Review of As Bright As Heaven
I picked As Bright As Heaven for my January BOTM pick. I started this figuring that I'd like it just fine and ended up loving it.
I loved the historical context: WWI and and the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic. I'm not as familiar with WWI stories (especially when compared to how many WWII stories I've read), and knew only basic facts about the Spanish flu crisis. Meissner drew those two events together in a very natural way that was easy to read.
I loved the mother-daughters narration: the story is told through alternating perspectives among the mother, Pauline, and her three daughters, Evelyn, Maggie, and Willa. Each character had a distinct personality that felt genuine rather than contrived. I grew to appreciate each woman's virtues and flaws, and I loved seeing the events of the story through differing lenses.
The end came together more tidily than I expected, and while sometimes that can feel disingenuous to a story, I welcomed the settled conclusions. Sure, often life doesn't come together smoothly, but sometimes it does. And I liked that the Brights' stories came together in a way that didn't feel like selling out.
Have you read As Bright As Heaven? Or any other books of Susan Meissner's?