Weddings, Hometowns and Sisters: We Talk with Kristan Higgins

Good news, friends! Kristan Higgins has a new book out this week, If You Only Knew. It’s the story of two sisters — a wedding dress designer unlucky in love and a perfect mom to triplets — who finds out her life isn’t so perfect. We caught up with Kristan to talk about her new book, her hometown — and her wedding dress. 

What’s it like living in your hometown as an adult? 

Kristan: Oh, it’s pretty wonderful, living in my hometown. I can’t go anywhere without running into someone who’s known me since I was a dorky little kid, or who went to school with my sister or whose kid came over to my house to play with my kid. People ask after my mom or my kids, and they’re all quite tickled that I’ve become a successful author. The flip side of that is everyone knows you. There’s no anonymity, living in your hometown. You don’t get to … how to put this? … you don’t get to create yourself, because you’ve already been created. It’s the best and worst part of living here.

Why do you think moving back to your hometown is such a popular plot in books?

KH: I think readers love a homecoming story because it encompasses so much of what we’ve all been through — leaving the nest, the pull of family, confronting the past, forgiving those who’ve done us wrong. And there’s a sense of a full circle — you left, you came back, and you’re the same as you ever were, except maybe a little better.

Rachel and Jenny’s relationship is a hightight here. What do you think it is about the sisterly bond that’s so compelling to read about? 

KH: I have a sister, and there’s no one I’m closer to in the whole wide world. Jenny and Rachel are very different, but they love each other fiercely. No one gets you like someone who shared bath time with you, who woke up with you on Christmas morning, who knows exactly how exasperating Mom can be (author’s note: my mother is never exasperating, of course!). Even if sisters don’t get along, they know each other in a way that can’t be replicated with a friend.

Jenny is a wedding dress designer. What does your dream wedding dress look like? Is it similar to the one your wore, or would you change it up for a vow renewal?

As a longtime addict of Say Yes to the Dress, I can say that my dream wedding dress is about a dozen different designs. Mine was very pretty, of course (I thought so, anyway). The style is a bit dated now, since McIrish and I have been married for almost 24 years. I doubt my daughter will wear it, but she’s welcome to use the fabric if she wants.

For a vow renewal, I probably wouldn’t wear white. I’d wear red, and it would be wicked comfy!

If You Only Knew is available now in stores and online. Get it on Amazon, Barnes Noble, Kobo or iBooks, or find it in your neighborhood bookstore on IndieBound. For more mainstream stories, be sure to visit our Everything Mainstream page. 

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