Sunday, June 2, 2024

Book Review: Look on the Bright Side

By Melissa Smoot

Lark Smith has always had a plan for her life: find a fantastic guy, create a marriage as blissful as her parents’, pop out a couple of kids and build a rewarding career as an oncologist.

Things aren’t going so well.

For one, the guy didn’t work out. Theoretically, she’d love to find someone else, but it hasn’t happened. Two, she’s just been transferred out of oncology for being too emotional. (Is it her fault she’s a weeper?) Three, her parents just split up.

Deviating from the plan was…well, not in the plan. A potential solution comes from the foul-tempered and renowned surgeon Lorenzo Santini (aka Dr. Satan). He needs a date this summer for his sister’s wedding. His ancient Noni wants to see him settled. In exchange, he could make a few introductions and maybe get Lark back into the field of her choice.

As a sucker for old people and fake relationships, Lark agrees. Teeny problem—she instantly falls for his big, warm family. Especially his estranged brother.

Meanwhile, Lark’s mom has moved in with Lark’s colorful landlady, Joy, and an unlikely friendship blossoms. The three women have a long summer and a big beautiful house on the ocean to figure out what’s next…and quite possibly learn that the best things in life aren’t planned at all. (Synopsis courtesy of Amazon.)

I was not sure what to expect from this book. I knew I would enjoy it because I have always loved anything that takes place in New England, especially Cape Cod and the Islands (Nantucket & Martha’s Vineyard). I also like books about second chances or the opportunity to start over. This story was no exception. Higgins gives us a vivid picture of Cape Cod as well as Boston, where I lived for a few years, so I can attest to the accuracy of the street names and landmarks. I loved the feeling of nostalgia I got while reading.

While I was expecting some teary moments, I was ill prepared for the level of emotion that this story packed in. Higgins left nothing out and gives the reader a clear background of her main characters, especially Lark Smith, Ellie Smith (Lark’s mother), and Joy, Lark’s fun-loving and unconventional landlady. While I did feel some parts were a bit slow moving in the beginning, it picked up pace by the middle of the book. I really liked every character, even the grouchy and downright mean (most times), Lorenzo, but I adored Joy. She had a light about her that made me want her to be my friend and landlady and I appreciated how her story evolved.

If you are looking for something that will give you all the feels and stay up late into the night waiting to see how it unfolds, this is the book for you. Just make sure you have plenty of tissues nearby because you will be crying happy AND sad tears!

Thanks to Berkley for the book in exchange for an honest review. Purchase Look on the Bright Side here.

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1 comment:

Rita Wray said...

Sounds like a book I will enjoy reading.