REVIEW: NOW THAT YOU MENTION IT, BY KRISTAN HIGGINS

 

One step forward. Two steps back. The Tufts scholarship that put Nora Stuart on the path to becoming a Boston medical specialist was a step forward. Being hit by a car and then overhearing her boyfriend hit on another doctor when she thought she was dying? Two major steps back.

Injured in more ways than one, Nora feels her carefully built life cracking at the edges. There’s only one place to land: home. But the tiny Maine community she left fifteen years ago doesn’t necessarily want her. At every turn, someone holds the prodigal daughter of Scupper Island responsible for small-town drama and big-time disappointments.

With a tough islander mother who’s always been distant, a wild-child sister in jail and a withdrawn teenage niece as eager to ditch the island as Nora once was, Nora has her work cut out for her if she’s going to take what might be her last chance to mend the family. Balancing loss and opportunity, dark events from her past with hope for the future, Nora will discover that tackling old pain makes room for promise…and the chance to begin again.

My Thoughts: I was more than ready to immerse myself in Now That You Mention It. I love a book with all the “feels,” and I was in need of just such a book on a long weekend that could have been a challenge to get through.

Almost immediately, I could feel for Nora growing up in a small town and bearing the brunt of the mean girls and all the others who felt entitled to everything, but who still resented her for earning her own good things, like a full scholarship to college and medical school.

When the book opens, Nora has just been hit by a car, and her precarious situation is another reminder of something that happened earlier, the Big Bad Event, that we don’t learn more about until later in the story.

Nora tells her story in her own engaging first person voice, and I could feel what she was feeling, with each step she had taken. The story moved back and forth in time until all the layers folded together to form a complete picture of what life had been like for her. As a result, I was rooting for her when she went back to the island town where she grew up, and as she faced up to those who were unkind and who bore grudges. Some of them were even dangerous.

I felt like I was right there with her when she rented the charming houseboat, and when she developed a friendship with one of the men in town whose family had been responsible for some of her worst pain. But finding that not only bad things came from that family was another life lesson to enjoy.

There was no smooth path to happily ever after, but there were steps forward, along with the ones that took her backward, until finally, there seemed to be a light at the end of the tunnel. A story that delighted me all the way through. 5 stars.

***
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