what this was about and added that they had never heard of it. I had to tell them that they should get their asses moving because this book is worth all the hype it can possibly get.
If one likes biographies or memoirs and likes to have some history molded into it, or safe to say that if one has read and liked Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, then that person will undoubtedly love this book. This is the story of an American family during the time of WWI and the Spanish Influenza epidemic. I have never read a book on the Spanish flu epidemic so reading this was an eye opener. This book is written in memoir style, narrated by the four female members of the Bright family. Maggie, Evelyn, Willa and their mother Pauline are the narrators and they move to Philadelphia with along with the father right after suffering a great loss, hoping for a fresh start. Each of the children so beautifully unique and Meissner developed their characters with such finesse and dexterity! I was perplexed while proceeding from one chapter to another, pleasantly surprised by such literary personification of death. Meissner created these diverse personas who make cataclysmic blunders among their heartbreaks and their losses, and still find hope among all the stench of death and rot. Just when I thought that all the good parts are over and there can’t possibly be any more plot twists at this point, I was astounded. The book also effectively exhibits the value of mental health and the significance of its treatment.
Trust me when I say that I did not exaggerate any section of my review even a tiny bit and if you asked me to name some contemporary fictions that are likely to become classics in the future, this would definitely be one of my picks. If it doesn’t, well that’d be a shame.
To purchase the book:
click here to get it from Amazon USA
click here to get it from Amazon UK
click here to get it from Amazon India.