*I received a free copy of Now That You Mention It from Harlequin HQN via Edelweiss. This has in no way influenced my voluntary review, which is honest and unbiased *Now That You Mention It by Kristan Higgins
Published by Harlequin HQN on 26 December 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Romance, Women's Fiction
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With a tough islander mother who's always been distant and a wild-child sister in jail, unable to raise her daughter--a withdrawn teen as eager to ditch the island as Nora once was--Nora has her work cut out for her if she's going to take what might be her last chance to mend the family.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.
Now That You Mention It is an incredibly well done story of homecoming, forgiveness, starting over and staying true to oneself.
Now That You Mention It will stay with me for a while, of that I’m sure! Nora was a character who really appealed to me. There was incredible character growth, and I enjoyed seeing the changes she made in her life to make it better. As Nora learned more about her past, it also helped her deal with the present in a better way.
As soon as she could, Nora escaped from Scupper Island and all the cruel people from her school. She also felt unsafe, and was ecstatic to leave it all behind. Not really thinking about the fact that she also left her family behind, she reinvented herself and worked even harder on her studies than she had up until that point.
Now That You Mention It is also about all different kinds of relationships we form in our lives. With friends, with our family, with fellow students, with our colleagues, and with our loved ones. Because of the physical distance Nora put between herself and her family, the emotional distance was there, too. However, it is hard to say whether Nora leaving might have been in part because that emotional distance was so hard for her.
Without spoiling anything, let me just tell you you should get your hands on a copy of Now That You Mention It as soon as it’s released! It’s a strong story, and I feel like it’s one that really needed to be told. It showed me that sometimes, we think we know most everything about the people we love, and then, it appears that we didn’t really… Then, forgiveness and acceptance are extremely important.
Nora is a very strong female character. She never gave up on her dreams, even when she seemingly had every reason to just not try anymore. I enjoyed getting to know her, and through her, all the other characters.
Sharon, Nora’s mother, was hard to get to know. She was quite distant, and seemed removed from Nora in every way. As she slowly opened up, it was not difficult to understand why she acted the way she did.
Poe, Nora’s niece, was a typical hard-as-nails teenager at the beginning of the story. And even without all she had been through, I think I would have understood why she acted that way.
Sullivan, who went to high school with Nora, and who was often in the background in her past, but rather close in part of the present.
Xiaowen, who also went to high school with Nora, then left, and who is now sometimes back at Scupper Island, too. The two women formed a strong bond, and I loved seeing how they both needed a good friend – and found one.
There are more side characters with quite important roles, too, Bobby, Gloria, Luke, and Audrey. However, I mostly wanted to mention those who made the biggest impact on me as a reader.
Writing style :
First person point of view, from Nora’s perspective, Now That You Mention It also included some third person narration and vivid dialogues. The past tense switched between the present time and different times in the past, which brought some incredible layers to Nora’s story.
All the love for Now That You Mention It! There were some parts that made me cry, others that made me smile. And there was a lot of nostalgia as well. Hope and Nora’s perseverance were strong as well.
There was nothing particularly special about his face – brown eyes, straight nose, normal everything else, but when you put them together, the porno music started playing distantly in my brain.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: