Title: As Bright as Heaven
Author: Susan Meissner
Publisher: Berkley 2018
Genre: Historical Fiction
Rating: 4/5 stars
Reading Challenges: Mount TBR; Popsugar - About Death or Grief; Share-a-Tea
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.
I really enjoyed the other book I've read by Susan Meissner, so I had high hopes for this Book of the Month selection (from January, but shhh.... I'm a bit behind). This book had a very different field, but I really did enjoy this story. Taken as a whole, the story is a beautiful exploration of death and grief within one family. The story takes us on a journey that I wasn't quite expecting. The level of tragedy surprised me, but I was completely on board. The switch between chapters narrated by the four Bright women added another level of interest. At times I was drawn out of the story by the youngest daughter's voice, but for the most part I was right there with all of the characters.
I enjoyed this book while drinking multiple cups of Stash's Acai Berry Herbal Tea. It has a very strong berry flavor, but was a good choice before bed. No caffeine to keep me up all night, but warm tea to comfort me.
Next up on the TBR pile: