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From the acclaimed author of The Last Year of the War comes a novel set during the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918, telling 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.
About the Author
Susan Meissner is a former managing editor of a weekly newspaper and an award-winning columnist. She is the award-winning author of A Fall of Marigolds, Secrets of a Charmed Life, Stars over Sunset Boulevard, and A Bridge Across the Ocean among other novels.
Praise for As Bright as Heaven
“A story of one family’s heartbreak and hope. Strong [and] resilient, Meissner’s characters step off the page and into history.”—Lisa Wingate, New York Times bestselling author of Before We Were Yours
“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
“A thoughtful examination of life...somber, gripping, and illuminated with hope.”—Kate Quinn, USA Today bestselling author of The Alice Network
“Traces of Little Women in the trials and fortitude of the Bright women. An affirmation of the power of love and duty.”—Helen Simonson, author of Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand and The Summer Before the War
“A fascinating historical novel and a beautifully written story of love, loss, and family. A gorgeous, unforgettable book.”—Jillian Cantor, author of Margot and The Lost Letter