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Look on the Bright Side: Book summary and reviews of Look on the Bright Side by Kristan Higgins

Look on the Bright Side

by Kristan Higgins

Look on the Bright Side by Kristan Higgins X
Look on the Bright Side by Kristan Higgins
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  • Published May 2024
    432 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

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Book Summary

From the author of Pack Up the Moon comes a funny, romantic, and deeply moving novel about the unexpected rewards that come from life's detours.

Lark Smith has always had a plan for her life: find a fantastic guy, create a marriage as blissful as her parents', pop out a couple of kids and build a rewarding career as an oncologist.

Things aren't going so well.

For one, the guy didn't work out. Theoretically, she'd love to find someone else, but it hasn't happened. Two, she's just been transferred out of oncology for being too emotional. (Is it her fault she's a weeper?) Three, her parents just split up.

Deviating from the plan was…well, not in the plan. A potential solution comes from the foul-tempered and renowned surgeon Lorenzo Santini (aka Dr. Satan). He needs a date this summer for his sister's wedding. His ancient Noni wants to see him settled. In exchange, he could make a few introductions and maybe get Lark back into the field of her choice.

As a sucker for old people and fake relationships, Lark agrees. Teeny problem—she instantly falls for his big, warm family. Especially his estranged brother.

Meanwhile, Lark's mom has moved in with Lark's colorful landlady, Joy, and an unlikely friendship blossoms. The three women have a long summer and a big beautiful house on the ocean to figure out what's next…and quite possibly learn that the best things in life aren't planned at all.

Please be aware that this discussion guide will contain spoilers!
  1. Lark knows she's a weeper, even jokes about it. Do you think her emotional interactions with patients infringe on her ability to treat them? How would you feel if your doctor got teary-eyed or cried with you? How do her emotions make her a better or worse doctor?
  2. Lorenzo clearly has a difficult relationship with his family—and people in general. Do you know anyone like him? Do you think his abrasiveness has more to do with his upbringing, or was that just the way he was born?
  3. How do Lorenzo and Lark help each other beyond their arrangement? What do they learn from each other? Did you expect them to end up together?
  4. After seven years, Lark finally feels attracted to someone again. Why Dante? What qualities does he have that ...

You can see the full discussion here. This discussion will contain spoilers!

Some of the recent comments posted about Look on the Bright Side:

After seven years, Lark finally feels attracted to someone again. Why Dante? What qualities does he have that affect Lark? Did you suspect that Dante had met Lark before?
You could see the spark that Lark had with Dante from the beginning, but it was awhile before I realized they had met before. Some things are just meant to be and this was the case here. - MimiJo

Do you relate to Joy’s obsession with beauty? Why do you think her brother supported her in changing her exterior self? Do you judge her for placing so much importance on her physical appearance?
While I would not follow Joy's path to preserve or enhance what might be deemed beautiful, I do agree a lot of what has already been said in this thread. Joy wanted to feel good about herself. Until she found that purpose later in the novel, she... - marks

Do you think Gerald and Ellie have a "perfect" marriage? What’s good and what’s bad about it? What kind of pressure might come from being seen this way by their kids, friends, and acquaintances?
The concept of a perfect marriage is not one I could possibly define in a sentence, but then again, I usually question anything that is described as perfect. To me, the closest thing to a perfect marriage would be one in which both people understand ... - marks

Do you think Gerald’s emotional affair is forgivable? Is Ellie justified in her anger and sense of betrayal? How would you react if you found your partner had been having a similar interaction with someone?
Like others here, I think Gerald's betrayal was real, and my heart was with Ellie as she suffered. Gerald was in a difficult place, having recently retired, but he showed immaturity, selfishness, and poor judgment, and his interpretation of his... - Kathleen L

Do you think Lark's emotions infringe on her ability to treat her patients? How would you feel if your doctor got teary-eyed or cried with you? How do her emotions make her a better or worse doctor?
Many years ago, I experienced a difficulty pregnancy that ended in a successful birth. My obstetrician was amazing, and one of the things I appreciated most about her - besides her medical wisdom and skill, of course - was her ability to share my ... - Kathleen L

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Bestseller Higgins proves her mastery of the romance genre in this emotional tour de force... Higgins balances tear-jerking moments with happiness and hope, and crafts strong female characters worth cheering for. Readers should have tissues at the ready. " —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

This information about Look on the Bright Side was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Reader Reviews

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Susan

Smle, Laugh and a Few Tears!
I love all of Kristin Higgin’s books. Her characters are people you want to have as friends. The romance took a back burner ( no pun intended - read the book , u will understand) to the main story - It is about family, friends , your goals for a life worth living and re- evaluating your goals !

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Author Information

Kristan Higgins

Kristan Higgins is the New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of more than twenty novels, which have been translated into more than two dozen languages and have sold millions of copies worldwide. The happy mother of two snarky and well-adjusted adults lives in Connecticut with her heroic firefighter husband, cuddly dog, and indifferent cat.

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