If You Only Knew

By: Kristan Higgins
The drama, hilarity and tears of sisterhood are at the heart of the thoroughly captivating new novel by New York Times bestselling author Kristan Higgins—a funny, frank and bittersweet look at marriage, forgiveness and moving on

Letting go of her ex-husband is harder than wedding-dress designer Jenny Tate expected…especially since his new wife wants to be Jenny’s new best friend. Sensing this isn’t exactly helping her achieve closure, Jenny trades the Manhattan skyline for her hometown up the Hudson, where she’ll start her own business and bask in her sister Rachel’s picture-perfect family life…and maybe even find a little romance of her own with Leo, her downstairs neighbor, a guy who’s utterly irresistible and annoyingly distant at the same time.

Rachel’s idyllic marriage, however, is imploding after she discovers her husband sexting with a colleague. She always thought she’d walk away in this situation, but her triplet daughters have her reconsidering her stance on adultery, much to Jenny’s surprise. Rachel points to their parents’ perfect marriage as a shining example of patience and forgiveness; but to protect her sister, Jenny may have to tarnish that memory—and their relationship—and reveal a family secret she’s been keeping since childhood.

Both Rachel and Jenny will have to come to terms with the past and the present and find a way to get what they want most of all.




Jenny

Today is one of those days when I realize that staying friends with my ex-husband was a huge mistake.

I’m at the baby shower for Ana-Sofia, Owen’s wife and my replacement. Indeed, I’m sitting next to her, a place of honor in this circle of beaming well-wishers, and I’m probably beaming just as hard as everyone else. Harder, even, my “gosh, isn’t it wonderful, she’s so radiant” smile that I give at work quite often, especially as my brides get bitchier or their mothers get more critical or their maids of honor get more jealous. But this smile, the baby-shower smile...this is superhuman, really.

I know that coming today is incredibly pathetic, don’t worry. It’s just that I didn’t want to seem bitter by not showing up—though I’m pretty sure I am bitter, at least a little. After all, I’m the one who always wanted kids. Every time I brought it up, though, Owen said he wasn’t sure the time was right, and he loved our life the way it was.

Yeah. So. That turned out not to be quite true, but we did stay friends. Coming today, though...pathetic.

However, I woke up this morning utterly starving, and I knew the food would be amazing at the shower. Ana-Sofia inspires people. Plus, I’m moving out of the city, so for the past three weeks, I’ve been trying to eat or give away every morsel of food in my apartment. Let’s also mention that I couldn’t figure out an excuse that people would buy. Better to be an oddity here than Poor Jenny at home, scrounging through a box of Wheat Thins of indeterminate age.

Ana-Sofia opens my gift, which is wrapped in Christmas paper, despite it being April. Liza, my host, glowers; the red-and-green cocoa-swilling Santas are an affront to the party vibe, which Liza noted on the invitations.

In an effort to create a beautiful and harmonious environment for Ana-Sofia, please adhere to the apricot-and-sage color scheme in your clothing and gift-wrapping choices.

Only in Manhattan, folks. I’m wearing a purple dress as a middle finger to Liza, who used to be my friend but now posts daily on Facebook that she’s LOL-ing with her BFF, Ana-Sofia.

“Oh! This is so lovely! Thank you, Jenny! Everyone, look at this! It’s beautiful!” Ana-Sofia holds up my gift, and there are gasps and murmurs and exclamations and a few glares that I have brought the best present. I cock an eyebrow at the haters. Suck it up, bitches. My gift was actually dashed off last night, as I kind of forgot to buy a present, but they don’t have to know that.

It’s a white satin baby blanket with leaves and trees and birds stitched into it. Hey. It only took me two hours. Nothing was hand-stitched. It wasn’t that big a deal. I sew for a living. A wedding-dress designer. The irony is not lost on me.

“Couldn’t you have just bought a stuffed animal like a normal person?” murmurs the person on my left. Andreas—born Andrew—my assistant, and the only man here. Gay, of course—do straight men work in designer bridal wear? Also, he hates and fears children, which makes him the perfect date for me under the circumstances. I needed an ally.

Have I mentioned that the shower is being held in the apartment I once shared with Owen? Where, so far as I could tell, he and I were extremely happy? Yes. Liza is hosting, but the power went out in her apartment, thanks to the ham-fisted construction crew installing her new glass countertops—granite being so very last decade—and so we’re here instead. Liza is sweaty and loud, rightfully worried about being judged on her prowess as hostess. This is the Upper East Side, after all. We’re all about judgment here.

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