From Publishers Weekly
In Brown's withering Silicon Valley satire, a family wakes up on a June day to realize that patriarch Paul's company has hit the big time with a phenomenal IPO. But instead of rejoicing about being newly rich, the family's three women each find themselves in the throes of a major crisis. Paul has fled with his new amour, who happens to be wife Janice's tennis partner. Desperate housewife Janice discovers the soothing power of the pool boy's drug stash and sinks into addiction and denial. Meanwhile, 20-something daughter Margaret learns the price of living a Hollywood lifestyle on an artsy hipster's budget—gargantuan credit card debt. Finally, 14-year-old Lizzie wades deeper and deeper into a sea of adolescent trouble without an adult to confide in. From the ashes of their California dreams, the three must learn to talk to each other instead of past each other, and build a new, slightly more realistic existence—but not without doses of revenge and hilarity. Brown's hip narrative reads like a sharp, contemporary twist on The Corrections. (May)
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Praise for All We Ever Wanted Was Everything
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"Brown's winning debut teaches a hopeful truth: Sometimes, just as you're starting to drown, things fall back into place."
“All We Ever Wanted Was Everything is as addictive as the meth on which Janice gets quickly hooked...Its unapologetically soapy mix of teen sex, quarter-life crisis, food porn and mean-girl politics makes it, like Santa Rita itself, perfect for June: a summery, old-fashioned page turner."
"A sinful treat."
–Santa Cruz Sentinel
"Janelle Brown expertly takes the social temperature of those gated communities exclusive to new money and finds a chill that inhabits the growth of family life...[a] beauty of a book"
–New York Daily News
"A killer summer read."
“A withering Silicon Valley satire . . . From the ashes of their California dreams, the three [women] must learn to talk to each other instead of past each other, and build a new, slightly more realistic existence—but not without doses of revenge and hilarity. Brown's hip narrative reads like a sharp, contemporary twist on The Corrections.”
“A razor-sharp critique of the absurd expectations that, these days, have come to stand for ambition, All We Ever Wanted Was Everything is wrenching, riveting, and still manages to be great fun. This is a wise, intimate chronicle of one family’s struggle to take off their masks and live in the place they most feared: the real, imperfect world.”
—Meghan Daum, author of The Quality of Life Report
“Rarely does a first novelist write with such confidence and grace. All We Ever Wanted Was Everything is a marvelous book.”
—Ayelet Waldman, author of Love and Other Impossible Pursuits
“Janelle Brown's beautiful debut explores the tiny fissures in our lives and what happens when those fissures erupt into chasms. Excruciatingly funny, unrelentingly painful—this extraordinary book gives us something only the best novels can: a glimpse of what it means to be human.”
—Katherine Taylor, author of Rules for Saying Goodbye