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The topic of this month is Comfort Read (Favorite Author? Favorite Trope? Favorite Sub Genre?)
My Rating: 4 stars
Part of a series: A Blue Heron Novel #4
In March the topic is ‘Comfort Read’. Some ideas are suggested (favourite author or trope or subgenre) but as a matter of fact, when I thought about a comfort read, I didn’t go to a favourite author/trope/subgenre, but something different.
For me, a comfort read is a book that I know how it’s going to develop, I have a general idea of the style and I assume that nothing is going to be too hurtful or very intense. Kristan Higgins is the perfect option.
A story set in a small town, with a lot of people you already know, everybody meddling in everybody else’s lives, a lot of unhealthy food (really, chocolate croissants, Kraft Mac & Cheese, heart-shaped cookies and cupcakes - only in the first chapter!), cute pets, family, friends, and a sense of a community where sometimes bad things happen but everything is solved in the end.
Blue Heron is, I think, the best series written by Kristan Higgins. For those of you who have never read a book of this series, it’s set in New York State near a beautiful lake and with hills full of vineyards. The Holland sisters have found love in previous books and now it’s time for the wonderful Jack Holland.
He’s a nice chap. Tall, blond and gorgeous, of course. He’s a hard-working man in the family’s company and the perfect date for any woman in Manningsport.
Now Emmaline is the deputy cop in town. She has to go to California to the wedding of her ex-fiancé. So she ends going to Malibu with the perfect date Jack, of course. Everybody loves Jack. He’s perfect.
And now he is more loved than ever, as he has rescued some teenagers from a car wreck. Everybody worships him as a real hero. But he is not satisfied as he couldn’t save all of them and he’s always thinking that he wasn´t quick enough. He’s got a PTSD as big as a house, but he does not want to recognize it.
The previous history of both Emmaline and Jack is told in flashbacks. How Jack fell in love and got married with a beautiful and charming Southerner, and how things just didn’t work between them. And now after watching him in the news, that ex-wife is back, playing havoc his life.
And it is also trough flashbacks that we discover the story of Emmaline and her ex, Kevin. They fell in love in eighth grade, and were together for years. But then he has the opportunity to lose weight, something he really wanted for a long time, and felt that Em was unsupportive. They broke months before the wedding. Now he is getting married with her personal trainer and Em has to go to the wedding to show that she is so over him.
That story leads to moments and thoughts about losing weight and having a healthy life. But like everybody else, they mix reasonable things, like the increase of fruit and vegetables in the diet, with other things that are just silly, like for instance that thing of eating gluten-free food. If you are not celiac, a gluten-free diet can be detrimental to your health.
Or that idea that being thin is a matter of personal strength and will. No it is not, it depends on an environment and a society that is obesogenic. Any health problem is a matter of public health, not an individual thing, and diet-induced obesity is not different. If you don’t change the environment, you won’t change the people’s behaviour.
So in this book you can find the typical sentence like if you go to surgery because of this problem, then you cheat. No, you don’t cheat, you use the resources that Medicine gives you.
But stop the ranting, let’s go with the story.
Going to the wedding with Em is the perfect excuse for Jack to leave town. But of course things get complicated when they have quite a nice night together, it looks like none of them is looking for a relationship but somehow that’s what both of them get. There’s more sexual tension than explicit sex on the page but you really don’t miss it.
It was a quick reading, charming, funny, and totally enjoyable. Many times Kristan Higgins borders on the cheesy side of things but she never really gets there.
So, this is the kind of book that I consider a comfort reading.