Jan 05 2018

Review for As Bright as Heaven by Susan Meissner

Posted by Jenea @ Jenea's Book Obsession in Reviews / 13 Comments

Review for As Bright as Heaven by Susan MeissnerAs Bright as Heaven by Susan Meissner
Published by Berkley Books on February 6th 2018
Genres: Adult, Historical, Fiction, War Times
Pages: 400
Source: BookishFirst
Buy on Amazon

In 1918, Philadelphia was a city teeming with promise. Even as its young men went off to fight in the Great War, there were opportunities for a fresh start on its cobblestone streets. Into this bustling town, came Pauline Bright and her husband, filled with hope that they could now give their three daughters—Evelyn, Maggie, and Willa—a chance at a better life.

But just months after they arrive, the Spanish Flu reaches the shores of America. As the pandemic claims more than twelve thousand victims in their adopted city, they find their lives left with a world that looks nothing like the one they knew. But even as they lose loved ones, they take in a baby orphaned by the disease who becomes their single source of hope. Amidst the tragedy and challenges, they learn what they cannot live without—and what they are willing to do about it.





As Bright as Heaven takes us through the journey of one families struggles and the little bits of joy during a terrible time. The Bright Family lived a simple life, but looking toward the future, they pack up their children and move to Philadelphia. Much bigger and better things are supposed to happen for them when they get there. The Great War is being fought and soon their father is called for duty, leaving them there to care of things without him. The Spanish Flu is going around, and taking people quickly. But these Bright women, young or adult, step up and do what is needed to be done.

This is told in alternating POV’s from Pauline, Evelyn, Maggie and Willa. Sometimes with multiple POV’s it can be a little overwhelming and confusing, but that is certainly not the case here. Pauline and her daughters have their own distinct personalities and traits that distinguish them from each other. From chapter to chapter the story is giving a little at a time, just through different eyes. I did’t know much about some of the events that took place during this particular war or the Spanish Flu. So they way this was told, was a wonderful way to see it all. We see each of their feelings and thoughts, through the events that occurred, it was raw and emotional. I felt their joy, their fear and the losses, and it just heart broke over and over.

Pauline and her girls were so amazing and strong, and the sheer determination they each had was something that will stick with you. There were times that each of these women made some decisions that weren’t the best, but they did what they needed to do to survive. And their hearts were always in the right place and the lessons they learned were harsh to say the least, because the horrific and tragic events they endured was palpable. I adored each and every one of them. This family might have lost so much along the way, but in some ways they gained even more. Even through all the devastation, the resiliency, love and loyalty comes through every page.

As Bright as Heaven delivers a breathtaking story of strength, grief, love and learning live each day to the fullest. I simply can not say enough about this, it is certainly one that will stay with me, it was beautifully written and I was enthralled from the first page. I would recommend this to anyone that will listen, pick it up.



As Bight as Heaven is a beautifully written story of loss, strength and love. It is simply amazing! Review for As Bright as Heaven by Susan Meissner @SusanMeissner @BerkleyPub @penguinrandom #adult #historical #fiction #review… Click To Tweet




Jenea @ Jenea's Book Obsession

13 Responses to “Review for As Bright as Heaven by Susan Meissner”

  1. Tanya @ Girl Plus Books

    This sounds like such a powerful read. It’s rare that a book can be so moving and truly stay with you (at least it is to me). I love when multiple points of view works so well and actually make for a richer story. Enjoyed your review, Jenna!

  2. Debbie Haupt-The Reading Frenzy

    Jenea we were just watching last night on PBS a documentary about the forgotten plagues of Tuberculosis and the Flu pandemic of 1917-18. Did you know that more than 1/4 of the population of the WORLD died from it. I had no idea. This looks like its right up my alley. Great review

    • Jenea @ Jenea's Book Obsession

      I never knew a lot about either. It was such an awful time then. I couldn’t imagine living through all of it either.

      This has a lot of the history in it, so I think you would really enjoy it. And cry, well, I did a lot.

  3. Melliane

    it’s great to know that it’s not contfusing with many POVs because that’s usually my problem and why I don’t read a lot of novels like that. In any case this one looks intense!

  4. Heidi

    I am relieved to hear that you loved this one. I have it scheduled soon on my blog. I can’t wait to get lost in the story.

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