As Bright as Heaven

As Bright as Heaven

Book - 2018 | First edition.
Average Rating:
Rate this:
"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. Their dreams are short-lived. 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 that surround them, 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 that will either crush their resolve to survive or purify it"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York, NY : Berkley, 2018.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780399585968
Characteristics: 387 pages ; 24 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Jan 31, 2021

I love this author and this historical fiction set in 1918 Spanish flu pandemic could not be more timely. Also, WW1 was going on so families were losing people all over the place, very sad stories but realistic.

Jan 28, 2021

Great writing with a deeply engaging plot which kept me totally absorbed through to the end.

May 14, 2020

I've read this while we currently experience the the coronavirus pandemic. I was struck by the parallels of this story with our own current story; school closings, too many bodies to deal with in a respectful and dignified way, the way people came together to help others, the isolation of people. The Bright sisters experience all of this and more. In the end this a great story of survival and hope even though it was pretty hearrwrenching at times, I shed a few tears for the beautiful Bright sisters.

Apr 02, 2020

This very interesting historical fiction novel is about the Spanish flu epidemic in 1918. Very well-written. Held my attention completely from start to finish.

Jan 31, 2020

Excellent Excellent read. Fast paced, great character story lines, touching. Loved it!

Mar 22, 2019

This is a well-written, fast paced historical fiction book. The details of the Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918, along with the WWI and Prohibition are interesting; actually, the story of "life" in the U.S during both the draft for the Great War and the Flu Epidemic are fascinating. It is also a time when women were cracking open some professional employment doors beyond teaching and nursing.

rsmunoz Mar 16, 2019

What was it like to live through the Spanish flu pandemic on the heels of WWI? Frightening stuff. Experiencing it through the Bright family--their love, loss, and adjustment to life's random changes--was nothing short of riveting. A little romance, a little heartbreak, but always--always--a family a reader can love. I really wasn't good for anything much until I finished it. Absolutely recommended at 4.5 stars.

Jan 30, 2019

AS BRIGHT AS HEAVEN explores the effects of the pandemic Spanish Flu Outbreak of 1918 and WWI on a Philadelphia family. This historical fiction drama is an interesting, easy read and is told in alternating chapters by the female main characters. My only criticism is that the ending seemed contrived and was too neatly wrapped up.

Jan 14, 2019

Read this a second time for a book group and found it to be an even more enjoyable read the second time around. Meissner has a gift for immersing us in the time periods she writes about and gives us information about a subject that is not as well known to many. Her characters jump off the page and into our hearts. You will need tissues!

Aug 26, 2018

I always love Susan Meissner's books. This one started great and then, hit a huge snag. I am not sure what happened to the flow or if she had too many ideas to do one book but at the end of part one this went from a 5 star to a 3 start book. The start was easy to read and believable. Part 2 becomes unrealistic - a doctor falls in love with a patients husband (?) Very disappointed in this book. It is dark as the subject matter is death, dieing, the Spanish Flu epidemic, war and the world of the undertaker. An ok read, but after Meissner's other books, a major let down.

View All Comments

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at OPL

To Top