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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

As Bright as Heaven

As Bright as Heaven

ISBN: 0399585966

Publisher: Berkley

Publication Date: 2/6/2018

Format: Hardcover

My Rating: 5 Stars 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 Bright and her husband, filled with hope that they could now give their three daughters--Evelyn, Maggie, and Willa--a chance at a better life.

But just months after they arrive, the Spanish Flu reaches the shores of America. As the pandemic claims more than twelve thousand victims in their adopted city, they find their lives left with a world that looks nothing like the one they knew. But even as they lose loved ones, they take in a baby orphaned by the disease who becomes their single source of hope. Amidst the tragedy and challenges, they learn what they cannot live without--and what they are willing to do about it.

As Bright as Heaven is the compelling story of a mother and her daughters who find themselves in a harsh world not of their making, which will either crush their resolve to survive or purify it.


Praise for As Bright as Heaven

“In As Bright as Heaven, Susan Meissner has penned an original and vivid portrayal of a family in Philadelphia during the Great War and the flu pandemic of 1918. With stunning prose and keen detail, Meissner has deftly created a heady mix of love, politics, and survival—a family saga, coming-of-age tale, and riveting historical fiction all in one. A must read!”—Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Orphan’s Tale “From the unthinkable tragedy of the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic to the glittering speakeasies of the Roaring Twenties, Susan Meissner delivers a story of one family’s heartbreak and hope. Strong, resilient, and determined to make their way in a changing world, Meissner’s characters step off the page and into history.”—Lisa Wingate, author of Before We Were Yours “As Bright as Heaven explores the heart of a historic but universal family.”—Karen Harper, New York Times bestselling author of The It Girls “Susan Meissner brings the 1918 flu pandemic vividly to life in a mesmerizing tale.”—Lauren Willig, New York Times bestselling author of The English Wife

“Meissner brings a ravaged Philadelphia dramatically to life amidst a terrible virus. Her masterful portrayal of the Bright family makes her novel sing: with hope, love, and gentle forgiveness.”—Fiona Davis, author of The Address and The Dollhouse

“Beautifully written and vividly imagined, As Bright as Heaven is a mesmerizing portrayal of the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918. This is a novel which will linger long in the memory.”—New York Times bestselling author Hazel Gaynor “A somber, gripping tale illuminated with hope.”—Kate Quinn, USA Today bestselling author of The Alice Network “It is strange that a book with death as its theme should be so life-affirming and uplifting. Told from multiple points of view in gorgeously rich prose, this is a story that will haunt the reader long after it is finished.”—New York Times bestselling author Rhys Bowen


About the Author

Susan Meissner

Susan Meissner is a multi-published author, speaker and writing workshop leader with a background in community journalism. Her novels include A Bridge Across the Ocean; Secrets of Charmed Life, a Goodreads finalist for Best Historical Fiction 2015; and A Fall of Marigolds, named to Booklist’s Top Ten Women’s Fiction titles for 2014. A California native, she attended Point Loma Nazarene University. Susan is a pastor’s wife and a mother of four young adults. When she’s not working on a novel, Susan writes small group curriculum for her San Diego church. Visit Susan at her website: on Twitter at @SusanMeissner or at Read More

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