Saturday, November 22, 2014


Acts of Kindness
Lisa Verge Higgins

Lisa Verge Higgins has a wonderful way of taking the mundane of life, the everyday crisis that we live through and turning it into a delightful read that leaves us giggling, laughing, and dabbing at our eyes as our mascara slides down our cheeks either in sheer mirth or in gut wrenching sobs as we connect at an intimate level with what is happening to the characters in one of her novels.
I have had the unique pleasure of participating in lively and spirited book club reads with Lisa over the last few years as her books have been released, as hosted by Debbie Haupt through the General Fiction board at the now defunct Barnes and Nobles Book Clubs.  Each book was a month long road through one of her works and punctuated with spirited dialogue and camaraderie with Lisa’s willing participation.  The days were filled with laughter and tears, arguments and debates, but most of all lots of fun. 
The last book that came out in 2013 was Random Acts of Kindness.  As we all discovered very quickly, this was a story of a different flavor.  Even though there was some light hearted banter between the characters of Random Acts of Kindness, the subject matter of this book seemed to hit most of us a little closer to home and on issues a little more difficult to talk about. 
What do you say to your sister who is dying of cancer?  Or to your sister if you have cancer but have a different viewpoint on how you want to deal with facing the possibility of imminent death?  How do you keep your head above the water and blues?
What do you say to your friends when you can’t even admit to yourself that you can’t handle the failure going on in your own life?  You have always been the rock, the one who could be counted on to come through, but you know you can’t be perfect anymore. 
What do you do? How do you share your worst nightmare of your married life with your friends?  How can you let them share with you something that you can’t even face or share with yourself?
The characters within the pages deal with such real turmoil on levels that the reader can identify with and feel, as if the emotions roiling within are their own.  You know that the writer has truly hit home when you have to set the book aside and pick up the box of tissue and hold it as the sobs wrack your soul, for you have lived that experience, that trial. 
In the guise of a farewell road trip for one of the characters, each of the characters faces their own demons and discovers the strength and friendship of the other friends along the way, that help them through their own crisis. 
Though a much darker novel than her others, Random Acts of Kindness does not lack for Lisa’s magical touch of well-placed hilarity where it is needed, in a timely manner.  Even though this was probably the most difficult of all the novels for me to read because I identified so closely with the subject matter, I would consider this probably the best of her literary works to date. 

Random Acts of Kindness is worthy of five stars (and 3 boxes of tissue).  A job well done.

The sequel to Random Acts of Kindness  will be coming out in the Spring of 2015.  You will not want to miss the continuing story of the friends we first met on the road trip across America in Random Acts of Kindness.  There is nothing like life time friends that you can depend on when life just "happens", for that is when you find out who your friends truly are.  

Keep up with Lisa Verge Higgins and her current books at: