Life and Other Inconveniences
by Kristan Higgins
Release Date: August 6, 2019
Number of pages: 448
Read 9/26/19 to 9/27/19
Emma London never thought she had anything in common with her grandmother Genevieve London. The regal old woman came from wealthy and bluest-blood New England stock, but that didn’t protect her from life’s cruelest blows: the disappearance of Genevieve’s young son, followed by the premature death of her husband. But Genevieve rose from those ashes of grief and built a fashion empire that was respected the world over, even when it meant neglecting her other son.
When Emma’s own mother died, her father abandoned her on his mother’s doorstep. Genevieve took Emma in and reluctantly raised her–until Emma got pregnant her senior year of high school. Genevieve kicked her out with nothing but the clothes on her back…but Emma took with her the most important London possession: the strength not just to survive but to thrive. And indeed, Emma has built a wonderful life for herself and her teenage daughter, Riley.
So what is Emma to do when Genevieve does the one thing Emma never expected of her and, after not speaking to her for nearly two decades, calls and asks for help?
Last time I read a book by this author (2017!!!) I complained about being all caught up with her books and having to wait a long time between books now. This time the length of my wait was my own darn fault. I somehow skipped Good Luck With That last year. Don’t worry, I will be remedying that soon.
As usual, Kristan Higgins knows how to make me laugh and cry and get mad. Feel despair or hope. She also knows how to make her readers feel sympathy for unlikable characters. I’m talking about you Genevieve! When you’re first reading this story, you may not believe me about that. And I’m not saying I ever fully loved Genevieve. But I did find some level of sympathy for her while wanting to punch her in the throat.
Although we get some input from multiple characters throughout this book, the main story is centered on Emma. Boy oh boy did that woman have it rough. Sure, she grew up rich and had her needs taken care of, but the more I learned about her childhood the more I wanted to cry. The good thing is that her upbringing made her a fantastic mom. Anyone who has had kids knows that some kids are just easier than others. She got lucky with Riley for sure. But that doesn’t negate the fact that she worked hard to be a loving mother who is always there for her daughter.
Which brings me to Miller and his toddler Tess. Oddly enough, although he was raised by a loving family and had an idyllic marriage for quite a while, he is the one I sympathized for the most. The author did such an amazing job of evoking those helpless feelings a parent can get when their kid is just not cooperating with any of our attempts at being “good” parents. Of course, that made him feel like a terrible parent which led to feelings of guilt. Which make Emma and Riley the perfect people to come into the lives of Miller and Tess.
I’m not classifying this story as a romance since the story does not revolve around a romance. There are elements of romance in this story for sure. So as not to give spoilers I’m not going to say much more than that…but it seems there is romance around every corner in this book that, again, I’m not classifying as a romance.
While I sit here trying to write this review, I feel like so much happened in this story I can’t possibly talk about it all without adding a lot of confusion. But, while reading the story, I never felt like it was too cumbersome. Everything flowed beautifully and smoothly from beginning to end.
It may not seem like it at times as you’re reading this book, but this story will give you hope in the end. There are sad and terrible things that need to be addressed along the way that will make you wonder how everyone will feel joy eventually. It happens. I promise. Kirstan Higgins always come through.