Friday, August 28, 2015

Book Review: If You Only Knew by Kristan Higgins

Pages: 416
Genre: Adult Fiction
Pub. Date: August 25, 2015
Source: Publisher for review
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "Wedding-dress designer Jenny Tate understands the happily-ever-after business, yet somehow she's still involved in her ex-husband's life. In fact, Owen's new wife may—inexplicably—be Jenny's new best friend. Sensing this, well, relationship isn't helping her move on, Jenny trades the Manhattan skyline for her hometown up the Hudson, where she'll be able to bask in her sister Rachel's picture-perfect family life…and hopefully make one of her own.  Her timing couldn't be more perfect, since Rachel will need her younger sister. Her idyllic marriage has just fallen to pieces in spectacular fashion after she discovers her husband sexting with one of his colleagues. Second chances aren't in Rachel's nature, but the desire for an intact family has her rethinking her stance on adultery, much to Jenny's surprise. Rachel points to their parents' "perfect" marriage as a shining example, but to protect her sister Jenny may have to tarnish that memory—and their relationship­—and reveal a secret about their family she's been keeping since childhood.  During this summer of secrets and lies, temptation and revelation, Jenny and Rachel will rely on each other to find the humor in their personal catastrophes, the joy in their triumphs…and the strength to keep hanging on."
Jenny, a wedding dress designer, used to have it all, that is until her husband decided to leave her for someone else. Except she never really got "rid" of him and even remained his friend in the aftermath. To make matters worse, she even befriended his new wife and has to witness her ex-husband, Owen, riding off into the sunset with her and their newborn daughter.  She realizes it's time for a change and leaves Manhattan for the suburb of Cambry-on-Hudson in order to be closer to her family, including her sister.  Jenny plans on starting over and she's hoping her wedding dress business will be a success in this wealthy suburb.  Her sister, Rachel, is going through her own problems despite the way her marriage looks from the outside. From the outside, it appears Rachel has it all...triplet girls, a successful husband, a beautiful home and great friends, but that isn't the case at all.  Rachel discovers a "sext" on her husband's phone and from this day forward, Rachel's world is turned upside down and she'll need her sister more than ever.  If You Only Knew by Kristan Higgins is a delightful beach read that examines sisterhood as well as the "perfect" life. It reminds us that things aren't always what they seem.

The point of view in If You Only Knew switches from Jenny to Rachel, so readers get to know each woman and their struggles very well.  Jenny is starting over and I desperately wanted her to forget about Owen, his new wife and their new baby, but she couldn't make a clean break. That really drove me nuts, because Owen can't have her as a best friend. No. I was raging.  I did enjoy Jenny's attempts to start over in the suburb with her store and building her clientele.  Also, I enjoyed her budding romance with Leo, a piano teacher, that lives in her building. 

Rachel's chapters were tough to read in If You Only Knew. I hate "cheating" plots (usually) and this one was a tough pill to swallow, mostly because Rachel would take one step forward and three steps back. At times, she didn't want to believe that her husband cheated on her; she was in complete denial.  When all the signs kept popping up, she chose to believe him....that is until the other shoe drops.  Rachel was very dedicated to her three daughter and the life she created with her husband; she deserves someone better than her husband. 

If You Only Knew makes for a great beach read. There's family drama, secrets, betrayal as well as loyalty amongst sisters.  If you are looking for a beach read that packs an emotional punch and you enjoy women's fiction,  check out If You Only Knew


  1. I liked this one thought it was pretty different from Higgins' other books. I agree that it does make a great beach read. Both sisters aggravated me at one time or another but I wanted them to make better decisions and get that happy ending. Nice review!

    1. I have never read any of Higgins books before, but I heard this one, like you said, is very different. Now I am curious about her other novels. I agree. Both sisters had their moments for me, but I was hoping for a happy ending as well. Thanks for visiting, Christina!

  2. Oh gosh. I'm so glad I read your review, Christina. I was ready to check out this book because I wanted to discover Higgan's writing. I think I will check out her other books, but not this one. Any good recommendations? Anyway, I would not be able to be as patient as you were with Rachel. I detest cheating as much as love triangles.

    1. I hear this book is VERY different from her other novels. Apparently, her other novels are considered romance novels, whereas this is very chick lit. I have never read any of her other work, but now I'd like to! I hate cheating plots as well. It was rough to get through. Thanks for visiting, Joy!


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