Out of the Clear Blue Sky is heartwarming, emotive, touching, realistic and relatable women’s fiction with amazing characters and many themes and layers; the best women’s fiction of ’22 so far.
Out of the Clear Blue Sky by Kristan Higgins
Publication Date : June 7th 2022
Publisher : Berkley Books
Genre : Women’s Fiction
Pages : 496
Tea for this book : Peppermint + Indian Masala
Disclaimer – Many thanks to publisher for e-ARC via NetGalley.
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From New York Times bestselling author Kristan Higgins comes a funny and surprising new novel about second chances–and why the lies we tell ourselves are the most dangerous.
Lillie Silva knew life as an empty nester would be hard after her only child left for college, but when her husband abruptly dumps her for another woman just as her son leaves, her world comes crashing down. Besides the fact that this announcement is a complete surprise (to say the least), what shocks Lillie most is that she isn’t…heartbroken. She’s furious.
Lillie has loved her life on Cape Cod, but as a mother, wife and nurse-midwife, she’s used to caring for other people…not taking care of herself. Now, alone for the first time in her life, she finds herself going a little rogue. Is it over the top to crash her ex-husband’s wedding, dressed like the angel of death? Sure! Should she release a skunk into his perfect new home? Probably not! But it beats staying home and moping.
She finds an unexpected ally in her glamorous sister, with whom she’s had a tense relationship all these years. And an unexpected babysitter in of all people Ben Hallowell, the driver in a car accident that nearly killed Lillie 20 years ago. And then there’s Ophelia, her ex-husband’s oddly lost niece, who could really use a friend.
It’s the end of Lillie’s life as she knew it. But sometimes the perfect next chapter surprises you…out of the clear blue sky.
Out of the Clear Blue Sky is touching and heartwarming women’s fiction that revolves around Lillie Silva whose life takes an unexpected turn when she receives the shock of her husband leaving her for another woman just when her only son is leaving for the college. The story is about betrayal, loneliness, broken family, adjusting to empty nest and kid being independent, family drama, divorces and its impact on family, friendship and love.
Writing is descriptive, witty, and slow to steady paced with first person narrative from Lillie’s POV; and there is intermittent Melissa’s POV- the woman who stole Lillie’s husband- that came as a surprise and also makes the book stand out most from all other books with cheating husband storyline I’ve read before. There are also past chapters without any distinct title and yet it never confuses the present storyline.
This is women-centric, character-driven story with many realistic and relatable characters. I enjoyed reading all characters’ description, their past, backstories, and current situations. It was interesting to see how Lillie will navigate her life, start new chapter of life without the family she had for 20 years, and if she will get over the betrayal and can heal the wound her husband left behind.
Lillie is amazing character. My heart went out to her and i was rooting for her from the beginning. She is fantastic mother and has been great wife who tolerated that pretentious prick for so many years. She is kind, compassionate, and strong. Her anger is justifiable. I was as much angry reading the way her husband dumped her, cheated on her, and didn’t even took accountability for it, in fact he kept telling people they were drifting apart. No wonder Lillie kept looking for a ways to take revenge and I cheered her when she left skunk in their house and dressed as angel of death on their wedding.
There is more to her character. I loved reading about her family, her relationship with them, her childhood story, a terrible accident, and a teen mistake that explained her life decisions. I admired her passion as a midwife, helping mothers deliver babies and even more when she could separate her personal and professional life.
It was great to see how one broken relationship mended so many relationships in Lillie’s life– relationship with her elder sister that has been tense all these years; with her mother whom she never liked and who hasn’t been a loving mother; with Ben Hallowell who caused the accident 20 years ago.
Melissa’s perspective has been a surprise and also most interesting part of the story. At first I didn’t like her. She is selfish, deceiving, self-centered, and money-digger who knew how to use her looks to trap wealthy older men. But as her backstory is revealed, I could understand her motives and decisions. She didn’t have loving parents or lovely childhood and the town she came from was trash. I would have ran away too if I was in her shoe. I didn’t warm to her for long time but I sure admired her determination and life she made for herself even though it was based on lie. She wasn’t bad person but was looking for safety and security and life where she didn’t have to worry about money.
I liked her for her love for her niece, Ophelia. She took care of her like her own daughter and I loved how she wanted to make her life better and give her everything she never had as a kid. It also made sense why she stole Lillie’s husband as it wasn’t for the money. She won my heart when she went out looking for her niece in storm, understood Lillie’s pain, talked about it to Lillie, took her side, and even apologized.
it’s easy to blame the other woman for breaking family and Melissa sure planned it but here Brad, Lillie’s cheating husband, is more to blame. Melissa wouldn’t have succeeded if Brad stayed loyal to Lillie. I hated him for being so ungrateful, selfish, and weak who couldn’t even say sorry for what he did. He and his parents are idiots and I like they got what they deserved.
I loved Helena, Lillie’s sister. It was interesting to read why there was tension between sisters and how they mended it. Lillie’s parents are so dramatic. I loved her dad but I’m still struggling to get her mother. She is so unusual. Ophelia is my favorite character after Lillie. I also loved the handsome fisherman, Ben Hallowell. It was lovely how Ben and Lillie came closer. Their conversation about the accident and what happened all those year ago with Lillie is touching.
Apart from the divorce, its impact on family, and loneliness there has been many layers in the book that we see through all the characters and their backstory- drug addiction, bullying, date rape, trauma, unhappy childhood that affects personality, and miscarriage. Author handled all those serious subjects so well and I loved how the characters found a way to get over it.
Every aspect of the story is the best part of the book. For the first time I can’t choose just one thing. There are so many emotions, hilarious scenes, witty banter, and deep and touching conversations between characters. Cape Code small town, its description and community add its own charm and make the story even more beautiful.
I could see some twists and turns coming and yet I enjoyed reading them. Climax is emotive and touching and hilarious at the same time. I loved this part and end is heartwarming, satisfying, and feel good.
Overall, Out of the Clear Blue Sky is perfectly delightful, emotive, realistic and relatable women’s fiction with many themes and layers.
I highly recommend this if you like,
Small town picturesque setting
Women centric, character driven story
Realistic and relatable characters
Theme of broken family, divorce, loneliness
Layers of drug addiction, bullying, date rape, trauma
Perspective from the other woman that made this stand out
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