Audiobook, Contemporary Fiction

Out of the Clear Blue Sky by Kristan Higgins @Kristan_Higgins @xesands #CJBloom @recordedbooks


the setup…

Lilliana (Lillie) Silva is married to Brad and mother to son Dylan who will soon be graduating from high school and moving far away from home to attend college. Though she has a thriving and fulfilling career as a nurse and midwife, she’s first and foremost a mother and is not looking forward to being an empty nester. What she definitely wasn’t prepared for was her husband announcing to her the day before Dylan’s graduation that he not only was leaving her but was moving in with his new love, a woman significantly younger (and rich!). Yes, Lillie’s shocked, hurt and never had a clue. But what she’s mostly? Red hot angry. As she struggles to come to terms with Brad’s duplicity and abandonment on top of Dylan’s departure, she cannot shake her rage at the indignities that come along with being dumped and having her home being broken apart.

the heart of the story…

Okay, a lot of what Lillie does to Brad and his new lover Melissa is over the top, outrageous and maybe against the law. But deep down, what she does, very cleverly I might add, is what most of us wish we could do but our conscience won’t let us. I could identify with her sense of loss, not just her marriage, but her family, dignity and living standards. At the same time, Lillie is desperately trying to shield her son from this mess and not interfering with his relationship to his father. I laughed, cried, and got angered right along with Lillie, feeling every emotion she felt while enduring every indignity Brad showered upon her (he really was a piece of work). Surprisingly, we also get Melissa’s point of view! Though it was helpful to gain an understanding of this woman who deliberately wrecked Lillie’s marriage, it didn’t make me any more sympathetic to the woman. Her circumstances growing up answered lots of questions about her motivations and though I was sympathetic, they didn’t justify her choices and behavior as an adult.

the narration…

I listened to the story and Sands was magnificent as Lillie. She fit like a glove. I also enjoyed Bloom’s performance as Melissa, especially since she was able to simultaneously have her come across as self absorbed and sympathetic!

the bottom line…

I was mesmerized by Lillie’s journey, an emotional smorgasbord that felt so honest and true to life. There were times I was saying, “No, don’t do this!” as she exacted her revenge in extremely creative ways, never dangerous, but they were pretty satisfying afterward. It’s a small community so everyone is privy to what should be her private affairs, which just makes it even tougher. I loved how that same community respected the boundaries but provided support in subtle but meaningful ways. While entertaining, this story perfectly illustrated the emotional disruption caused when someone violates a marriage and a child takes his or her first steps away from home towards adulthood. Yes, there were the obvious things but what struck me most were the little and more nuanced things that chip away at you over time. It was one of the best listening experiences I’ve had all year, one that will stay with me for a long, long time.

Book Info

  • Release Date: June 7, 2022
  • Narrators: Xe Sands & CJ Bloom
  • Audio Length: 14 hours, 49 minutes
  • Publisher: Recorded Books

 

Listen to a Sample!

 

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23 thoughts on “Out of the Clear Blue Sky by Kristan Higgins @Kristan_Higgins @xesands #CJBloom @recordedbooks”

  1. Excellent review, Jo. I was pending for so long for this book, and I really want to read it. I have read so many great reviews, but you have hooked me to get to it sooner rather than later. I found the audiobook on Scribd, so with your comment, ” It was one of the best listening experiences I’ve had all year, one that will stay with me for a long, long time.” I am definitely adding it to my next week’s TBR.

    Liked by 1 person

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