• Sahar Abdulaziz

Book Review: If You Only Knew by Kristan Higgins

"Letting go of her ex-husband is harder than wedding-dress designer Jenny Tate expected…especially since his new wife wants to be Jenny's new best friend. Needing closure, Jenny trades the Manhattan skyline for her hometown up the Hudson, where she'll start her own business and bask in her sister Rachel's picture-perfect family life…and maybe even find a little romance of her own with Leo, her downstairs neighbor, who's utterly irresistible and annoyingly distant at the same time. Rachel's idyllic marriage, however, is imploding after she discovers what looks like her husband's infidelity. She always thought she'd walk away in this situation but now she's wavering, much to Jenny's surprise. Rachel points to their parents' perfect marriage as a shining example of patience and forgiveness; but to protect her sister, Jenny may have to tarnish that memory—and their relationship­—and reveal a family secret she's been keeping since childhood. Both Rachel and Jenny will have to come to terms with the past and the present, and find a way to help each other get what they want most of all." –Amazon

Anybody who reads my reviews, already knows I won't give a plot away. I just won't do it. When I choose to review, I do so more to express the emotions a particular story has evoked within me; and the beliefs or assumptions that became challenged. Some books fill a void where others dig a hole in your gut so deep, so wide–that as you read the last word in the final chapter, you're unaware of how long you were holding your breath.

This book ... If You Only Knew, by Kristan Higgins ripped me apart and then sewed me back together again. Her writing uncovers and slices through a myriad of feelings, then plies them together with thoughts, allowing the reader to engage and become fully absorbed. As I read, I kept thinking, who hasn't experienced this wave of uncertainties in their life at one time or another?

The emotions this author seamlessly pulls to the surface is nothing less than phenomenal. Love, trust, betrayal, past haunts, the promise of a future–selflessness and selfishness. AND, she throws in romance and humor to boot–no rock left unturned. To say, "I LOVED this book" sounds trite, but I did. And I plan to gift this book to those who might need to explore their feelings, watch them dismantled, and then validated, all without judgment.

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