Review of ALWAYS THE LAST TO KNOW by Kristan Higgins

I read this book for a few hours and then had to put it down to think about what I had read. It is a book with a message, actually, to be accurate, with a lot of messages that made me reflect on my own choices and relationships. It is the story of Barb and John who have been married almost fifty years when John has a debilitating stroke. Their marriage was already broken, but Barb went though the motions until she was ready to just end it. They have two daughters, Juliet and Sadie. Juliet is Barb’s favorite and Sadie was John’s fave. Juliet is a successful architect, married to a Brit and with two daughters. Sadie is an artistic free spirit who rushes home to help take care of her father, leaving her life in NYC behind. This is the story of a fractured family that does not communicate or easily forgive. With the themes of sibling rivalry, infertility, lack of forgiveness and lack of communication, Higgins did a stellar job of drawing me into the lives of these four broken people. They all have wounds from the past and an uncertain future, much like everyone else I know plus myself. Thus, I related to the story and really enjoyed it, as their poor choices in the past were revealed as well as their current dilemmas. To me, John, with his stroke and inability to communicate clearly, represented the whole problem with the family. They were all lost in the condition of being too paralyzed by the past to grab hold of the future, until finally they realize their paralysis and start to do something about it. There was no fluff in this book; it was all meaningful, and deeply thought-provoking. It is contemporary fiction and domestic drama with Higgins’s humor thrown in to lighten the somber mood. I loved this book and highly recommend it as a novel of reflection and hope for the future.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Berkeley Publishing via a Goodreads contest. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, “Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”

Not a completely clean read because of the topics discussed in the book, but well worth the read and very worthy to be chosen as a Book Club favorite

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Many, many thanks to #BerkleyPub for sending me the ARC to read and review! And thanks to Goodreads for their reader contests!

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