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Life and Other Inconveniences

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Kristan Higgins is one of my favorite authors and she keeps getting better and better. Her last few books have been a little more serious in tone than her earlier fun light hearted romances. But they still have those lovable relatable characters that draw you in to the story. They also still have the dogs! This is probably my favorite book from KH yet, but I will almost guarantee you that her next one will be my new favorite. She just has such an absorbing writing style that completely consumes you from first page to last. Her character development is perfection. These are characters you will feel as though you know as well as your own friends by the end of the book, flaws and all. I could gush even more, but I will spare you all! If you are a Kristan Higgins fan this is a must read. And if you have not read her yet... what are you waiting for?

   The story is primarily told from the perspectives of granddaughter and grandmother, Emma and Genevieve. Emma came to live with her grandmother after the tragic death of her mother and the abandonment by her father. Genevieve is not the most loving of grandmothers. Still struggling with the death of her beloved older son and the premature death of her husband. When Emma gets pregnant at the age of 18 and is not able to follow the life plan that Genevieve has imagined for her Genevieve kicks her out. Fast forward 17 years Emma is doing well raising her daughter Riley, when out of the blue Genevieve reaches out. Genevieve is dying and wants to reconnect with Emma, meet her granddaughter for the first time who she intends to leave her fortune to. What follows is a story about family, Hope, forgiveness, Secrets, and love. Both Genevieve and Emma were such smart and strong women. Genevieve is one of those characters that really grows on you throughout the course of a book. Emma was a great character whose only flaw was that she was a little too perfect. There also were so many amazing secondary characters. Emma’s daughter Riley, her father Pop, and neighbor Miller. Miller was not only a love interest, but he also had a challenging relationship with his own three-year-old precocious (to say the least) daughter. The additional peppering of both Riley and Miller’s perspectives really added some depth to the book. Such a beautifully told powerful story that made me both laugh and cry. I will never look at mixing beaters or pirates the same way again!

*** Big thanks to Berkley for my copy of this book ***
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Life and Other Inconveniences is a beautiful story of growth and forgiveness. Kristan Higgins has turned her writing style more towards the serious and heavy side of things, but you won't be disappointed! The secondary characters are the best part of the book and will stay with you even after you've finished reading. A wonderful story, especially if you're a Gilmore Girls fan!
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A bit melancholy, a bit sweet, this contemporary fiction story about family, home, and love is now one of my favorites since Kristan Higgins left the romance world. Emma's resilience and love for her child was well written, and the character of Miller is one of the "realest" I've read in a long time. His pain rings so true, and his struggle to parent his child after the tragic and unexpected death of his wife will shatter readers. The only hang up I had from this one was that there were a few too many viewpoints, and some of them weren't totally necessary (while I understand what Higgins was trying to do when using Clark's point of view for I believe only two chapters, I think it could have been incorporated into one of the other POVs with better success).
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Life and Other Inconveniences was a touching, emotional story that felt so true to life for me. I don’t know about you, but sometimes it’s hard dealing with family. Growing up wasn’t smooth sailing for me or my family. We had tragedy, and it affected all of us differently.  So, while I love my family, I have mixed emotions, and some complicated relationships.  

Kristan Higgins beautifully captured the complexities of a strained family dynamic but did in a way that left me with happy, squishy feelings!  I loved Emma so much! She was such an awesome person all the way around despite having to deal with some truly horrible things.  When I first started reading, I hated her grandmother, Genevieve, but as the story went along things weren’t as black and white as I thought, and I couldn’t help but soften toward her.  Emma and her daughter Riley called her out on her behavior, and there were honest exchanges that went a long way toward healing for all parties. I adored Emma’s grandfather, Paul, too! Such a positive role model despite all the things he went through.  

While this wasn’t predominantly a romance there was some and I was sooo happy for Emma to finally get a decent man (Jason, Riley’s dad was a complete moron, IMO) in her life, well, besides her grandfather, that is.  Miller!! Yes, Miller was the unexpected light for Emma, and she was a godsend for him, too! 

That twist at the end hurt my heart for all parties. While I’m not sure it was a good enough excuse for the behavior of one of the characters, it certainly made their actions make more sense.
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This is a story of a broken family that finally comes together again when it's almost too late.  It begins with a mother who has lost her favorite child.  The boys (Dad included) went on a fishing trip.  He loads up the car for the trip back and then finds the eldest son has disappeared.  No one can find him.  Then her husband dies not long afterward.  She's lonely and grieving so she starts a fashion business and does very well with it.  But there are more problems coming...

Berkley and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published today.

Genevieve is always dressed perfectly, has her makeup on and her hair done nicely.  She's a lady and acts like one.  Then Clark, the son she didn't like, comes to visit and leaves his young daughter with her.  His wife had committed suicide and he can't take of her alone.  Neither granddaughter or grandmother want to be with each other but they adjust.  Emma wants her to love her but Genevieve has tucked her heart away.  If you don't love, you won't hurt.

Genevieve has big plans for Emma but when she gets pregnant at the end of her senior year at high school, she demands she abort the baby so her plans won't be ruined.  When Emma refuses, she kicks her out of the house and out of her life.  So it's quite a shock when she calls and asks Emma to come back.  It seems she  has cancer now and wants her to spend her last summer with her.  Emma doesn't want to but her daughter, Riley, does.  So they go.

It was interesting to see how this all played out.  There was plenty of family drama, a few lies, and a closeness neither of them expected.  This was a study in family relationships and while it's not all happy ever after at least the air has been cleared.  And Emma has found love again...
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Emma London has worked hard to build a life for her and her young daughter.  Even though she’s done a pretty good job, it’s still far from how she grew up.  

As the granddaughter of the famous Genevieve London of Genevieve London Designs, her future should have been assured.  Instead, she was left devastated by her mother’s death, deserted by an uncaring father and then finally tossed aside as a pregnant teen. 

Now after all of these years, Genevieve has the audacity to reach out for a favor.  She wants Emma and Riley to live with her during her final days.  But what she doesn’t know is that it’s really a chance for her to come to terms with past – once and for all.

 “My reflection in the glass showed me for what I was—not a discerning consumer, not a fashionable woman, just an ordinary-looking person with her dark blond hair pinned up in a graceless bun, wearing dark pants and a dark shirt, both polyester. This morning, I thought I looked nice. Crisp. Professional. Right now, I looked droopy, hot and . . . scared. This was not how Genevieve would’ve crafted me.
For years, I’d done a bang-up job of forgetting that Genevieve London was my grandmother and had raised me from the age of eight to eighteen. It was easy, considering we hadn’t spoken for seventeen years.”

In Life and Other Inconveniences, Kristan masterfully navigates the complex subjects of parenthood, sacrifice and forgiveness.  Each of her characters come alive in all of their glorious imperfection and somehow still find their way into your heart. 

It’s in the way that Genevieve discovers her true capacity to love.  It’s in the way that Miller fights so hard for Tess and it’s in the way that Emma will do absolutely anything for Riley. 

You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll savor every emotion that you will experience while reading this book. And you’ll find that love - in all of its heartbreaking forms - is well worth the fight…  

“Parenting isn’t always a peachy-colored glow. Half the time, it’s just showing up and doing your best.”
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I had trouble connecting with the characters of the book and was just not able to finish. I have liked Kristan's work in the past but this story just wasn't for me.
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I have become such a huge fan of Kristan Higgins!! She never disappoints my friends and  this one is just another high praise in my book! I think after now reading 4 books by this author and loved all of them.. it's an automatic buy for me!!

I just loved this set of characters and didn't want this book to end! I was so sad!!! I read Good Luck With That last year and it ended up on my top 10 list for 2018. This one is definitely up there as well my friends for my top 2019 picks!

Everytime I have read her books I'm always laughing, crying, smiling, happy... you name it. This book is nothing different than her previous books my friends!

Plain and simple... please do yourself a favor and grab this emotional and amazing book up!!

4.5 strong stars for me!!

Thank you so much to Berkley publishing and Netgalley for the arc in exchange for an honest review.

Publication date: 8/6/19
Published to GR: 8/5/19
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How does one day ripple and impact a family for more than 50 years? 

That’s one of the issues Ms Higgins looks at in this powerful story about family, righting past wrongs, and making a path for the future. 

Told from multiple points of view, we spend a summer with the London family and in flashbacks we understand more about the journey that has brought them to where they are today. 

With engaging characters, Ms Higgins tackles tough subjects and uses the individual experiences to let us see the cause and effect of various decisions. At first it is easy to say “I wouldn’t do that,” but the more we get to know the people behind the choices, some of them make more sense and it creates a feeling of empathy with the people involved. 

Ms Higgins is a go to author for me and Life and Other Inconveniences just cemented that fact for me.
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Life and Other Inconveniences is an amazing and emotional story that is pure Kristan Higgins; you can hear her voice through the words.  This story features family and friends who have dealt with loss, love, death, and family dynamics, made me laugh, cry, and be empathetic for the various characters.  We get a peek of how each person dealt with loss, pain, grief, new loves, babies, and/or unexpected events.  This story dealt with people forgiving others or finding forgiveness within their heart. Then there was family love shown in varying degrees from “I love you because you are my child” to “I don’t mean to smother you but I need to protect you” and those in between. There’s mother and child love, grandmother and orphaned child, widowed father and a devil-child, unconditional love, as well as love between two people possibly in love.  There is also the growth of the characters through a summer of ups, downs, lies, truth, as well as all sorts of other unexpected events and feelings. 

Ms. Higgins wrote a story that reflects family dynamics which many readers can relate to. Reading this story was like being in a room with the characters, each taking a turn to tell their version of their story; each chapter is the voice of a different character, talking and clarifying their point of view or memory. I wondered whether or not it was cathartic for the character, sharing their memories, feelings, and pain.  

Ms. Higgins wrote an amazing and emotional story that is not to be missed. In typical Higgins fashion, mixed with the teary emotional portions are humorous situations that brought out laughs and smiles.   She provided a tale rich with family dynamics, amusing banter, and other endearing characters throughout this story. I highly recommend Life and Other Inconveniences to other readers.

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book, provided by the publisher.
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Life and Other Inconveniences is a stunning exploration of the ways in which tragedy and the grief that ensues have the power to inform choices and transform lives, the resilience that comes from determination, and the importance of resolution and forgiveness.

Emma London is thirty-five years old and has struggled mightily to build a life for herself and Riley, a sometimes sullen sixteen-year-old. They live with Emma's maternal grandfather in a Chicago suburb. Emma toiled in a local grocery store while she pursued her studies and raised Riley. Although it took her a decade, she earned three degrees and her career as a psychologist is getting off the ground. Since learning she was pregnant, Emma's life has revolved solely around Riley, whose father, Jason, has steadily provided child support but little else. Emma's dreams of marrying Jason and creating a home for their child gradually dimmed as, rendered homeless by her grandmother's cruelty, she was taken in by Paul. Jason's plan to attend college was not, unlike Emma's, derailed. He graduated and ended up marrying the glamorous and successful Jamilah, with whom he has two sons.

After Emma's departure, Genevieve did what she always does. She carried on in her stately Connecticut home, Sheerwater, in tony Stoningham, Connecticut, surrounded by her live-in housekeeper and companion, Donelle; completely inept cook, Helga; and Charles, her driver. Now eighty-five years old, she sits on numerous boards and committees, and hosts cocktail parties every Friday evening for a small group of friends and neighbors. Stylish, caustic, and brutally frank, Gigi -- as only Emma was allowed to call her -- does her best to hide the deep sorrow she has carried for more than fifty years since her beloved favorite child, Sheppard, went missing, and Garrison died far too young. 

As the story opens, Emma is stunned to hear from Genevieve after seventeen years. And even more surprised by the proposition Genevieve offers her. Claiming that she has been diagnosed with a brain tumor, Genevieve asks Emma to bring Riley and come to Sheerwater to spend time with her before she dies. In exchange for which, she will make Riley her sole heir. While Emma's integrity is not for sale, she does worry about how she will pay for Emma's college education given that she has a mountain of student loans to pay off herself, and Jason cannot be counted on to contribute financially. Emma would very much like Genevieve to see what a terrible mistake she made all those years ago when she demanded that Emma either abort her unborn child or place him/her for adoption . . . or be cut off. Riley is a beautiful girl with striking blue eyes and stunning red hair. An honors student with a bright future ahead of her. Thus, Emma, Riley, and Paul -- who, thankfully, insists upon accompanying them and providing moral support -- head off to Connecticut for the summer.

Higgins effectively relates the story through alternating chapters. Emma, Genevieve, and Riley reveal their pasts and inner dialogues through first-person narratives, while the focus is on Clark and Miller, Jason's cousin, in third-person narratives. Jason is a handsome forty-year-old widower who is struggling to raise his headstrong, tantrum-prone daughter, Tess, on his own. Higgins' dialogue is crisp, believable, and often hilarious, particularly concerning the mischief that out-of-control but lovable Tess, a full-fledged three-year-old terror gets into. Miller's vacillation between devotion to Tess and wishing his stubborn, unruly child had never been born is completely authentic. 

While all of Higgins's characters are credible and endearing, each in his/her frequently eccentric way, it is, surprisingly, Genevieve who grabs the reader's heartstrings and does not let go. Her description of the losses she has endured, how living with loss has impacted her life and informed her decision-making, the secrets she has kept for so long, and what, in actuality, she has planned is compelling and frequently so searingly painful and raw it is difficult to continue reading. Higgins gradually reveals that the woman who is so sharply critical of others -- seemingly lobbing verbal jabs with no awareness of the harm they do to others, much less remorse -- has long shone the same critical light upon herself. Despite her outward demeanor, Genevieve is well aware of the ways in which she has failed those she loves. But some people find love and appreciation far more difficult to express than judgment. Higgins imbues Genevieve's story with grace, compassion, and empathy.

Over the course of the summer, secrets are revealed, bonds are formed, and it becomes clear that the dynamics in some relationships will never change so it is better to move on separately. Life and Other Inconveniences is, at its core, an engrossing story about four generations of women and the ways in which they react to life events. None of them are perfect, there are no heroes, and even Genevieve is not truly the "gorgon" that Emma perceived her to be when she was a young girl growing up with the knowledge that her parents both abandoned her and her grandmother only reluctantly agreed to raise her. Higgins deftly explores the hold that old wounds have over the women and whether they can find a way to heal and move forward. Higgins can be forgiven for some predictable aspects of the tale because her characters are fully developed and memorable, and the story's themes resonate. Higgins delivers the emotionally satisfying conclusion that makes taking the journey with Emma, Genevieve, Riley, and her fascinating cast of supporting characters worthwhile.
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When she was eight years old, Emma London's mother committed suicide. With her mother dead, her father "unable to cope," and her maternal grandparents unable to take on a child because her grandmother, Joan, was beginning to suffer the symptoms of ALS, Emma was sent to live with her other grandmother, Genevieve London.

Genevieve had suffered her own losses, the disappearance of her other son, Sheppard, two years older than Emma's father, Clark, when Sheppard was seven, and the death of her own husband, Emma's other grandfather, Garrison, a few years later. One might think this common experience of loss would help the two bond, but Genevieve had responded to her losses by becoming very closed off and self-protective. She thought her duty to Emma was teaching her to be strong, pragmatic, and focused on success. When at 18, just about to go off to Smith College in the fall, Emma gets pregnant, Genevieve is disgusted, and kicks her out when she refuses to either have an abortion, or give the baby up for adoption.

Emma goes to Chicago, to stay with her other grandparents. Far more able to help a pregnant near-adult now than a grieving child when they were grieving too, and just learning to cope with Joan's illness, they welcome her.

Seventeen years later, Emma is a Ph.D. in psychology, working as a therapist, and her daughter, Riley is sixteen, beautiful, doing well in school, and pretty well adjusted. Emma's grandmother, Joan, has died, but her grandfather, Paul, is alive, active, and devoted to his little family. They live together in the house Paul and Joan bought many years ago.

When Genevieve calls, saying that she's dying, and asking Emma to come home to Connecticut, dangling the possibility of making Riley rather than Emma's father, Clark, her heir, Emma, despite some qualms over the prospect of Riley not having to worry about tuition and other schooling costs, says no. They're doing fine. Emma doesn't need to sell her self-respect for money. And she doesn't want Riley through the same pain she did, of trying to win Genevieve's love and never quite succeeding. 

Then Riley's closest friends at school metamorphose into Mean Girls, with Riley as their new principal target. We eventually learn that Riley had seen some of this behavior before, but she never thought they were this bad, or that they'd turn on her.

Getting Riley out of Chicago and to Genevieve's house in Connecticut suddenly seems like an excellent idea.

What follows is a summer of self-discovery and mutual discovery for Emma, Riley, Genevieve--and people they know, or come to know.

Genevieve is hard to like, and not all her decisions have been good, for her or her family, but she has tried hard to do her duty, and to do her best for them. The Emma we meet early on has a lack of real confidence, but we come to see she's been a good mother and is also a very good therapist. We meet Riley's father, Jason, and his wife, Jamilah, and their sons. We learn something about why, maybe, Clark grew up to be such a weak character and a crappy father. We see them all growing, or not, confronting their weaknesses and mistakes, or not. It's an absorbing, and satisfying, fammily story.

I'm going to talk for a moment about Genevieve's dogs. She has five, much to Emma's surprise, and they're all apparently a result of her having been lured into what was originally a duty involvement with a local shelter. They are each, in their way, sweet dogs. But one of them is a pug, called Allegra.

Allegra, like many pugs, due to the horribly squished face, which many people, unaware of the effects on the dog, mistakenly think is "cute." It isn't. It's heartbreaking. That snorting and snuffling and snoring is a result of these almost uniformly sweet-tempered, loving dogs not being able to breathe properly. As an asthmatic, I can tell you with absolute certainty that your snorting, snuffling, snoring little pug is suffering, and also sleep-deprived.

Here's the kicker. There's a surgery, involving soft palette resection and some other things, that can enable your suffering pug to breathe comfortably, and sleep properly. It's not cheap. But this is a woman with great resources, and whom we know from the text of the book is aware her pug is suffering due to this. Allegra should have been given that surgery, but there's no indication that Genevieve is aware of it. Perhaps the author is unaware of it--but since she clearly knows pugs suffer with their breathing problems, that's just inexcusably lazy, at best.

So, it's a good book, and enjoyable. But if you love dogs, especially if you love pugs, be aware. If you have pugs, be aware.

And yes, when I post this review on sites that have star ratings, this is costing the book a star.

I received a free electronic galley of this book from the publisher via NetGalley, and am reviewing it voluntarily.
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4.5 stars

Kristan Higgins chooses unexpected family relationships as her focus for this book, and she captivates you in the process.

Emma London, the daughter of a feckless man and an emotionally ill mother who took her life, is the single mother of sixteen-year-old Riley, a precocious child currently being bullied by her so-called friends. Emma and Riley live with Emma’s maternal grandfather, a crusty widower whose love for his girls is deep and unquestioning.

After her paternal grandmother, renowned handbag designer Genevieve London, kicked her out upon her announcement at eighteen of her pregnancy, Emma has done whatever needed to provide for Riley. She had to live with her grandmother because her feckless father didn’t want the burden of caring for her. What Genevieve fails to see is that Emma may have been smart enough to know that getting pregnant in high school may not be the best move, but she’s also a girl desperate to love and be loved. She falls for a rather feckless boy, and she falls harder for her daughter.

Genevieve herself is far more complex than Emma wants to give her credit for being. Her oldest son went missing when he was eight, and for the ensuing fifty-five years, Genevieve has not known whether he is dead or alive. She refers to him as The Missing. Kristan Higgins makes you feel Genevieve’s pain, loss, and horror. Grab some tissues because despite her frostiness, Genevieve will bring you to tears.

Another family featured in this book is that of Miller Finlay, whose construction company has made updates to Genevieve’s sprawling Connecticut mansion. Miller happens to be the cousin of Emma’s feckless baby daddy, and he, too, has suffered great loss. His beloved wife died during childbirth, and their baby Tess, now three, is a terror. For real. She’s the kind of child teenagers ought to have to babysit because she is perfect birth control.

These three people–Genevieve, Emma, and Miller–have heartache in common, yet Genevieve refuses to allow it to bring her closer to Emma. (She kind of does with Miller, as much as Genevieve can let anyone in.) There is one moment in this book when Emma quite plainly tells her grandmother that all she ever wanted was to be loved, and it will crack you wide open.

Emma and Riley, along with Emma’s grandfather, come back to Connecticut when Genevieve beckons them. I loved that Emma not only was open to Genevieve having a relationship with Riley, she supported and encouraged it. Seeing her daughter with her grandmother brings Emma joy, which makes you like her all the more. You won’t always like Genevieve, even as you sympathize with her. She’s so determined to stiff-upper-lip everything that she blinds herself to the gift of family she’s been given–for a third time, in fact.

This book feels different from other Kristan Higgins books. Yes, it has her warmth and humor, but there is a sadness in Genevieve, Emma, and Miller that pervades nearly every page. Even Emma’s grandfather has a sadness about him. These people need to heal, and you aren’t always certain that Genevieve’s mansion is where that can happen. Yet this home, so large and stuffed with more rooms than necessary, also proves to have an intimacy that provokes emotional connection.

Dear reader, I cried. Several times, in fact. I always cry in Kristan Higgins’s books, but this one packed a stronger wallop. I absolutely loved it. The only reason I can’t give it five stars is that one plot point is tied up a little too neatly and conveniently at the end of the book, and it feels somewhat false. It feels like a minor quibble in the face of such a tremendous book. And make no mistake, this is a tremendous book.
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There are many great aspects of the book-the characters are so vividly painted and have authentic dialogue that they seem real, the setting is described in lush details.  I enjoyed the multi-person narration of the story.  All that said,  I find that what I really enjoy about Kristan Higgins books is their believabilty-like I could imagine myself there or having coffee with a character.  This book was a bit too unbelievable to me-the story seemed convoluted, the characters were all a bit too quirky (if my teenage daughter was even 1/10 as self-aware as Riley, I would be the happiest mom on earth).  Things just didn't add up for me with regards to the plot, but as always, I remain impressed with Kristan Higgin's ability to develop strong characters.
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Kristan Higgins is my favorite author. I own all of her books in digital, paperback and hardcover forms. I think she's an amazing writer and she seems to be an awesome human being too.

When I received a copy of Life and Other Inconveniences, I was ecstatic! As a book lover, nothing feels as great as getting a book by your favorite author. Then, something happened. I didn't want to read it. Why? because she writes a book a year and if I started it too soon, I was going to have to wait a long time for her next one. Finally, this weekend, I couldn't postpone it any longer. So I prepared for my weekend. I asked my husband to take care of the puppies, breakfast and household chores while I took the morning off to read. No interruptions, no breaks.

Life and Other Inconveniences is narrated in multiple points of views. The main three characters are: 

Emma, a single mother who has abandonment issues. When she was very little, her mother committed suicide and her father Clark, left her with her grandmother and never looked back. When Emma meets the first boy/man who shows her some love, she dates him for three years and just before she graduates high school, she learns she's pregnant. Her grandmother, Genevieve is not happy and pretty much kicks her out. Emma goes to live with her maternal grandfather. Years later, she's starting her career as a psychologist and her daughter, Riley is a teenager.

Genevieve London had a perfect marriage. She loved her husband, Garrison with all of her heart. She also had two boys, Sheppard and Clark. She loved Sheppard, her oldest and when he goes missing at a very young age, she loses part of her heart. Then, Garrison dies too and when he dies, Genevieve loses the ability to love. She's never the mother that she should be to Clark (her youngest son) and when years later, he delivers his daughter, Emma to her doorstep, she thinks this is her chance to make amends. Yet, When Emma gets pregnant, she can't be flexible.

Last, we have Riley. Emma's daughter and Genevieve's granddaughter. A smart young woman with a good heart. Riley's having problems at school and when Genevieve's invitation to spend the summer with her is given, Emma and Riley agree it could be a good time to leave town.

Life and Other Inconveniences felt different than her prior novels. I had a hard time concentrating on the story. I felt there was too much inner dialogue by Emma and Genevieve. I missed the humor I've come to expect from KH. I missed the embarrassing moments, I've come to feel for the characters. I missed the romance, I've come to adore. 

I like to clarify that ANY time there was a dialogue, I was 100% immersed in it. Even though, the dialogue was so scattered, when it was there, I craved it.

These are my opinions but I hope this doesn't deter you from reading this book. 

Cliffhanger: No


A complimentary copy was provided by Berkley via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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This book was amazing and I couldn't put it down (I stayed up until 3am finishing it). Somehow Higgins was able to make me feel sympathetic towards even the most unlikable characters in the novel, which is one of the reasons she's such an amazing author.

The reasons I loved this book:

~ I absolutely loved the mother/daughter relationship between Emma and Riley. While their relationship wasn't without complications or struggles, I found it very real and complex. These two were both great characters that were easy to connect with.

~ This book also has a character with the difficult mental illness of severe depression. I felt this part of the book was extremely well written and I found myself tearing up as her struggles were described.

~ Miller is one of those genuinely great characters that make you wish they were real so you could meet them in real life. His story was heartbreaking, but the ending brought closure and you'll find yourself crushing hard on him.

~I couldn't possibly talk about everything I enjoyed about this book without mentioning Higgins writing style. The alternating narratives help you understand the different character's POVs and her way with words will have you feel what the characters are feeling. I laughed along with the characters, cried when they felt pain, and really wanted to give a few a big hug and tell them it will be ok. Higgins ability to bring her characters to life always seems to surprise me and is part of the reason I keep reading her books.

What kept me from giving this book 5⭐?

~I felt some aspects of this book were a bit to predictable and others a bit unrealistic. While neither of these are huge issues, they did keep me from giving the book 5⭐. Regardless I found the book enjoyable and would still recommend it to friends.
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Higgins is easily one of my favorite authors and I gladly grab any books that are available from her. 

I enjoyed this story very much. It was simply about life. Emma was not one of my favorite characters but after a while I began to understand her a bit more. I enjoyed the background characters very much. Especially the grandmother. Feisty thing that she was. 

As a fan of women’s lit this is a great story to read. Wonderful beach read. With a lot of angst and family love this is worth the read. 

I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
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I am SO excited that it’s finally time for me to fangirl over one of my all time favorite authors latest book! She’s one of those rare gems that gets better with each book, I always say her newest is my most favorite and I’m saying it again here. This had all the elements that I’ve come to expect and love from KH and much more.

This flips back and forth between Genevieve, Riley and Emma with some chapters from other secondary characters as well giving you a true birds eye point of view of all the action. While KH books always have an engaging storyline full of humor and heart, what truly makes her books shine is her phenomenal characterization. Every single character here was portrayed in a way that made them feel larger than life and like you could easily imagine yourself chatting to them in real life. This amazing writing style allows you to get so fully invested in these people that they feel like real friends by the time you get done. This tactic also always makes me feel something, I could relate to Emma’s struggles as a mother, I felt sympathetic to Genevieve’s loss of her son, I wanted to help keep Riley safe from the mean girls at school, my point here is that it was an emotional read and I experienced way too many emotions to name, both highs and lows.

If you’re already a fan of KH you’ll be ecstatic about this one and if she’s a new to you author grab this and then be so excited she has an extensive backlist to devour because you’ll definitely want more!

Life and Other Inconveniences in three words: Heartfelt, Emotional and Moving
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When I pick up a Kristan Higgins book, I know that I'm in for a great read. In the last year or so, her novels have developed from light, fun romances into women's fiction with more depth. Life and Other Inconveniences tells the story of Emma London, her daughter Riley, and her grandmother, Genevieve. Emma was raised by her grandmother from the age of 8 until she became pregnant at 18, when Genevieve kicked her out of the family mansion. 16 years later, Genevieve re-enters Emma's life. The story of these women and the tragedies they've endured is powerful. Told from multiple points of view, their lives intertwine in a mesmerizing story that is difficult to put down. By far, this is my favorite Higgins book that she's written (and I've loved them all). This is one that I'll have to reread a few times for sure!
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When I decided to read this book I thought it would be in the same style of her previous books On Second Thought and Now That You Mention It that I loved so much. It wasn't. At least for me, this seemed like Higgins is trying to branch off into serious family drama and it didn't work for me. We have alternating perspectives of Emma, the estranged granddaughter of the famous Genevieve, Genevieve herself who's dying and wants to reconnect, and Riley Emma's daughter. Interspersed is also a couple chapters of sub characters who play small parts in the story. Often the structure went from flashback to present and the entire first half before I started skimming felt like info dump backstory. Where was the witty dialogue from books' past? Also, while Genevieve was probably the most well developed character, she wasn't likable and Emma and Riley were too perfect. A teenager that never has mood swings, gets mouthy and is always considerate of her mom? Not sure that's realistic. I skimmed the second half and the entire story was as I predicted minus one part that I ended up not really caring about. I wish I would've liked this better
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