Mackenzie - PhDiva Books's Reviews > Life and Other Inconveniences

Life and Other Inconveniences by Kristan Higgins
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really liked it
bookshelves: contemporary

A beautifully complex story about an unconventional family and the healing power of forgiveness.

I cannot believe I have never read anything by Kristan Higgins before! By the end of the very first chapter I found Life and Other Inconveniences to be completely charming. It has that blend of humor, heartfelt emotion, pain, lightness, and authenticity. There is a messiness to the characters in this story that felt refreshingly like real life people. Their imperfections made them so easy to love in my opinion. They didn’t feel like merely characters from a novel, they felt like my family, friends, and neighbors.

About the Book

Genevieve London is wealthy, successful, and respected. In the wake of the death of her husband and older son, Genevieve rallied and used her fortunes to establish one of the top luxury fashion brands globally, though it often meant neglecting her other son. But Genevieve never expected to have to raise Emma, the daughter of her younger son, after he abandoned his legacy and couldn’t rise to the struggles of parenthood.

Emma London never let her abandonment by all of the parental figures she had limit the parent she became. Her mother took her life when she was young, and her father couldn’t cope with raising her and left her in the hands of her grandmother Genevieve London as a young girl. When Emma found herself pregnant at 18, Genevieve cut her off entirely, forcing Emma to figure out motherhood on her own. But Emma was a London to her core, and she found a way to not only survive, but to raise her daughter Riley with the love and support her own childhood lacked.

Now, Riley is 16 and dealing with the struggles of growing up and being a teenager. When Genevieve calls Emma for the first time in 17 years and asks her for a favor, Emma isn’t sure what to do. She kept Riley away from the London wealth, prestige, and expectations for a reason. But how can she deny Genevieve this request?


I really loved the way Kristan Higgins structured this novel. In addition to the multiple POVs (which were extremely effective), she had an interesting way of providing back story to the characters. Rather than having them narrate their story in some way, she would weave in a chapter that just had the history of a person in such a fluid way, that I would forget it wasn’t being told to me by the character themselves. The chapters narrated by the characters were kept firmly in the present storyline.

To illustrate this, we see Miller’s character introduced early in the book and how he fits in with the rest of the characters. We also hear a bit about his history and where he is now. But then much later we read a full chapter walking through the life of Miller—the ups and downs, the light and the tragedy. We got to know him and then we learned this rounded backstory and context. It is part of him, but not who he is.

The reason I liked this technique is that it felt like an authentic way to get to know the characters. These are not perfect people. As the present day events unfold, I thought I had a handle on who that person was and what I’d do in their situation. But as these rich personal histories unfolded with the story, often I found that I misjudged them. It was a beautiful way to tell a story. I loved it!

I don’t want to spoil much about the story and the way it unfolds, so I’ll end with saying that this story will get you in your feels! It is so true to life in the messy ways families are structured. There is not much conventional in this family, but that’s the reality of life, right? How many people do you know who have a perfect family structure? That dream is unattainable. Real families do things wrong and have break ups and make ups. But the best ones also find a way to forgive. And that’s definitely the message I was left with!

Thank you to Berkley for my copy. Opinions are my own.
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Reading Progress

August 13, 2019 – Started Reading
August 13, 2019 – Shelved
August 13, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-12 of 12 (12 new)

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message 1: by Brandice (new)

Brandice Great review, Mackenzie! I’ve only read one book by Higgins so far (Now That You Mention It and enjoyed it - I’m glad you liked this one too! :)

message 2: by KAS (new)

KAS So happy you discovered a new author to enjoy reading, Mackenzie ;)) This cover is way too adorable. Fabulous review and so glad you found it to be charming! 😘❤️🥰

message 3: by Nicola (new)

Nicola This sounds like such a wonderful story Mackenzie! Wonderful review too! 💕

message 4: by Angela M (new)

Angela M Wonderful review, Mackenzie.

message 5: by Jayme (new)

Jayme Lovely review!

message 6: by Felicia (new)

Felicia Stellar review, Mackenzie 💖

message 7: by Paula (new)

Paula Kalin Terrific review, Mackenzie!

message 8: by Kat (new) - added it

Kat Valentine Excellent review!!😉💖👍💗💋

message 9: by NZLisaM (new)

NZLisaM Beautiful review, Mackenzie. 😊

message 10: by JanB (new) - added it

JanB Great review Mackenzie, I'm looking forward to this one!

Mackenzie - PhDiva Books Brandice wrote: "Great review, Mackenzie! I’ve only read one book by Higgins so far (Now That You Mention It and enjoyed it - I’m glad you liked this one too! :)"

I need to read that one! This one just positively delighted me!

Susanne  Strong Great review Mack! Love the message you walked away with !

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