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Now That You Mention It: A Novel Paperback – December 26, 2017
"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
Read the absorbing new psychological suspense thriller from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Marisha Pessl. Pre-order today
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"Emotional depth is seared into every page along with wry banter, bringing readers to tears and smiles. Another hit for Higgins." -Library Journal, starred review of On Second Thought
"Higgins' latest tour de force is a captivating read about love, loss and new beginnings." -RT Book Reviews, on On Second Thought , 5 stars
"[An] emotionally compelling story [and] perceptive study of love, marriage, sisterhood, and loyalty. A powerful, emotionally textured winner.?" -Kirkus Reviews on If You Only Knew
"The kind of book I enjoy the most-sparkling characters, fast-moving plot and laugh-out-loud dialogue. A winner!" -New York Times bestselling author Susan Elizabeth Phillips on If You Only Knew
"Poignant, funny and richly entertaining." -NPR on If You Only Knew
"This emotional journey is filled with drama, laughter and tears and squeezes the heart. It should be on every bedside table in the country!" -#1 New York Times bestselling author Robyn Carr on If You Only Knew
"Oh, what a satisfying and delicious read! I admired the writing, the wit, the keen eye at work here. Thank you, Kristan Higgins." -Elinor Lipman on If You Only Knew
"Higgins' tender, heartfelt If You Only Knew bridges the gap between romance and women's fiction." -BookPage
"Hilarious... Kristan Higgins is spot on with her dialogue and characters. A fantastic story." -Fresh Fiction on If You Only Knew
About the Author
Kristan Higgins is the New York Times, Publishers Weekly and USA TODAY bestselling author whose books have been translated into more than twenty languages. She has received dozens of awards and accolades, including starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, The New York Journal of Books and Kirkus.
Kristan lives in Connecticut with her heroic firefighter husband, two atypically affectionate children, a neurotic rescue mutt and an occasionally friendly cat.
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Now, Nora is back home. Reassessing her life, and seeing that her sister is currently in jail, Nora wants to help out with her niece who has newly moved to Scupper Island to live with her grandmother. She's also looking for answers as to where her father went all those years ago and why he never reached out again to Nora and her sister. While Nora knows that past isn't easily forgotten, she'll begin to understand that sometimes how we perceive things can change as you get older. And working through what scares us will ultimately help us grow.
I've never read a Kristan Higgins book that I didn't enjoy so I was pretty much predisposed to like Now That You Mention It. With a lot of rumination on the past, especially when Nora was an awkward teenager, I was reminded a lot of Until There Was You, most especially with regards to the body issues that Nora faces as a teenager / young adult kind of on the other side of the spectrum from what Posey faces.
While I've always enjoyed Kristan Higgins's romances, I liked that this time around the romance took a backseat to other relationships, namely Nora trying desperately to connect with her sister again as well as her mother to a little lesser extent. After their father left Nora and her sister Lily, their close relationship started to derail with Lily seeking out the popular crowd in school and becoming a veritable wild-child, and Nora gaining some heartbreaking body issues which cause her to shy away from a lot of social interactions, and yes, she gets made fun of. The idea that a lot of the problems that Nora ends up facing as a teenager stems from her father leaving is something that's explored throughout the story, yet not blatantly given as an excuse. Nora's mother is also a very I'd say private person. Someone who works hard, but doesn't like to, or possibly even know how, to talk about personally matters. When Nora comes back home, she hopes to finally get her mother to open up about what really happened between her mother and father.
There's also this idea of perception. Nora remembers the times she and Lily spent with their father as the most fun adventures ever. She remembers her mother as the killjoy of those fun times. It's only after coming back home as an adult, that Nora can look back at those moments and see that, even though they may have been fun, they were also potentially dangerous. Also, yes Nora had a tough time in high school especially after her father left, but what she failed to see at the time was that there were other people, as she realizes as she's welcomed (or not) back into town by her former classmates, who knew Nora as the smart and kind person that she was. They saw beyond what Nora saw as her "failings". But again it's that whole perspective thing going on there.
I also felt that Now That You Mention It took on a little bit darker subject matter than Kristan Higgins's books have in the past. So on top of everything else Nora has going on, she's still justifiably reeling from an ordeal she went through about a year previous. Not wanting to give too much away, I'll suffice it to say that it's bad (understatement). I loved how strong of a character Nora is. How she fights every day to be ok and to keep moving forward even though it would be really easy for her to turn inward again like she did when she was younger. And Nora's relationship with her sister might never be the same again, but she won't give up on her. The same with her mother. Her mother might not be the most open or sharing person, but Nora just keeps asking the questions and keeps waiting for the answers. She doesn't give up, and I admired that immensely about her character.
There was a lot going on in this story, but Kristan Higgins really made everything flow together quite nicely. There's also the message that not everything can be or will be fixed by the end. We get some good headway made, but not everything is perfectly solved by The End. Which I think goes further to enhance upon the message to keep fighting as Nora does. Don't give up.
I would genuinely like to see Nora's sister Lily get her own book. She's a character that we only see in flashbacks or in reference. Her character doesn't technically make an appearance as an adult, which I found interesting. I'd love if her story was extended.
Overall, it's Kristan Higgins. What can I say. She's one of my go-to authors for a reason. Now That You Mention It is another good read by one of my favorites.
However, this book surprised me. And not in a good way. The story is so well-written--she truly is always at the top of her game--but I feel sort of misled.
Now that You Mention It has all the trappings of a Kristan Higgins novel; humor, likeable protagonist, sassy friends, cheerful cover and jacket description. However, that's where it ends. I wish there was some indication that this was NOT a lighthearted romp. Every author has the right to branch off and try something new, but the last thing I was expecting was a story with so much violence and misery. It was like watching a TV reporter smile pleasantly while delivering a story about death and mayhem. Or a singer --as I once saw on American Idol do -- perform 'Gimme Shelter' while dancing around and grinning. It just doesn't add up and not what I expected when I picked up the book. I suspect the marketing department is more to blame than the author, but those are my thoughts.
However, I remain a huge fan and look forward to her next book.