"Dialog that is spot on."
Reviewed by Sandra Wurman
Posted June 22, 2016
Romance Chick-Lit | Women's Fiction
First thing you should know about a story by Kristan
Higgins is she will have you rolling your eyes and laughing
from the get-go. Even if there is a kind of pathos to the
story line the humor will win you over and get you hooked.
IF YOU ONLY KNEW is just that kind of story. It's about two
sisters whose lives seem to run over with well - life and
of course there is the requisite mother who for some reason
thrives on their misery. As Kristan Higgins proclaims the
sisters problems somehow elevate the seemingly problem free
life of their devoted mother. Hey we all know moms like
that. It's of course nothing we dote on but we gloat when
their someone else's problem. IF YOU ONLY KNEW is about
working diligently to avoid rolling your eyes at life and
In IF YOU ONLY KNEW Jenny and Rachel's lives seem
wonderfully full. Jenny designs wedding dresses and is
really talented. Jenny is also a loving caring woman -- a
trait she feels fits her career which basically has her
dealing with monster brides. Rachel is a stay at home
mother -- a career she feels totally fits her nurturing
soul. She has triplets and a husband she adores. Kind of a
Hallmark kind of life and we all know how precarious those
IF YOU ONLY KNEW feels more like a painting than a book --
the artistry of Kristan Higgins is evident in every single
page. We are forced to wade through a myriad of emotions in
this story that is so life like -- so real. The actual book
is broken up into segments and each segment is telling the
story in the voice of one of these two sisters. What is so
immediately evident is that we are seeing the truths as
Jenny and Rachel see it. The truth of their worlds. But
that is what Kristan Higgins has painted for us. Jenny and
Rachel's worlds -- the one they are living in now -- the one
of their youth -- and perhaps a look into their future
world. Each world filled with moments of joy and moments of
sadness. The dialog in IF YOU ONLY KNEW also illustrates
the path that Jenny and Rachel are forced to take with
their lives fraught with disappointments.
Jenny and Rachel are wonderful women. Both caring with
hearts that are filled with love for their people. Jenny
prides herself on helping brides create that magical moment
when the groom sees his future bride for the first time.
But Jenny has a difficult time acknowledging her own
misgivings with men. She sees herself as happily married
with children but isn't protective of her feelings and
therefore doesn't really trust her choices. Rachel on the
other hand sees her life as just about perfect. Beautiful
children, home and loving husband. All she could want but
at what cost. Rachel needs to find herself and then perhaps
her life and world would truly be a blessing.
Some of the best moments of IF YOU ONLY KNEW involve scenes
where it becomes obvious that Jenny's outgoing and
forthright personality are rubbing off on her much more
shall we say shy sister. Can't help but get a great feeling
of "yes" when Rachel starts strutting her stuff.
IF YOU ONLY KNEW is the newest story in the arsenal of
Kristan Higgins and is definitely one that is going to
become a conversation piece. There are just too many
wonderful characters in this very candidly look at life.
A funny, frank and bittersweet look at sisters, marriage
and moving on, from the New York
Times bestselling author of the Blue Heron
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. Needing 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,
who's utterly irresistible and annoyingly distant at the
Rachel's idyllic marriage, however, is imploding after she
discovers what looks like her husband's infidelity. She
always thought she'd walk away in this situation but now
she's wavering, 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 help each other get what they want most of all.
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