Foxy Bibliophile – August 2017

This month’s hilarious selections come from Kristan Higgins, the Queen of Funny-yet-Touching Domestic Fiction/Romance.

I have a great deal of respect for Higgins as a writer, so much so, that I can overlook her political tweets that set my teeth on edge. Just saying.stone-figure-1464796_960_720.jpg

Pick up a Higgins book, and you’re in for a fun, poignant story about relationships between people, and especially between men and women.

And of course, there’s always a dog or two involved in the story-line. Who doesn’t love a canine sidekick or two?

What is terrific about Higgins’ last two offerings is her focus on the dynamics between sisters.

Each book is a standalone title and are linked to Amazon below. There are no spoilers ahead:

Beginning with the latest title…

ON SECOND THOUGHT, Kristan Higgins. HQN Books, 2017. 442 pages.

Grab this book if you’re looking for a fun read–and if you have a sister who will read novels, grab an extra copy for her.

The relationship between Kate and Ainsley develops and deepens through the hilarity and heartbreak in this story.

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Set in idyllic Cambry-on-Hudson, New York, each sister has a bit of a storybook life, although each has her own baggage to deal with.

 

Kate is nearly forty, a successful photographer, childless, but newly married to a man who is an architect with a house straight out of Town and Country or Architectural Digest.

She hasn’t had so much as a year to settle in when poor Nathan drops dead at a party.

And it’s not just any party. It’s at step-sister Ainsley’s home–a place she’s shared with her long-time live-in boyfriend, Ethan, who has just recovered from testicular cancer.

Ainsley is a bit of a snoop and knows Ethan is about to propose to her–it’s about time. She’s not getting any younger.

And Ethan’s cancer is no longer a factor. Shouldn’t she be rewarded for nursing him through the worst of it?

(Although as far as cancer goes, it wasn’t as bad a time as Ethan loved to make out via social media and a blog that few read.)

After Nathan’s death, Kate is left to deal with her husband’s less-than-gracious first wife, and his filthy-rich family.

She feels like an interloper in her husband’s posh and technilogically advanced home–can’t even manage to get the lights on in some of the many bathrooms.

Plus, she’s at loss with how to carry her widowhood when she was a bride less than a year earlier.

Meanwhile, Ethan never does propose. Instead, the death of Nathan (who was heretofore the object of his own little bro-mance) has compelled Ethan to go off the deep-end.

Ethan decides to throw Ainsley out of his home (her name never did make it on the deed) and then documents the breakup via his blog, which suddenly goes viral.

Ainsley has her own bag of shit to deal with. She’s working a job that she dislikes and her boss seems to have a stick up his preppy ass. Her mother passed away when she was little, and she believes her step-mother (Kate’s mother) has merely only tolerated her presence all these years. Thankfully, there’s a loving step-grandmother who is an absolute hoot.

There are delicious men in this tale, but trouble is afoot with complications that come straight out of real life–especially for ladies on the greater-than (>) side of thirty.

This is a fast, satisfying read–a great book to take to the beach.

Plus, the experiences that Kate and Ainsley share would make a great springboard into discussions between the reader and her sister(s).

IF ONLY YOU KNEW, Kristan Higgins. HQN Books, 2016. 448 pages.

Also set in idyllic Cambry-on-Hudson, New York, this story of two sisters resonated with me insofar as my relationship with my sister.51gsgna-A6L._SX314_BO1,204,203,200_

Not because of the infidelities suffered by the two main characters, sisters Jenny and Rachel, but more because of the fact that each kept secrets from the other about their lives.

At least, until the shit hit the fan and the two needed each other unlike ever before.

And that’s when sisters shine. When the chips are down, a sister will have your back no matter what.

Jenny is trying to get over her divorce–it’s just damn hard when your ex-husband and his perfect new wife and baby all want to be friends and fixtures in your life.

Rachel has what every woman wants. The perfect husband. Three perfect daughters. Life in the ‘burbs.

It’s just that she’s a little naive. She doesn’t even realize that the picture-message she’s seeing on her husband’s cell phone is the other woman’s “other pretty face” and instead believes she is looking at the intricacies of nature’s handiwork on a tree trunk.

Until Jenny gets an eyeful.

And it reminds her of another marriage that was imperfect. Jenny and Rachel’s parents’ marriage.

Except Rachel has a different illusion of their family’s past.

This book tackles the tough issues of modern marriage, divorce, children

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This looks a bit like my big sister and me back in the day.

caught in the middle, and those pesky old concepts of until death do us part and happily ever after. But it does so with such humor and pathos that it tears your heart out all the while you’re laughing and turning the page.

And, of course, there’s a brooding hero, a sidekick canine, and enough love and laughter for any reader looking for a story about love, loss, and the secrets we keep from one another–

 

 

foxy

Happy Reading! XOXO

Susan J. Anderson

Foxy Writer Chick

 


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