Title: Out of the Clear Blue Sky
Author: Kristan Higgins
Release Date: June 7, 2022
From New York Times bestselling author Kristan Higgins comes a funny and surprising new novel about second chances--and why the lies we tell ourselves are the most dangerous.
Lillie Silva knew life as an empty nester would be hard after her only child left for college, but when her husband abruptly dumps her for another woman just as her son leaves, her world comes crashing down. Besides the fact that this announcement is a complete surprise (to say the least), what shocks Lillie most is that she isn't...heartbroken. She's furious.
Lillie has loved her life on Cape Cod, but as a mother, wife and nurse-midwife, she's used to caring for other people...not taking care of herself. Now, alone for the first time in her life, she finds herself going a little rogue. Is it over the top to crash her ex-husband's wedding, dressed like the angel of death? Sure! Should she release a skunk into his perfect new home? Probably not! But it beats staying home and moping.
She finds an unexpected ally in her glamorous sister, with whom she's had a tense relationship all these years. And an unexpected babysitter in of all people Ben Hallowell, the driver in a car accident that nearly killed Lillie 20 years ago. And then there's Ophelia, her ex-husband's oddly lost niece, who could really use a friend.
It's the end of Lillie's life as she knew it. But sometimes the perfect next chapter surprises you...out of the clear blue sky.
When my favorite romance writer writes a novel, I request it. But not only do I request the ARC (thank you Berkely and NetGalley!) I also preordered the e-book and preordered my signed physical copy from her local bookstore too.
Why? because I like to have all of it. If Kristan Higgins writes it, I buy it.
Although I mentioned earlier that she is my favorite romance novelist, in the last few years, she has transitioned to women's fiction. Do I mind? not in the least! Why? because her stories are always interesting and they leave me with a smile.
In Out of the Clear Blue Sky, we meet two very different women.
One is our main protagonist, Lillie Silva. She is of Portuguese descent and loves her family, cooking, her little town on Cape Cod, and her job as a nurse-midwife. She feels like she has it all. She is perfectly happy although sad that her son is leaving for college in Montana. Soon to be an empty-nester, Lillie is planning to surprise her husband with a trip when he tells her that he wants a divorce and he is in love with another woman. He wants to have joy back in his life. This statement hits Lillie like a ton of bricks. She had no clue her marriage was dying. She never knew he was unhappy. Worst, he decides to tell her this when her son is leaving her too.
Then, Kristan Higgins throws me a curveball. The other woman's POV is Melissa's. The woman responsible (in part since we can't forget the douche ex-husband) for upending Lillie's life as she knows it.
At first, it was so easy to root for Lillie. She was a nice person who loved her family and was helpful to others. Definitely, someone, who deserved better than the hand she got played. What shocked me is how I learned to like Melissa too. Yes, she had been manipulative and superfluous but as the story progresses, we get to see another side of her. We get to know her motivations for the way she behaved. Not that it excused what she did but she didn't do it alone.
The one constant in this book is how much of a moron the ex-husband was. I had zero sympathies for him. Talk about selfish and egotistical. Good riddance!
As always, Kristan Higgins can make me smile and cry on the same page. Lillie had me laughing with her antics. I adored Zeus (her dog) and liked the other secondary characters including Beth, Hannah, her dad, and of course, Ben.
Even though this book was awesome, I wouldn't have minded seeing more of Ben on page....just saying (romantic at heart-point finger towards herself).
Now, I just have to wait for my next Kristan Higgins fix in 2023.
A complimentary copy was provided by Berkley via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.