As Bright as Heaven by Susan Meissner

As Bright as Heaven

From the acclaimed author of Secrets of a Charmed Life and A Bridge Across the Ocean comes a new novel set in Philadelphia during the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918, which tells the story of a family reborn through loss and love.In 1918, Philadelphia was a city teeming with promise. Even as its young men went off to fight in the Great War, there were opportunities for a fresh start on its cobblestone streets. Into this bustling town, came Pauline B...

Details As Bright as Heaven

TitleAs Bright as Heaven
Release DateFeb 6th, 2018
PublisherBerkley Books
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, War

Reviews As Bright as Heaven

  • Diane S ☔
    1918, Philadelphia, a city with many opportunities, a city that the Bright family, Pauline, Thomas and their three daughters move to for just that purpose. Thomas's elderly, childless uncle wants them to live in his large house, and for Thomas to train and takeover his mortuary business. Leaving Quakertown behind, this is what the family looks forward to, a new and better life, especially after the tragedy of a terrific loss.I fell in love with t...
  • Hazel Gaynor
    I was very lucky to read an ARC of Susan Meissner's forthcoming novel and it totally swept me away. Beautifully written and vividly imagined, AS BRIGHT AS HEAVEN is a mesmerizing portrayal of the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918, a devastating event in our global history that I haven't read about in such depth before. The author deals with the subject with grace and sensitivity, while drawing the reader into the wonderfully constructed world of her f...
  • Lisa Wingate
    One of the loveliest benefits of author life is being given the opportunity to peruse upcoming books before they make their way to the rest of the world. When an early copy of Bright as Heaven came my way (still in a plain white wrapper, no gorgeous cover yet), I couldn't wait to crack open the pages. Rich in historical detail, Bright as Heaven is a vivid journey into an almost unimaginable time. Pauline, Evelyn, Maggie and Willa face loss, trans...
  • Pam Jenoff
    I was lucky enough to have an early read of this wonderful book set in Philadelphia around the outbreak of WWI. It is a unique premise and gloriously written!
  • Cindy Burnett
    Sue Meissner’s books just get better and better with each new one; every time I pick up her latest book I hope that it will be as good as her last ones, and instead I end up liking the newest one the most. Very few authors can sustain that level of excellence; it is quite an impressive feat. As Bright as Heaven is simply fantastic: Meissner’s tale is fascinating, heartbreaking and an all-around beautifully written book. Moreover, her characte...
  • Meigan
    As Bright as Heaven is a story of love and loss and tragedy, but most importantly - hope. 1918 - the Bright family has relocated to Philadelphia from Allentown, PA, to live with Mr. Bright’s uncle and take over the family’s funeral business. Brimming with optimism in the face of such newfound prosperity, the Brights settle in and quickly adapt to their new lives and routines. But their routines and that new feeling of comfort is short-lived a...
  • Linda Zagon
    My Review of “As Bright As Heaven” by Susan MeissnerI love the vivid descriptions of the setting and the characters in “As Bright As Heaven” by Susan Meissner. The genres for this story are Historical Fiction and Fiction. The story setting for this story is mostly in Philadelphia, and some other areas as described in the story. The timeline of the story is around 1918, when there is the Spanish flu epidemic and carries through the Great W...
  • Donna
    This is the 5th book of SM's that I've read and I will definitely continue to read her work. All of them are completely different from the others in their settings and characters yet they all hold the same qualities and equally compelling stories. These aren't books that instantly hit you over the head but instead are slow build-up's told about relatable & genuine people/families that slowly close their grip on you so that you don't realize how d...
  • PennsyLady (Bev)
    AS BRIGHT AS HEAVENThe turbulent 1918 finds the Bright family moving fromrural Quakertown to Philadelphia.The father (Tom) will assist Uncle Fred in providing services fromthe Bright Funeral Home.Mother (Pauline) and girls Evelyn, Maggie and Willa will be given a "chance at a better life."As the WWI draft looms to include 36 yr old Thomas, he volunteers in the fall 1918, hoping to serve in the field hospital.The Spanish flu, subtle at first, then...
  • Sharon Lawler
    Exceptional writing delivers a tale centered on the grief felt by the Bright sisters, their parents, and those they come to love. Not just historical fiction centered on the 1918 influenza outbreak and its impact on Philadelphia, but an examination of death and loss, and how different personalities cope with being left behind.
  • Sarah Smith
    I happen to be a big fan of historical fiction so this book immediately caught my attention. The novel opens in January of 1918, Tom and Pauline are grieving the recent loss of their infant son and decide to uproot their family (3 young daughters) from rural Pennsylvania to the bustling city of Philadelphia so Tom can work with his Uncle and eventually take over his funeral home business. Soon after their move, more and more American soldiers joi...
  • Julia Alberino
    Full disclosure: I received an advanced reading copy of this book in exchange for agreeing to write an honest review. I was stunned by how much I enjoyed this book! Susan Meissner is so skilled at writing from multiple points of view that I am left in awe of her talent. The four female characters (Pauline, Evelyn, Maggie, and Willa) who tell the story in alternating chapters captured my attention and interest from the first page. Add in some trul...
  • Patricia Linville
    "The Spanish flu pandemic of 1918-19 was the deadliest disease in history...Fifty million people worldwide are estimated to have died from Spanish Flu." acknowledges author Susan Meissner. Her novel As Bright As Heaven chronicles the disease through one family's experiences. Pauline and Thomas are moving to Philadelphia to take over Uncle Fred's undertaking business. No longer do families care for the deceased in their own homes. Now they deliver...
  • Cindy
    I am grateful to Penguin Random House for this advance reading copy of "As Bright As Heaven". Susan Meissner style is character and drama with added historical intrigue. What I like about this story is the delivery in each character's view on war, loss, and triumph. What I did not like is that each character is written in the first person dialogue, in turn making the reader have to stop and refresh on "who" is talking even though the chapter head...
  • Brenda
    I was lucky enough to win an ARC of this wonderful book. I have read and loved many of Susan Meissner's books, but this one may just be my favorite. To read of the harrowing onset of the flu epidemic and to delve into the fear and panic felt by everyone, for no one was untouched, makes for compelling reading. We are treated to the Bright Family's multi-generational points of view, which adds an interesting depth to the story. These intelligent, s...
  • Rosanna
    “Love something long enough and true enough and fate will tear it out of your hands if it chooses and there’s nothing you can do about it.”Loved the setting of this book, during WWI and the Spanish Flu epidemic in the U.S at the time. I was not at all familiar with this era, having read more WWII historical fiction. However, this book dealt with family relationships and boy, do I know about those! Are we predestined in our familial relation...
  • Jennifer Kelley
    I read an excerpt of the book, and am eager to read the rest. Chapter One brings us Pauline, standing at the grave of her infant son, who was granted only a short life. She is readying herself to leave the home she has always known, where she grew up, married and had her children. To move to the city of Philadelphia, where her husband will undertake a new career in his uncle's mortuary.I was immediately drawn in by Pauline's voice and look forwa...
  • Aida Alberto
    I received an advanced copy of this book from the Ninja Review Team. All opinions are my own. Before I joined this group I didn't read much historical fiction but I promised myself that when they offered books to be read and reviewed I would expand my horizons to read a little of everything. I absolutely loved this book. This is the book that awoke my passion for historical books. It is vibrant, emotional and lyrical. She makes you feel as if the...
  • Lillian
    This is the first book I have read from this author and was provided to me as an ARC in exchange for an honest opinion.I enjoyed reading As Bright as Heaven very much and consider it a great read especially Adults and Young Adults and also for Book Clubs, since there are themes and events presented throughout the book which can lead to an interesting discussion. The author sets her historical fiction book in the year of 1918, when the Spanish Flu...
  • Linda
    It is 1918, and Evie, Maggie, and Willa, who narrate the chapters alternately, are relocating from their rural hometown to Philadelphia, where their father has been offered employment in his uncle’s funeral parlor. At the heart of this novel is Death. Loved ones, strangers, children, and adults are affected by the terrible flu pandemic sweeping the world, and the Great War is raging, changing those who can never forget the horror they have seen...
  • Bea
    I received this book from free in exchange for a review. This story follows the lives of four women in a family starting in 1918 and ends in 1926. It takes place in Philadelphia and, while it is during the Great War, it also is during the Spanish Flu epidemic, which I didn't realize killed 12 million people worldwide. The story is told in alternating chapters by a mother and her three daughters. I felt like I knew the characters an...
  • Ginger Pollard
    I was a lucky girl to win this wonderful book on Goodreads! This book starts in one of my favorite years, 1918. It's the year my grandfather, who raised me was born! I'm always interested in this time period. This book does not disappoint, it's absolutely fantastic! The characters are so well developed that you feel like you are there with them. They're people who you really want to know and see succeed in life. A terrible tragedy happens halfway...
  • Jillian Doherty
    This is such a sweet historical fiction about a gruesome part of history. Thanks great writing, strong character development m, and deep empathetic storylines, we get a glimpse into the past that's as readable as it illustrative.I started this book last night, without realizing how immersive and healing each character storyline would be, now rewarded with a full circle conclusion and a story I could put down! The Spanish influenza was a horrible ...
  • Sarah
    I won an ARC copy here on goodreads and I'm so happy I did! This latest Susan Meissner did not disappoint. If you've read her other recent books, you will notice a difference, in that we are not reading parallel stories from two different time periods, but rather we get to read a story about the Spanish Flu epidemic from the different viewpoints of all the ladies in a family... a mother & her three daughters. I loved that their stories all told s...
  • Diane Perry
    I received this in a Goodreads giveaway. I want to thank Berkley Publishing for this advanced copy. Brilliant and compelling. I felt I was back in the 1900s and living with this family. Every tragedy, trial and triumph I went through with the Bright family. I love the fact it was told by the Mother and the three daughters POV. To see how all of them saw the war, there flu epidemic, and work as a family was an emotional rollercoaster ride. This is...
  • Melanie
    This was a warm, inspirational and satisfying story set in Pennsylvania during World War I and the 1918 flu epidemic. I received an advanced reading copy and finished the book in two days because the story was so moving and well-developed. The Bright family endures the losses of friends and family members, a hectic undertaker business and dealing with death in their lives on a daily basis, and they still manage to live with love, caring and hopef...
  • Ellen
    This novel is a work of historical fiction, with the 1918 outbreak of Spanish flu and its victims coming on the heels of deaths from WWI. In Philadelphia, the Bright family is trying to make a new start after losing their son Henry. Living with an uncle who is an undertaker, the family is in Philadelphia where 12,000 died of the flu. I loved the characters, mainly Maggie, Evelyn and Willa, three sisters who move beyond tragedy to make very differ...
  • Ann Marie
    I connected instantly with the mother in this story. Two pages in I was already crying. Has the author suffered a loss to be able to write a scene like this one? Many other profound moments to follow. Tidbits of wisdom. Each character is so well written. Touching story that transcends time. Relevant even today. Any who experience suffering and loss and how to move on will understand. I will be happy to read more of Susan Meissner's books.