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All He Ever Wanted: A Novel (Shreve, Anita) by [Anita Shreve]

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All He Ever Wanted: A Novel (Shreve, Anita) Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 268 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Boldly plotted and inventively told, Shreve's latest novel is further proof that she is a natural-born storyteller with a shrewd sense of how to shape her material to best appeal to the commercial market. This is a story of obsessive love spanning the years 1899-1916 and told in the somewhat stilted and formal language of a pompous English professor. Nicholas Van Tassel first meets Etna Bliss while escaping from a hotel fire, a conflagration that serves to foreshadow their relationship. He pursues her relentlessly, ascertaining that she is financially dependent on her sister's family. Sensing her restlessness, he proposes marriage, deceiving himself about her feelings for him. The bargain they have struck comes back to haunt them when Nicholas discovers that his wife, unbeknownst to him, has inherited a painting, sold it, and used the proceeds to buy herself a small house, where she can find some small measure of freedom. Considering this act the height of betrayal, Nicholas sets in motion a series of disastrous events. Shreve artfully explores the gamut of emotions provoked by passion, from selfless generosity to base pettiness, subtly tracing the bargains people make and the price exacted, all in the name of love. Joanne Wilkinson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

From Library Journal

Set at the turn of the last century, like Fortune's Rocks, this work begins when a man fleeing a hotel fire encounters a mysterious woman who will ultimately become his wife.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B000FA671Q
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Little, Brown and Company; 1st edition (April 1, 2003)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ April 1, 2003
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 1112 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 384 pages
  • Page numbers source ISBN ‏ : ‎ 0316782262
  • Lending ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.2 out of 5 stars 268 ratings

About the author

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Anita Shreve grew up in Dedham, Massachusetts (just outside Boston), the eldest of three daughters. Early literary influences include having read Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton when she was a junior in high school (a short novel she still claims as one of her favorites) and everything Eugene O'Neill ever wrote while she was a senior (to which she attributes a somewhat dark streak in her own work). After graduating from Tufts University, she taught high school for a number of years in and around Boston. In the middle of her last year, she quit (something that, as a parent, she finds appalling now) to start writing. "I had this panicky sensation that it was now or never."

Joking that she could wallpaper her bathroom with rejections from magazines for her short stories ("I really could have," she says), she published her early work in literary journals. One of these stories, "Past the Island, Drifting," won an O. Henry prize. Despite this accolade, she quickly learned that one couldn't make a living writing short fiction. Switching to journalism, Shreve traveled to Nairobi, Kenya, where she lived for three years, working as a journalist for an African magazine. One of her novels, The Last Time They Met, contains bits and pieces from her time in Africa.

Returning to the United States, Shreve was a writer and editor for a number of magazines in New York. Later, when she began her family, she turned to freelancing, publishing in the New York Times Magazine, New York magazine and dozens of others. In 1989, she published her first novel, Eden Close. Since then she has written 14 other novels, among them The Weight of Water, The Pilot's Wife, The Last Time They Met, A Wedding in December, Body Surfing, Testimony,and A Change in Altitude.

In 1998, Shreve received the PEN/L. L. Winship Award and the New England Book Award for fiction. In 1999, she received a phone call from Oprah Winfrey, and The Pilot's Wife became the 25th selection of Oprah's Book Club and an international bestseller. In April 2002, CBS aired the film version of The Pilot's Wife, starring Christine Lahti, and in fall 2002, The Weight of Water, starring Elizabeth Hurley and Sean Penn, was released in movie theaters.

Still in love with the novel form, Shreve writes only in that genre. "The best analogy I can give to describe writing for me is daydreaming," she says. "A certain amount of craft is brought to bear, but the experience feels very dreamlike."

Shreve is married to a man she met when she was 13. She has two children and three stepchildren, and in the last eight years has made tuition payments to seven colleges and universities.

Customer reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5
268 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

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Reviewed in the United States on June 22, 2004
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Reviewed in the United States on December 6, 2004
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Top reviews from other countries

3.0 out of 5 stars I really enjoy Anita Shreve's work as a rule
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 5, 2018
One person found this helpful
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of Shreve's best
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 17, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 24, 2017
Carole Munro
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 3, 2018
H Dromey
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 24, 2018
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