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As Bright as Heaven

by Susan Meissner

As Bright as Heaven by Susan Meissner X
As Bright as Heaven by Susan Meissner
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There are currently 42 member reviews
for As Bright as Heaven
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  • Peggy C. (Wyckoff, NJ)
    From Sadness to Brightness
    As Bright as Heaven was a truly captivating book. This historical fiction takes place during the Spanish influenza epidemic of 1918. It is set in Philadelphia and involves the Bright Family who recently move from the country to the city to help run a funeral home. The story deals with issues that run the emotional gambit, including family, love, death, war and illness.

    Susan Meissner does a great job in developing each of the characters in a way that allows the reader to become totally engaged in their lives. Although the plot has much sadness, the author provides a lens for the reader to see the brightness and hope that life can bring. An excellent read!
  • Sandra G. (Loveland, CO)
    Unique historical fiction
    This novel had a very unusual setting: a Philadelphia funeral home where the Bright family lived and worked. The author did an excellent job portraying the citizens' fear and desperation during the 1918 influenza epidemic.

    Some readers may be put off by the funeral home details. The author took great care to emphasize how lovingly each body was prepared for "the final journey."

    I enjoyed the structure with alternating chapters devoted to one of the female characters. It was interesting to view the events through each one's eyes. Evie, Maggie, and Willa had her own personal struggles as well. This was a book that kept my attention from beginning to end.
  • Bess W. (Marlton, NJ)
    She has done it again
    I loved this book. Having grown up in the Philadelphia area and having attended college in Philadelphia it was interesting to "rediscover" the city. Susan Meissner has captured the love and heartache of a family who lived through war and the Spanish flu. I have only read one other book by Ms. Meissner but am looking forward to reading her other novels.
  • Kimberly H. (Stamford, CT)
    TIme of trouble.....
    Taking place during WWI and the Spanish Flu pandemic. We forget how devastating this was- I have a tendency to read a lot about WWII, so this was enlightening. Wonderful writing and a heartbreaking story about a family who strove to survive this terrible time in history while living in Philadelphia in an undertakers home. Could not put this down- highly recommend.
  • Ruth H., FL
    Three Sisters and a Boy
    Maggie, Willa and Evelyn became quick friends, so different yet from each other and such believable characters. Then add a mysterious little boy, how the twists and turns of his life evolved. This book is an emotional adventure, makes one cry & then makes one laugh. Susan Meissner really captures the events of the time and puts her characters into the history of the Spanish flu. One has to love this family and hope for the best for them. So well written, can't wait for Susan's next book!
  • Madeline M (Florida)
    As Bright as Heaven Shines
    I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, from the characters of the girls we watch grow up to the different perspective on the period of the Great War. It is a story where death and loss are ever present, but it's also one where hope and love live, too.
  • Beth B. (New Wilmington, PA)
    The Heart Does What It Must
    Susan Meissner has written a GEM of a book! Her insight into destiny, fate, powerlessness, and coping mechanisms link the interwoven individual and collective goodbyes in the saga of the Bright family in Philadelphia. Memories and echoes connect three sisters and their extended family, as war and a flu epidemic test their abilities to face grief in an upside-down world. The author eases Death into the cast of characters and in doing so moves the reader toward a deeper appreciation of the joys of Life. Definitely read this if only to appreciate the shining similes.


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