"Beautifully written sisters story"
Reviewed by Susan Gorman
Posted September 11, 2015
Romance Contemporary | Women's Fiction Contemporary
IF YOU ONLY KNEW by Kristan Higgins is a fantastic story
filled with memorable characters told with compassion and
just the right amount of humor. The characters and their
stories resonated with me and drew me into the novel. The
book has Ms. Higgin's trademark quirky characters and
fabulous, fun dialogue. IF YOU ONLY KNEW depicts the
complex relationship between two sisters, their respective
(ex-) husbands, family, and friends. The dual narrative
technique that the author used in the novel works perfectly
as each sister has a unique voice. By using this narrative
method, insight to the two main characters lives is
provided and each sisters' strengths and weaknesses are
The two sisters are the newly divorced wedding
dress designer Jenny Tate and her sister Rachel Carver.
Jenny has left New York City to open a bridal shop in her
hometown. She needs to make a clean break from her ex-husband Owen, his
wife Ana-Sofia and their infant daughter.
The scenes showing Jenny as being "uber friendly" with her
perfect ex-husband, his new family and friends, were well-
written and hilarious. Kristan Higgins is spot on with her
dialogue and characters.
Jenny's sister Rachel Carver is married to an attorney and
the mother of three-year-old triplets. A stay-at-home mom,
Rachel is living the Martha Stewart life until she looks
at a text on her husband's cellphone. Rachel is stunned by
the text. Is her husband having an affair?
Both the primary and secondary characters are
well-developed and play an important role in the plot.
Rachel's husband, Adam Carver, is fabulous. The scenes with
the marriage counselor are full of emotion and heartbreak
and are superbly written. My favorite character is piano teacher Leo Killian. He
is Jenny's landlord
and not exactly what he appears to be. I enjoyed how his
character developed during the story. Leo made me laugh out
loud, cry and smile. Loved Jenny and Rachel's mother
Lenore Tate. Her story played an important role in her
daughter's lives. Jenny is aware of a big secret that, if
revealed, would negatively impact her mother and sister.
Sisters and their secrets, sexting coworkers, divorces, and
death are not common themes in the romance genre. Kristan
Higgins uses emotion and humor to tell the Tate sisters'
story. Both sisters need to face the truths in their
relationships and it was that journey that kept me
reading. The sisters love and respect for each other is
tested many times and there
are several surprises as the novel reaches its ending.
If you love a well-written sister story, pick up IF YOU
ONLY KNEW -- you'll love it!
The drama, hilarity and tears of sisterhood are at the
heart of the thoroughly captivating new novel by
New York Times bestselling author Kristan Higgins—a funny,
frank and bittersweet look at marriage,
forgiveness and moving on.
Letting go of her ex-husband is harder than wedding-dress
designer Jenny Tate expected…especially
since his new wife wants to be Jenny's new best friend.
Sensing this isn't exactly helping her achieve
closure, Jenny trades the Manhattan skyline for her hometown
up the Hudson, where she'll start her own
business and bask in her sister Rachel's picture-perfect
family life…and maybe even find a little romance
of her own with Leo, her downstairs neighbor, a guy who's
utterly irresistible and annoyingly distant at the
Rachel's idyllic marriage, however, is imploding after she
discovers her husband sexting with a colleague.
She always thought she'd walk away in this situation, but
her triplet daughters have her reconsidering her
stance on adultery, much to Jenny's surprise. Rachel points
to their parents' perfect marriage as a shining
example of patience and forgiveness; but to protect her
sister, Jenny may have to tarnish that memory—
and their relationship—and reveal a family secret she's
been keeping since childhood.
Both Rachel and Jenny will have to come to terms with the
past and the present and find a way to get what
they want most of all.
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