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All We Ever Wanted: A Novel Hardcover – June 26, 2018
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From the Publisher
“A gripping, thought-provoking journey.”—Jodi Picoult
“Page-turning . . . Timely and thought-provoking, it’s Giffin’s best yet.”—People
“Giffin’s novel has style and substance . . . . Truly excellent."—The Washington Post
“If you’re looking for a book club selection, All We Ever Wanted is bound to spark meaningful and meaty discussions.”—The Augusta Chronicle
“A page-turning exploration of wealth and privilege.”—Entertainment Weekly
“Stellar. . . an excellent page-turning story . . . a nuanced, thoughtful take on family and social dynamics.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“A compelling family story that brings up plenty of issues ripe for book group discussions.”—Library Journal
"A timely and absorbing portrait of the complexities of modern life . . . This is Emily Giffin at her very best."—Kristin Hannah
“Nina Browning has it all: the handsome husband, the Ivy-League-bound teenage son, and the big house in the Nashville suburbs. But with one unthinkable social media post from her beloved child, could it all fall apart? Dealing with issues of class, money, and race, All We Ever Wanted is the book everyone will be talking about.”—PopSugar
“This thought-provoking novel follows two Nashville families as they struggle with the fallout from a horrible incident. Their wealthy community quickly becomes divided, with people eager to assign blame and take sides as the families struggle with loyalty and staying true to their values. It's one of Giffin's most topical, gripping books yet.”—Good Housekeeping
“All We Ever Wanted is an emotional journey that forces readers to think.”—Associated Press
“This complex and layered novel will give you all the feels.” —Brit + Co
“Giffin draws the reader in like few storytellers can, and All We Ever Wanted is no exception. She effortlessly captures the voices of a struggling single father, a strong yet vulnerable teenage girl and a mother desperate to know the truth about her own child. All We Ever Wanted is a deeply moving cautionary tale about the perils of privilege.”—BookPage
“A compelling portrait of a woman facing the difficult limits of love.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Riveting and poignant, Emily Giffin's latest novel paints an impossible dilemma that will make readers ponder hard questions about loyalty and love. I was captivated by every page.”—Harlan Coben
“A compelling, fascinating story told through blue-ribbon dialogue and the dual gifts of intelligence and goodness. I loved this novel.”—Elinor Lipman
About the Author
- Item Weight : 1.25 pounds
- Hardcover : 352 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0399178929
- ISBN-13 : 978-0399178924
- Dimensions : 9.57 x 6.49 x 1.4 inches
- Publisher : Ballantine Books; Barnes and Noble exclusive edition. (June 26, 2018)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #77,264 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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An incident happens between Lyla and the son, and we spend the next 70% of the book dissecting that to a degree that is somewhat ridiculous. Tom constantly worrying over Lyla. Apparently with good reason, because Lyla keeps sneaking around. Nina advocating for Lyla, and wondering where she went wrong with raising her son. Her son being a pathological liar. And a whoollle lot of political side remarks.
Then it was almost like someone told the author that she needed to finish it up. Because we suddenly get the fast forward version of an ending. Truth, crisis, resolution, epilogue all within 10% of the book. I could have even been okay with this if not for one thing - *MAJOR SPOILER* Nina's son is a pathological liar. Not in an innocent "oh he's just a stupid high school boy" way. In a "holy crap this kid needs professional help and jail time" way. He tried to pin this on another student (whom he was dating), has a phone full of offensive/assault photos, drives another character to attempt suicide, and in the end NO ONE thinks to take this beyond the school. Yes i could see this kid getting a clean slate from a committee of his peers and teachers, but what he was doing was so many levels of illegal and one word to the police from any of the parties and this kid would have done jail time. And the author in the epilogue wants us to believe he went to college, gained some weight, got a serious job and eventually changed. Nope. Not buying it.
Just by reading the sample i was hooked, and so excited about this book, and then this completely fell off the rails. Save yourself some time and money.
I’m deeply disappointed in my fellow females who wrote glowing, even gushing reviews about this book. It’s as though it took place back in the ‘50’s when women were still expected to be quiet about rape because she “asked for it!” and move on as though nothing happened. Has this author ever sat down with a victim of sexual assault or sexual exploitation? I very much doubt it or Finch and Beau would not have walked away without so much as a slap on the wrist. The lasting scars on a woman’s life resulting from being abused in this way deserve more than the injustice portrayed in this ridiculous story line.
Have you ever stopped and wondered how you got somewhere? With this man, living this life? Nina Browning should be ecstatic. She is part of the Nashville elite with a charismatic husband and a son that was just accepted into Princeton. It all seems wrong, though. The preoccupation with material wealth, the inability to really connect with her husband or son… this just isn’t who she is. Any of it.
Tom is desperately trying to be a good father to Lyla, his beautiful and intelligent daughter. When she got a scholarship to Windsor Academy he is a bit worried, but very proud. Lyla is trying to keep up with her classmates both academically and socially. It’s a different world and sometimes the differences are glaring.
A picture snapped in a moment of drunkenness spins out of control. Windsor Academy is going insane with rumors and casting blame. In the eye of the scandal are Tom, Lyla and Nina. Each one is forced to question the relationships of those closest to them, and who they really are.
I could not put this book down. It was gorgeously written, and moving. The trio of narratives was an interesting touch. I really enjoyed being able to see more of these characters, their thoughts and motives. These were really interesting, well developed characters. I loved Lyla especially. Tom with the chip on his shoulder and Nina who desperately wants to be seen as a good woman.
As far as the plot goes, I found it really intriguing and I loved the different twists and turns that kept me guessing. Through out the book I both loathed and loved certain characters, wanting to believe in them, but not knowing if I can. It’s definitely a different world. I also like how they portrayed the young victim- it was very believable. The horror, shame, inability to believe, and the desire to let it all just fade away. Her strength was also something I really loved. I feel like this book has a lot of adult moments, but also a lot that older teens would like as well. For me, this is a five star book.
On the adult content scale, this is pretty high. There’s a lot of language and sexual content as well as drinking. While I would, as I said, see no issue with an older and more mature teen reading it, I have to say it’s meant for adults. I give it an eight.
I was lucky enough to receive an eARC of this book from Netgalley and Random House Publishing in exchange for an honest review. My thanks!
Top reviews from other countries
This follows the story of Nina and her family and Tom and his daughter.
Its a relevant and up to date topic, that i found interesting and as with all Emily's books well written.
The only bugaboo i have is that I thought the ending was slightly rushed.
Enjoyable read though!
I am very happy to see this book nominated for Goodreads Best Fiction 2018.
I felt a bit cheated to be honest.