A Brighter Flame by Christine Nolfi
Paperback, 304 pages
Publication: September 27th 2022 by Lake Union Publishing
Taken from Goodreads: She’s always wanted a sense of belonging. The last place she expects to find it is home.
Vale Lightner’s dreams turn to ash when the Pittsburgh bar she owns goes up in flames. Just like the past she escaped, very little seems salvageable. Facing unavoidable change, Vale returns to her hometown of Philadelphia to stay with her grandmother.
She knows that returning also means facing everything she left behind: a mother and stepfather who shunted her into the background from the day they married, and her charmed and favored half sister, Blythe, who has abandoned a perfect marriage and is now at a crossroads of her own. Everyone has their secrets, and this reunited family racked by them is about to reach a crisis point.
For a mother and her two daughters, this reunion is a chance for closure, newfound love, and forgiveness. As each of them reassesses her own memories of the past, only the truth can bring them together—in ways that could last forever. From the bestselling author of The Passing Storm comes a poignant novel about family secrets, healing, and the hope of second chances.
My Thoughts: This book, I will be talking about it for a while. The family dynamics have something that everyone can relate to. While hopefully, you will not relate to all of it, there will probably be something that you can relate to. There are family secrets, misunderstandings, siblings at odds, a mother on the outside looking in, and a grandmother who just wants her family to get along and is willing to be sneaky to get them all in the same room. Iris is the hero, she is the grandmother who tricks, nicely, her granddaughters to both come to stay with her, who puts her daughter in the same room as her granddaughters to try to mend those fences, and who loves them all 100%.
Vale and Blythe are half-sisters, but the only sisters each of them has. There have been so many misunderstandings in their relationship that they no longer talk but are now thrown together to help Iris. I enjoyed that their relationship was not instantly mended. They had to fight it out, talk it out, and see that each of them is not perfect. Both girls have problems in their lives and can use a friendly ear to help them find their ways. When things got tough, they ended up sticking together to help each other out.
Christine Nolfi wrote a book that I had a hard time putting down. I quickly became invested in the character's lives and had high hopes for where this story would go. Christine took it even farther than I expected and I love the ending. I will definitely talk about this book to all my friends and recommend everyone purchase their own copies.
**Thank you Christine Nofli for a copy of the book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review
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Meet Christine Nolfi (taken from her website): Christine Nolfi is the award-winning and bestselling author of fifteen novels, including The Passing Storm, cited by Publishers Weekly as “Tautly plotted, expertly characterized, and genuinely riveting” and gold medal winner in general fiction, International Book Awards. Look for Christine’s 2022 release, A Brighter Flame.
Other works include The Road She Left Behind, a top book club pick by Working Mother and Parade magazines, and the award-winning Sweet Lake Series: Sweet Lake, The Comfort of Secrets, and The Season of Silver Linings.
Earlier works include Second Chance Grill, highly recommended by The Midwest Book Review and Treasure Me, recognized by the Next Generation Indie Awards and Put Your Heart in a Book Awards.
The Tree of Everlasting Knowledge was cited by The Midwest Book Review as “Poignant and powerful, as much a saga of learning to survive, heal, and forgive as it is a chilling crime story, unforgettable to the very end.”
A native of Ohio, Christine now resides in South Carolina with her husband and their crazy wheaten terrier, Lucy