More titles to consider

Shopping Cart

You're getting the VIP treatment!

Item(s) unavailable for purchase
Please review your cart. You can remove the unavailable item(s) now or we'll automatically remove it at Checkout.
Ratings and Book Reviews (3 17 star ratings
3 reviews

Overall rating

4.5 out of 5
5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star
9 7 1 0 0

Share your thoughts

You've already shared your review for this item. Thanks!

We are currently reviewing your submission. Thanks!

Complete your review

All Book Reviews

  • 1 person found this review helpful

    1 people found this review helpful

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

    Thanks for your feedback!

    Great Historical Fiction

    Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an advance copy of this book in return for an honest review. This is my first book by Susan Meissner, and I was impressed! I will be reading more of her work. I’m not much into otherworldly science fiction, but science fiction that mimics real life fascinates me. The Spanish flu has always held a fascination for me. To begin with, my first Michael Crichton book, The Adromeda Strain, terrified me. A pandemic like the Spanish flu is no less terrifying, and sounds like science fiction. A teeny-tiny virus that could infect and sicken 500 million people worldwide and claim the lives of 20 to 50 million people is just mind-boggling. Years later, I read a book chronicling the Spanish flu and learned more about it. My father was born in the spring of 1918, which was the beginning of the Spanish flu in the US. Fort Dix, where Spanish flu was first diagnosed in New Jersey, is about 50 miles from our hometown. And lastly, I’m a bit of germophobe! Take, for instance, my last grocery shopping trip. I used the wipes to thoroughly disinfect the shopping cart, held my breath in the store when someone nearby coughed or sneezed, and tried not to touch anything unless I put it in my cart. Oh, and I just use my fingertips, as if that helps! So, back to the book. The backdrop for As Bright as Heaven is Spanish flu. The story begins with the Bright family in the countryside of Pennsylvania. Thomas and Pauline have three daughters, and have just buried their infant son. They receive an opportunity to move to Philadelphia, and a chance to better their family’s lives. However, months later the Spanish flu hits, and their worlds are changed. The book is narrated by Pauline and each of their three daughters. Each chronicles their lives through the Spanish flu pandemic and the aftermath, dealing with tragedies and loss while trying to find happiness. Each of the three women has a different voice, a different perspective, and a different coping mechanism. The characters are complex and fully developed, the writing is skillful and flows from one chapter/narrator to the next, and the storyline will engage you. While this is certainly a story of tragedy and loss, it also shows how the human spirit will shine as bright as heaven when faced with adversity. The ending is happy, but true to the characters, there is a unique twist to each person’s happiness. All around, this was a great historical fiction read.
  • 1 person found this review helpful

    1 people found this review helpful

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

    Thanks for your feedback!

    The latest novel by Susan Meissner

    As Bright As Heaven is the latest novel by Susan Meissner which is set in 1918. Pauline and Thomas Bright along with their family are relocating from Quakertown to Philadelphia. Thomas has been offered the opportunity to work with his uncle, Fred Bright and eventually inherit the Bright Funeral Home. Pauline is hoping it will provide a better life for their family (three daughters: Evelyn, Willa and Maggie) and, after losing her six-month-old son, she feels that Death is near her. A few months later, Thomas is drafted and their neighbor’s son, Jamie Sutcliff goes off to training camp. Then the Spanish Flu arrives with a vengeance and thousands are dying. Pauline and Maggie are taking food to those without family to assist them. Maggie is waiting for her mother and hears a baby crying. She finds the infant’s mother dead, and Maggie feels the baby is a replacement for the brother she lost. The Bright family takes in the child and names him Alex. But then Willa becomes ill with the dreaded flu and Pauline is the next to become infected. Amidst sickness and war there is hope with little Alex. The Bright family will need to band together during this difficult time and find a way to move forward. As Bright As Heaven has a unique point-of-view with the Spanish Flu (instead of focusing on the war). The POV switches between Pauline and the three daughters (told in first person). We get to see life through each of their eyes with each person providing a unique perspective given their ages (Willa is the youngest at 6). It does, though, disrupt the flow of the book (pulls you out of the story). The book is nicely written, but I did find the pace a little slow during the first half of the story. It picks up in the second half as the girls grow older. I thought it was intriguing that Evelyn goes to medical school and is working to become a psychiatrist. This was very unusual for a woman in the 1920s. The characters are well developed, and I appreciated the strong female characters. The author did a good job at portraying the time period, the panic and horror of the Spanish Flu epidemic, how the war affected families, and the changing roles of women in America during the 1920s. As Bright As Heaven has love, sorrow, hope, grief, tragedy, fear and so much more. Get swept back in time in Susan Meisner’s latest novel As Bright As Heaven. Readers who enjoy historical dramas will enjoy reading As Bright As Heaven.
  • 0 person found this review helpful

    0 people found this review helpful

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

    Thanks for your feedback!

    Spanish flue now covid. Compare

    A little predictable but a good read. I found book 2 better than book 1.

You can read this item using any of the following Kobo apps and devices:

  • IOS