Now That You Mention It: A Novel by Kristan Higgins (Amazon Link)
Rating: Very Good
Description: One step forward. Two steps back. The Tufts scholarship that put Nora Stuart on the path to becoming a Boston medical specialist was a step forward. Being hit by a car and then overhearing her boyfriend hit on another doctor when she thought she was dying? Two major steps back.
Injured in more ways than one, Nora feels her carefully built life cracking at the edges. There's only one place to land: home. But the tiny Maine community she left fifteen years ago doesn't necessarily want her. At every turn, someone holds the prodigal daughter of Scupper Island responsible for small-town drama and big-time disappointments.
With a tough islander mother who's always been distant and a wild-child sister in jail, unable to raise her daughter--a withdrawn teen as eager to ditch the island as Nora once was--Nora has her work cut out for her if she's going to take what might be her last chance to mend the family.
But as some relationships crumble around her, others unexpectedly strengthen. Balancing loss and opportunity, a dark event from her past with hope for the future, Nora will discover that tackling old pain makes room for promise...and the chance to begin again.
Genre: Fiction - Contemporary
Why I Picked This Book: I've really enjoyed Higgins' fiction before and I love a character who goes home and figures themselves out.
My Impression: I was shocked when I looked at the Goodreads summary and saw this was listed as 416 pages. I finished this in 2 sittings though I would have happily finished it in 1. Higgins pulled me in right away as we see Nora go through her worries as she thinks she's dying. Obviously she isn't otherwise this would be an incredibly short book but it does set her off on some soul searching and prioritizing as well as giving the chance to get to know Nora's voice immediately.
Nora's return to Scupper Island isn't the smoothest. She's hardly welcomed with opened arms even by her mother who comes off as basically disinterested. Nora's niece Poe is downright hostile and the townspeople are stuck on a grievance that happened fifteen years ago. There was a little bit there when it felt like misery and frustration was going to become too much and I was going to get bogged down but bright spots started appearing as Nora starts becoming settled in town. My favorite of the bright spots was Nora's growing friendship with Xiowen who she had vaguely known in high school. She was pretty funny and took nothing from anyone and I loved her and Nora's Harry Potter mentions.
The story progressed in a way that felt really natural. Things didn't become rainbows and unicorns and there were more than a few steps back. But I loved Nora from the start. I loved seeing how competent she was at her profession and I found it interesting to see how she coped with a incredibly terrifying event that happened prior to the book starting. The world of Scupper Island is so vivid and real that it's hard to believe that I can't hop the ferry and go there myself. If you love contemporary fiction with a likable main character, a bit of romance, and a lot of heart this is a read you must not miss.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Would I Read More of this Series/Author? Absolutely! While I haven't read much of her contemporary romance series her stand alone fiction has become an auto-buy.
Would I Recommend this Book? Definitely! If you love contemporary romance or fiction with a bit of romance this is a fantastic read.