miercuri, 4 aprilie 2018

Review "As bright as heaven" - Susan Meissner

aprilie 04, 2018 0 Comments

Am ocolit in trecut cartile de fictiune istorica, subiectul fiind putin in afara placerilor mele; istoria nu a fost niciodata punctul meu forte. Insa azi am inchis o carte de acest gen, iar actiunea gasita in paginile ei a fost o lectie si o poveste trista, dar frumoasa.

"As bright as heaven" nu este doar o carte extraordinara, ci si una educativa, care inspira si care isi lasa o amprenta. Evenimentele descrise, partile urate si sfasietoare ale istoriei, sunt expert impletite cu partile de fictiune pe care autoarea le-a creat.

Actiunea plasata in 1918 si anii de dupa, arata durerea pe care razboiul o lasa in urma. Prin ochii si suferinta familiei Bright, autoarea reuseste sa transpuna cititorul in viata acelor timpuri, cum sa dainui tragediei si mortii, cum sa iubesti, cum sa continui sa traiesti.

Pauline si Thomas Bright, impreuna cu fiicele lor - Evelyn, Maggie si Willa - isi dau viata linistita, dar indurerata din micul oras Quakertown pentru un nou inceput in Philadelphia. Plina de speranta pentru un viitor mai bun si liniste sufleteasca pentru familia ei, Pauline face tot posibililul pentru a aduce fericire in noua ei casa, insa este umbrita de moarte, un tovaras mut, care a urmarit-o de cand cu pierderea suferita, iar acum mai mult cu afacerea familiei de servicii mortuare. La putin timp dupa mutarea lor, o catastrofa ii loveste din nou, iar lumea intreaga este invaluita in tragedie; gripa spaniola este in terenul mortii si este necrutatoare.

Evolutia lui Evelyn, Maggie si Willa de la tinere fete la femei independente este frumos relatata. Fiecare joaca un rol menit sa inspire, evenimentele tragice din viata lor doar facandu-le personalitatea una mai puternica. Ca personaje compun povestea atragator, picteaza bucurie printre necaz, il tin pe cititor implicat.

Titlul este o alegere foarte interesanta, caci urmareste parcursul fiecarui personaj Bright spre viziunea fiecaruia a Raiului/Heaven - fie el literal sau metaforic, aducand in acelasi timp aceasta lumina si in viata celor pe care ii iubesc si le ies in cale.

Am numai ganduri si cuvinte de bine despre aceasta carte, si nu sunt la punct cu istoria, insa aceasta poveste si modul in care este impletita cu fapte istorice m-a tinut captivata si am resimtit durerea acelor evenimente.


In 1918, Philadelphia was a city teeming with promise. Even as its young men went off to fight in the Great War, there were opportunities for a fresh start on its cobblestone streets. Into this bustling town, came Pauline Bright and her husband, filled with hope that they could now give their three daughters--Evelyn, Maggie, and Willa--a chance at a better life.

But just months after they arrive, the Spanish Flu reaches the shores of America. As the pandemic claims more than twelve thousand victims in their adopted city, they find their lives left with a world that looks nothing like the one they knew. But even as they lose loved ones, they take in a baby orphaned by the disease who becomes their single source of hope. Amidst the tragedy and challenges, they learn what they cannot live without--and what they are willing to do about it.

As Bright as Heaven is the compelling story of a mother and her daughters who find themselves in a harsh world, not of their making, which will either crush their resolve to survive or purify it.

As Bright as HeavenAs Bright as Heaven by Susan Meissner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“As bright as heaven” is not just an extraordinary book, is an inspiring, educational and heartbreaking one. The events depicted, the ugly, dark parts of history, are expertly blended with the fictional parts the author created.
The story taking place in 1918 and the years after includes the grief of the World War. Through the eyes and hardships of the Bright family, the author transports the reader in the life of those times, how to survive tragedy and loss, how to love, how to live on.
Pauline and Thomas Bright, along with their daughters – Evelyn, Maggie and Willa – leave their quiet, but saddened home for Philadelphia. With hopes for a better future, for peace for her family, Pauline strives to bring happiness in their household again, but she is shadowed by Death at every step, a silent companion, what with their loss and now with the new family business, the funeral home. Not long after their move, tragedy strikes again for the Brights and the world succumbs in darkness; the Spanish flu is Death’s playground and it’s merciless.
The transformation of Evelyn, Maggie and Willa from young girls to independent women is beautifully narrated. Each one of them plays a role meant to inspire, the world around them not changing their personality only making it stronger. They make the story alluring, paint joy in between sorrow, keep the reader involved.
The title is such an interesting choice, for it follows each character’s journey – the Brights – to their own personal heaven – literal or metaphorical, and bringing that kind of light to those around them and whom they love.
I have only good thoughts and words about this book, and I’m not big on history, but this story and the way it intertwined with historical facts, kept me engaged and made me ache.

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