Always the Last to Know

by Kristan Higgins

The heart wants what the heart wants, and the heart can be a real idiot.

In the latest of Kristan Higgins’ wonderful novels, we return to Stoningham Connecticut, the setting of her last book, Life and Other Inconveniences. It is deep dive into another prominent family that calls wealthy, exclusive, and the oh-so picturesque community home. One by one we are introduced to the 4 main players: Sadie, Barb, Juliet, and finally John. This is Sadie, the youngest daughter:

Ever since I could remember, I’d wanted to leave Stoningham, because even though I loved it, I hated it. It was so smug. So content. So adorable. So assured of itself. In a way, it was like my sister, never questioning its value. It was hard to breathe [there] sometimes, especially if you were Juliet’s not-as-smart-or-athletic sister, or the daughter of Barb Frost, Queen of Committees and Volunteerism, daughter of John Frost the lawyer, and yes, related to that Robert Frost. Being average was difficult.

Right away we see that it is a family divided with Sadie and John on one side and Juliet and Barb on the other. Unlike other readers, I was drawn in immediately and was in a state of anticipation as to what would be further revealed and explored. And it never lost its grip on me. I started out trying to take sides. Which team was I on? It wasn’t long before I gave that approach up. It was way too complicated. There were things to love, like, hate, and disapprove of in all of them. Except for Juliet. Because she was perfect. As the book went on, I found I couldn’t put it down. And to my surprise, It was Juliet’s journey I loved the most.

Well, I better stop now while I can before I start to gush even more. Yes, like all of her books, it was funny, heartbreaking, suspenseful, romantic, and satisfying. In many ways, this was her best book yet. It’s a triumph of character and relationship building. And one of the best dogs too.

P.S. And the icing on the cake is we get a peek or two at how the London family of her last novel is up to.**5 stars out of 5**

June 13, 2020

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