By Orly Konig
I had the pleasure of reading advance copies of both of Emily Cavanagh’s books. Her debut released last year and I thoroughly enjoyed it, so was extra excited to get my hands on her second book, This Bright Beauty. This was one of those books that I was eager to see how it ended but reluctant to get to the end.
Franci and Lotti are identical twins but that’s where the similarities end. Lottie has bipolar disorder and is constantly battling depression and mania. After years of taking care of her sister, Franci moves across the country to build a new life for herself. After an unfortunate accident during a family visit, Franci cuts off all ties to Lottie.
But when Lottie gets in an accident, Franci reluctantly steps back into her familiar role as protector. She returns to find her sister’s life in complete disarray and makes a shocking discovery: Lottie has an infant daughter she never told Franci about. Although Franci swore she wouldn’t get sucked back in, she can’t leave the baby alone in Lottie’s care.
The more Lottie unravels, the more is revealed about a childhood secret that could blow their relationship further apart.
I was so captivated by Emily’s writing that I found myself stopping a few times to reread a passage for the sheer beauty of the language. The characters were raw and real and Emily’s descriptions brought me back to the Bay Area, a place I love but haven’t been back to in years.
Orly Konig is an escapee from the corporate world where she spent roughly sixteen (cough) years working in the space industry. Now she spends her days chatting up imaginary friends, drinking entirely too much coffee, and negotiating writing space around two over-fed cats.