Book Review: Out of the Clear Blue Sky by Kristan Higgins

Posted June 6, 2022 by WendyW in Book Review, bookblogger / 55 Comments

Out of the Clear Blue Sky
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Half a Flame

by Kristan Higgins
Publication Date June 7, 2022
Published by Penguin
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Genres: Fiction / Family Life / General, Fiction / Romance / General, Fiction / Women
Pages: 496
Format: ARC

***I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.***

From New York Times bestselling author Kristan Higgins comes a funny and surprising new novel about losing it all—and getting back more than you ever expected.
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 twenty 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 by Kristan Higgins is a delightful, humorous, and emotional look at a broken family and their path to healing.  I was highly anticipating this book, and it met all my expectations and then some!  

Lilly is just about to become an empty nester.  She has a happy life in a small town on Cape Cod and works as a nurse-midwife at a local clinic, she’s been married for years and they have one son, who is about to leave home to attend college in Montana!  She’s proud of her son, but, it’s still hard for her to know he’ll be so far away.  Having her only child move so far away is bad enough, but when her husband suddenly announces that he is moving out to be with his mistress, Lillie just can’t take it anymore.  Of course, he moves in with his mistress in the very same town on Cape Cod, where she grew up, and they raised their son.  

Lilly becomes justifiable angry, and she isn’t one to sit at home and dwell on her life, so she pulls a few hilarious stunts in her anger, but eventually decides to focus on her family and friends.  And she makes a very unlikely ally in the process. 

I’ve read many books with the overall plot about a woman who was blindsided by a cheating husband.  But, what makes Out of the Clear Blue Sky different than the other books are the characters, the writing, and the humor.  

First is the characters.  Lillie is one tough cookie, and I thought the way she handled having her life uprooted so unexpectedly was funny.  Instead of getting sad and heartbroken, she gets angry.  And her anger doesn’t always make sensible choices, but they do make her start to live her own life, on her own terms.  Her emotions felt real to me, she went a little crazy, but it helped her to understand her own feelings.  What also made this book different was reading the point of view of Melissa, the Other Woman.  I thought that hearing her story made this book really special.  I never grew to like her character, but at least I understood her motivations, and I got to understand her.  I always wonder what drives a person to do awful things, and this helped me to understand Melissa, and the reasons behind this marriage’s break up.  

Second is the writing.  Kristan Higgins can make me laugh, and then cry all on the same page, and that is a very special talent.  She writes just enough backstory so we understand the characters, and it’s all spread out throughout the book so we never get that info dump that can bog a book down.  I felt like I lived in the little Cape Cod town, and enjoyed her descriptions of this special place.  

And third is her humor.  She combines some really funny physical scenes, along with more subtle humor in the banter and dialogue.  And add a big floppy, drooly dog, and you have a fun book, without being over the top.  There is enough emotion between the humor to make it all work together.  It’s not too sad, and not too campy and over the top, it’s just right.  

I highly recommend Out of the Clear Blue Sky to anyone who loves women’s fiction.  I received a complimentary copy of this book.  The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

About Kristan Higgins

Kristan Higgins is the New York Times, USA TODAY, Wall Street Journal and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of 19 novels, which have been translated into more than two dozen languages and sold millions of copies worldwide. Her books have received dozens of awards and accolades, including starred reviews from Kirkus, The New York Journal of Books, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal , People and Booklist. Her books regularly appear on the lists for best novels of the year. Kristan is also a cohost of the Crappy Friends podcast, which discusses the often complex dynamics of female friendships, with her friend and fellow writer, Joss Dey.
The proud descendant of a butcher and a laundress, Kristan lives in Connecticut with her heroic firefighter husband. They own several badly behaved pets and are often visited by their entertaining and long-lashed children.

55 responses to “Book Review: Out of the Clear Blue Sky by Kristan Higgins

  1. I love the sound of the characters, the writing, and the humor of this story and that you said these are standout aspects. It sounds absolutely delightful. Excellent review!

  2. Sounds like Lillie made a good decision, from the book cover, to go sit and bask on the beach with a pet and probably a book.

    • I really enjoy her books. She does “closed door” love scenes, so I don’t have to flip past any steamy parts 🙂

  3. The dog on that cover is so funny! And the book sounds equally good. I love it when a book can make me both laugh and cry. 🙂

  4. Excellent review, Wendy. I don’t think I would warm up to the “other” woman either, but I agree it would be fascinating to see her side of the story.

  5. Terrific review! I know I want to read this and would have taken it for review if I had a slot. But it’s on my library hold. I’ve enjoyed this author before and this one sounds awesome.

  6. Wonderful review! This sounded like an excellent read. I appreciate when backstory is spread throughout a book.

  7. This sounds like one I need to read Wendy with all the things I love in a great story. Thanks for sharing your wonderful review.

  8. The doggo was the first thing I noticed on the cover, and I love books with loving, goofy dogs in them. The story sounds very good too, in the way its handled with humour and a refreshing perspective. Wonderful review, Wendy🙂🙂🐶🐶