SPECIAL MESSAGE: One of my book besties, Michelle/@allthingshhh, was so excited about this book and asked if she could share her review here on my blog. Her enthusiasm was contagious and I immediately knew it would be my pleasure to let her share her thoughts on this book with you all. You are in for a real treat! Michelle is a very eloquent reviewer. I want to be like her when I grow up. Please enjoy this review!!!
Title: Higher Ground
Author: Nan Lowe
Release Date: July 12, 2016
Nearly a decade after leaving her tumultuous high school years and New Orleans behind, Dr. Violet Foster is thriving in Atlanta. She’s landed a job in the English Department of a prestigious school and shares a home—and her heart—with Wade Price, the love of her life.
Everything’s going according to plan.
Until a phone call from Violet’s younger brother thwarts her holiday plans and upends her carefully constructed life. She’s managed to avoid her hometown for years and dance around the secrets she left buried there. A wedding reception and an ailing grandmother beckon her return to The Big Easy, but as her departure nears, Violet is forced to reconcile the person she was with the woman she’s become.
Even if it means losing everything she holds dear.
Somewhere in each of us, there are moments when we reflect; we cast our minds back to our youth and wonder ‘what if’? What if our journey to the present had been different? Most of us wouldn’t want to go back to the drama and insecurities of those years. But with just a song on the radio, a call from an old friend, or chance encounter with the ‘first heartbreak’, our mind drifts back to that time and we wonder.
Nan Lowe, in her unique storytelling way, gives life to those very emotions. In her self-published debut, Nan’s gift of emotional imagery draws you into Violet’s past and present. Through the entire book, I grew closer to Violet and wanted to spare her from the turmoil of those yester-years. And her love interest, Wade, let’s just say you’ll want him all for yourself. His love, strength, and compassion for Violet is so very touching.
Switching between past and present timelines, without interrupting the plot or pace of the storyline, is integral to the flow of the book. That’s hard to accomplish and Ms. Lowe does it seamlessly. Nan not only gives us a well-defined heroine (Violet) and hero (Wade), but also incorporates an array of strong supporting characters that round out Violet’s life. You get a sense of Violet’s temperament in her youth versus her maturity in later years. Some of these characters you’ll like or love. Others might make you want to throw your e-reader across the room. Violet’s Grandmother is wise and endearing. Another key player has such a dark pull on Violet’s life, you’ll feel compelled to shout out a warning. Nan’s ability to transport readers via narrative, imagery, and description gives proof to her skill and talent for weaving a fictional story into one that seems so very real.
The desire to keep reading the next chapter, and then the next, is a testimony to how invested you become in Violet’s secrets. If you’re anything like me, reading until the wee hours will have you yawning at work the next day. I chose to read this book on my own and had to comfort myself with chocolate. My suggestion to you is to make Higher Ground a book club read so you can discuss this emotional roller coaster with a group of girlfriends while sharing wine!
Higher Ground is essentially about love, trust, and healing. It’s about saving yourself when you can’t save another from their fate. Violet’s story has it all. Nan brings us from such sweet moments to such lows that hurt us on behalf of Violet and Wade. With honesty and trust in Wade, you end up cheering for Violet when she finally reaches the safety of Higher Ground.
Using Stefter’s rating system, I’m giving Nan Lowe’s Higher Ground five out of five Lattes. This is exactly the kind of book you’ll want to curl up and read with a warm cup of java. Whether a cozy corner or a sunny spot at the beach, reading Higher Ground will make you feel, think, and ponder. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
A big thank you to Stefter for allowing me to share my thoughts about a new book. I’ve been excited about this since Nan first stated she was in the process of writing her debut story. Stefter and I often fangirl about books we’ve read via Twitter or Skype sessions. This time, she’s sweet enough to let me barrow her blogging stage to fangirl with all of you.
Note: Michelle received this ARC from the author in exchange for her honest opinion.