Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Book Review: Life and Other Inconveniences by Kristan Higgins


Pages: 448
Genre: Adult Fiction
Pub. Date: August 6, 2019
Publisher: Berkley
Source: Publisher for review
Other Books By Author: If You Only Knew
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "From the New York Times bestselling author of Good Luck with That comes a new novel about a blue-blood grandmother and her black-sheep granddaughter who discover they are truly two sides of the same coin.  Emma London never thought she had anything in common with her grandmother Genevieve London. The regal old woman came from wealthy and bluest-blood New England stock, but that didn’t protect her from life’s cruelest blows: the disappearance of Genevieve’s young son, followed by the premature death of her husband. But Genevieve rose from those ashes of grief and built a fashion empire that was respected the world over, even when it meant neglecting her other son.  When Emma’s own mother died, her father abandoned her on his mother’s doorstep. Genevieve took Emma in and reluctantly raised her–until Emma got pregnant her senior year of high school. Genevieve kicked her out with nothing but the clothes on her back…but Emma took with her the most important London possession: the strength not just to survive but to thrive. And indeed, Emma has built a wonderful life for herself and her teenage daughter, Riley.   So what is Emma to do when Genevieve does the one thing Emma never expected of her and, after not speaking to her for nearly two decades, calls and asks for help?"


Emma is a single mother with a complicated past.  You see when she was much younger, she lived with her wealthy grandmother who took her in after a family tragedy.  During her senior year of high school, Emma found herself pregnant and since she didn't take her grandmother's advice, her grandmother threw her out.  She hasn't spoken to her since that fateful day, but that is ok with Emma, because she has rebuilt her life and she doesn't need her grandmother anymore ---even her gobs of money.  One day Emma gets a phone call from her estranged grandmother, Genevieve saying that she is dying and she'd like another chance at a relationship with her great-grandaugther and with Emma.  Emma is obviously reluctant, but her daughter, Riley, who has been dealing with some mean girls at school, is showing some interest in who her famous great-grandmother is, as well as a summer in Connecticut. So, Emma agrees to go along with her daughter and her maternal grandfather to Connecticut for the summer.  Emma's grandmother, Genevieve London, is, essentially Martha Stewart. She's got an amazing lifestyle and clothing brand, not to mention one of the biggest estates in Connecticut. But under all the glamour is just an ordinary person with a very difficult past of her own.  Can the London family reconcile before all is lost?  Life and Other Inconveniences by Kristan Higgins is a complicated family drama filled with everything I like in a beach read. There's family secrets, trials and tribulations, strong women, as well as forgiveness.  If you like beach reads with substance, look no further.

Emma is someone I admire in Life and Other Inconveniences. She rebuilds her life from rock bottom and makes it into something anyone could admire.  She doesn't need the London family money or approval and I like that about her.  Her relationship with her daughter Riley is a realistic one and I also loved exploring her complicated relationship with Genevieve.

Genvieve is a very complex character in Life and Other Inconveniences.  She is so much more than just a fashion icon.  Her back story is heartbreaking in every sense and her relationship with her one living son is also a hard pill to swallow.  The loss of her eldest son and her husband has made her strong, but you can still see all the cracks in her facade. I did feel badly for her even if I didn't always agree with her decisions.  Plus, dealing with the type of cancer she is dealing with will definitely tug on your heartstrings.

I do love fluffy beach reads and while I thought this Life and Other Inconvenienceswas going to be a little more relaxed, I am glad it wasn't.  Like I said, it dealt with some serious family issues: death, cancer, resentment, grief, tragedy, longtime grudges and more, but I liked going on the journey with the London family as they tried to navigate through things that one summer in Connecticut.  There were heartbreaking moments, lovely moments, and some funny ones too; so, if you enjoy a heartfelt beach read, definitely give Life and Other Inconveniences a try before summer comes to an end.

Are you a fan of Kristan Higgins? Have you read this novel? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.


6 comments:

  1. My library just acquired this, so I am excited to get to it soon. I have enjoyed her other books!

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    1. I hope you get to read it soon! It was such an emotional read, but a good one! Thanks for visiting, Michele!

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  2. I haven't read anything by Ms. Higgans. Can you believe it? I'm sure she's got a million books out -- I honestly don't know where to start. This is definitely a bit on the heavy side for a beach read, but it sounds fantastic, nonetheless.

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    1. I think you'd like her books, especially this one if you want a beach read that has some heart. Thanks for visiting, Joy!

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  3. I haven't read any of her books yet, but I love a good family drama, so I'll have to check this one out!

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    1. You should! I think you'd this one. Very heartfelt! Thanks for visiting, Angela!

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