Advance reader reviews of As Bright as Heaven, page 6

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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  • Published in USA  Feb 2018
    400 pages
    Genre: Historical Fiction

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Page 6 of 6
There are currently 42 member reviews
for As Bright as Heaven
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  • Chris H. (Wauwatosa, WI)

    As Bright As Heaven
    This is a very good book if you want a story about the trials of people who lived during the time of the Spanish flu that just skims the surface of what it might have been like. When I read about the book, I was hoping for a deeper story. One that would have gone further into the details and depths of living through that difficult time. So, in spite of that being what I wanted, it was a good book with interesting characters and lives. It just wasn't great for me.
  • Viqui G. (State College, PA)

    As Bright as Heaven
    Over the course of this novel, readers are taken from 1918 to 1926 with the Bright family. We learn about the love and devotion that binds this family together and then we read about the Spanish flu and how it devastated the Bright family as well as many other families in Philadelphia. The author does an excellent job of describing the major characters; their choices and actions always fit in their character. I recommend it for young people and for readers looking for a light novel. I would give it a rating of 4 except the plot includes too many coincidences that are unlikely and the ending is a bit too saccharin and predictable to be satisfying.
  • Carol R. (Foster City, CA)

    Read "As Bright As Heaven" Quickly
    During the first 2/3 of this book, I was fascinated by the story. I particularly liked that the story was told from the perspective of the mom and three daughters at the heart of the story. Personalizing WW1 and the Spanish Flu epidemic by showing their effects on the Bright family made the story searingly real. I was disappointed in the 'oh give me a break' resolution to the story (way too coincidental) and the author's apparent need to end the story with most of the characters happy.
  • Shirley P. (Colorado Springs, CO)

    As Bright as Heaven
    Overall I enjoyed the story in this book, but found the writing a little flat (hence 3 stars). I received the book and started it, then found it hard to pick up again.
    The fine thing about this book is the interesting place in history in which it takes place. World War I and the Spanish Flu plague of 1918. My guess is that few people realize the significance of the flu, which actually killed more people world wide than the war. So with that the book is a history lesson.

    I also enjoyed the four narrations into which the book was segmented. The wife and mother, Pauline, and her three daughters, Willa, Evie, and Maggie. The setting of the novel is in a funeral home, which was interesting, as, I imagine most of us are curious as to exactly what goes on in a funeral home.

    I would have loved to give this book another star, but I feel 3 stars reflect my feelings about the book.
  • Debra C. (Vienna, GA)

    As Bright as Heaven...
    Thanks to BB and Susan Meissner for the privilege to review such an interesting and well documented novel concerning the Spanish flu pandemic/WWI in America. She chose to tell this story through the voices of the Bright women; I was amazed that their diction "grew" as the girls aged--what a feat! Meissner also more than adequately and with aplomb allows the reader to see the inside workings of a funeral home. For me, the factual and historical content as well as the characters' voices were off the charts. The "turns and twists" of their lives, though, were just stretched too far and totally unbelievable; consequently, the quality of the novel suffered.
  • Sheila S. (Supply, NC)

    A Bright story
    This historical novel centers around the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 and in particular how it impacts the Bright family of Philadelphia. It is an interesting topic and only fitting that the Brights reside in a mortuary which is the family business. The characters are well developed with the mother and three daughters each telling her own story in successive chapters. There was at least one coincidence that strained credulity, but all in all it was a pleasant read.
  • Mary M. (Lexington, KY)

    I did not like this book. I didn't like the parts where the girls told the story. It felt like a YA book and it reminded me of Little Women but not in a good way. The parts of the story narrated by the mother were better. By the second part of the book I began to lose interest in the story. I also did not enjoy reading about the workings of the funeral home. This entire book was a big miss for me and I wouldn't recommend it.

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