I don’t read the Women’s Fiction genre as a rule, but I make an exception for Kristen Higgins. I love the way she writes families and best friends. She writes the world I wish I lived in and while not shying away from deep and sometimes painful feelings, always manages to infuse a sense of humor into most scenes.
This particular book is all about adoption — exploring it from every perspective: the adopted child, adopting family, and the birth mother and father. While the main storyline concerns a woman who gave up her baby at 17 and gets a (sudden) chance to meet him 18 years later, several other characters have different adoption experiences which are shared.
Our main character (Harlow, the birth mother) is part owner of a book store on Cape Cod; her gummy imbibing grandfather is losing his marbles in a somehow adorable way (he may be the best character in the book); and both the birth and adoptive families are replete with interesting siblings, cousins, etc. A strong message of (sexual) diversity and acceptance is transmitted via the requisite lesbian couple, transsexual employee, and a pretty hysterical speed dating event with no gender boundaries.
A few parts felt a little repetitive to me (but then we do tend to let our brains perseverate over issues important and / or painful to ourselves) but overall enjoyed as much as usual with Higgins’ books.
Thank you to Berkley and NetGalley for providing an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. The book will be published on June 6th, 2023